Here we are at the beginning of our 4th seasons on Haiyou. We had a fantastic time in France, soaking up the generous sunshine of this year northern summer, and the warmth from family and friends reunion.What a pleasure! But now it is back to business.
We found Haiyou in good shape under the watchful eyes of Marcello, the local marina manager, and Rene, a good Swiss friend who has wintered on his boat next to us. No traces of humidity in spite of the incessant rain. The heater was on right a way and has rarely been turned off since.
I launched myself into a project which had pre occupied my mind for a while : the installation of a Dickinson diesel stove we carried in our bags back from France. It took me about 3 weeks of work as I did not want to ruin the integrity of the boat nor its good look.
A typical work day would start on google translate to rehearse my inexistant spanish vocabulary before going to the steel fabricator or the ferrateria , a 20 minutes bus trip away. Invariably, by the time I reached the workshop my little spanish knowledge had evaporated and it was back to sign language and small drawings. Chileans are very patient and with time every thing can be found in Valdivia and if not fabricated. One shop would sell stainless nuts and bolts, but not stainless screws, those were found at the other end of town in an industrial tool shop, but stainless clip would be found somewhere else yet again. I have a very good knowledge of Valdivia industrial surburbs by now.
The culmination of the stove installation was the cutting of a 13 cm hole in the coach roof (5 inches) for the stove pipe to go through. This required serious mental preparation and a lot of head scratching as no true sailor likes to drill a hole in the deck of his boat as for a 5″ one, this could be cause for serious mental disorder or marriage breakdown.
But everything went well and we now have a good looking and seriously hot stove in our boat. It is great when the outside temperature is below 10 degree C, otherwise it is a little too hot and we have to open the hatches.
During this time, Lynn toured the region with our friend Bill and Licen who came for a visit from the US, loaded with spare parts for me and Chinese food for Lynn.
For the last week she has been busy provisioning the boat for another season in the south. I have been doing the last boat preparation.
Next week we will push off from Valdivia, reaching Terra del Fuego’s Puerto Williams by mid December, and then onward to Antarctica if all goes as planned.
Cheers for now.
Chris & Lynn