Thursday, March 24, 2011

South American Hospitality and Final Days on Land

I love Punta, but let’s get on with it, as I am ready to Rumble.

Yesterday we took Le Pingouin off the dock to test all the repairs and go for a sail during a beautiful Punta day, that proved perfect to do our final boat inspection. After yesterday’s outing it is official; LP is ready to roll and so am I.

I was sitting on deck at one point after calibrating the B & G autopilots and looking at all the Quantum Sails tugging LP along at 11 kts in 10 kts of breeze, and I quietly thought to myself, “boy it would be nice to just drop the team on that photo rib and hang a left and haul ass home”. However, I am sure the last few days in Punta will be a great chance to enjoy the wonderful hospitality and finish provisioning as we wait for a nasty front to come through with squalls and ugly winds from where we wish to go.

This stopover has been as wonderful as a ‘post Cape Horn’ stopover can be, and a perfect antidote to all the stress that has gone before. One of the activities laid on for us was a wonderful outing that presented a rare opportunity for all the skippers to spend a little bit of downtime together. We were hosted by Velux at a beautiful Uruguayan Estancia (a remote ranch with a restaurant and swimming pool etc) and were escorted around the working cattle ranch in some of Uruguay’s most stunning terrain via horseback and on foot. The four skippers on horseback was a bit of an odd assortment of fish out of water but a fun exercise as a group. We even had the true adventure experience of coming across a nasty venomous snake that spooked the horses on a tight section of our trail back to the ranch house.

A big thank you goes out from me and Team Lazarus to the Punta Del Este Yacht Club, Velux and Clipper Ventures for what has been a remarkable stopover but it is now time for LP and me to get focused on a real highlight for this race around the world. Getting stuck into the leg home to my hometown of Charleston.