Thursday, March 31, 2016, at sea of Uruguay

We’re off the coast of Uruguay, headed to Rio, both engines running smoothly for a total of about 16 knots on smooth seas. On Monday, we docked at Puerto Madryn, Argentina, so that we could have divers extract the fishing lines that had entangled our propeller. The mass must weigh several hundred pounds (some of us are bringing home sections of the line as a souvenir), we feel lucky it didn’t do any permanent damage. The engine started up and everything is running normally, except that we are running behind schedule. We’re happy with the alternative plan though — we’ll spend more time in Madeira and fly home directly from there. We’ll miss our stops in Portsmouth, England and Bremerhaven, Germany, but that’s okay — they weren’t highlights for Barnaby and I, and we’re just grateful to not have the trip completely cancelled, or worse — dead in the water in bad weather. We are at sea and anything can happen.
  During our stop in Puerto Madryn, we visited a Welsh village, Gaiman, that was settled in 1865. This part of Patagonia is desert (really most of Patagonia is very dry and very windy), the Welsh settlers were misinformed as to the nature of the land. They nearly perished the first year, but with promises of support from the Argentine government, help from the local indigenous people, stuck it out and have prospered. Some Welsh is still spoken and many of the Welsh traditions are maintained — including high tea. I’m afraid our diets have suffered, the cakes, pastries, and sandwiches were so delicious that our group ate like we had been starved on the ship (which we have not!). An excellent local choir performed for us, we were especially impressed since their community is so small. It was a lovely day. 
Rio is only a couple of days away, so we’re learning about the culture, geography and diseases. After our doctor’s talk this morning, no one will be swimming at Ipanema Beach this visit.
Nowhere else than upon the sea do the days, weeks and months fall away quicker into the past. They seem to be left astern as easily as the light air-bubbles in the swirls of the ship’s wake.
Joseph Conrad



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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