Sunday, March 27, 2016 at sea, off the Pampos

Happy Easter! Several things have happened since my last post. Our starboard engine was successfully started. Hooray! We were going at a good clip of 14 knots until at about 5 am yesterday, something happened and the ship slowed to about 13 knots. The bridge noted the slowing but had no explanation. When the sun rose, someone noticed we were dragging some rope or something, and after much discussion, the captain decided to slow the boat, drop a zodiac with some crew, and detach whatever it was that we were towing. They soon discovered we had somehow run across a trawler fishing net and it had caught on the port propeller. Apparently when they slowed the engine, the net was sucked more tightly onto the propeller and stopped it (they say this is very rare!). So now, we’re back traveling at about 8 knots with only one engine working. At this rate, we’ll never make any headway, as until we pass the equator, we’re going against the wind and currents, and if something happens to our starboard engine, we will be dead in the water. Thank goodness we have good weather and a forecast of more of the same. 
The captain altered course and we’re headed for the Valdes Peninsula of Argentina. There is a safe anchorage at Puerto Madryn, where we can hire professional divers to remove this fishing line. We’re told that this area is not known for trawling fishing, but junk can travel vast distances in the ocean and it’s our unfortunate luck to have caught something. 
The scenery in this area is supposed to be gorgeous and there should be a lot of wildlife around the peninsula. There’s also a Welsh community close by (yes — a large group from Wales populated the area in the 19th century). In the town of Gaiman they are still teaching the school children the Welsh language. Our Welsh historian is very excited about making this unplanned stop. 
We’re having a wonderful time listening to lectures, eating far too much yummy food and meeting the lovely people on the ship. Spirits are high. We’ll see what happens and how our trip evolves. 


About Anne Finch

Anne Finch lives in Idyllwild, California. She and her husband Barnaby love to travel. They also love their hometown. View all posts by Anne Finch

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