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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Our first days in Patagonia

There is no cheerfulness like the resolution of a great mind that has fortune under his feet. He can look death in the face, and bid it welcome; Open his door to poverty, and bridle his appetites; This is a man whom Providence has established In the possession of inviolable delights.

When Roman philosopher Seneca wrote these words back in the first century, he certainly didn't imagine that some twenty centuries later it would resonate strongly with a septuagenarian offshore sailor, let alone a North American woman on a little boat, far from home and from customary friends and family. Yet I often feel gifted with those delights – they are mine through the delights of voyaging. The last few days we’ve had gentle winds and seas and dolphins have accompanied us in and out of our anchorages. Breaks in the scantily clouded sky allow beams of sunlight to make a beautiful path through the azure waters. Morning and evening clouds of seabirds take off at our approach and one wonders if their paths of navigation are as carefully plotted as those which Larry construes every day. Today we have spent the entire day gazing at a snow-white volcanic cone within a chain of mountains off towards the east. I’ll be able to include a few photos with this blog as we have hi-speed internet for a few hours now while we’re in Puerto Aguirre.

We lifted a stone with the anchor
Not every day starts idyllically - yesterday after surviving the many other bad experiences Larry described in the last blog, we hauled up a rock (see photo). We eventually freed ourselves.

Later ... we went ashore – thought about getting a few groceries and perhaps eating a meal … but the two small restaurants were closed as were the grocery stores. I had a small package to mail but there’s no regular mail from here and it would cost $100 to send express. Businesses and schools close from 1-3 every day. Everyone goes home for the big meal of the day and (probably) a short rest. We’d already eaten lunch and all we really wanted to do was check in with the Armada office and to buy more fuel – we did both of these - so we’re back on Traversay

Tomorrow later in the day, a spell of bad weather is on its way, so we’ll leave here early in the morning and head towards a safe spot to anchor – perhaps for a few days.
Bad days are not a problem for me – there’s exercising and piano playing. We’ve been able to scuba dive twice so far and Larry’s underwater photos take a lot of time to edit and to classify. I could also write a lot more about our experiences, and I have books I want to order for my e-book. We have various series of movies and tv shows which friends have recommended – we’re quite tired at night and we watch ‘tv’ series on the computer – just like millions of other folks our age!

pelicans flying away at the approach of Traversay III
There’s a joy in the wilderness which is almost an addiction. Even though I very much miss individuals, there’s nothing as ‘freeing’ as being away from PEOPLE – no dinners to reciprocate, no need to obsessively clean this little space, no real need to communicate apart from writing in the blog … no reason to go shopping. In fact, there’s no requirement to prove one is a contributing member of society. What a relief!

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