Logbook: January 27, 2017

Rio de la Plata, Argentina

If Punta del Este is where all the Argentinians go for vacation, then Buenos Aires is where they all came from. One of the largest cities in the world actually didn’t feel that large, or that crowded. Traffic was still bad, yes, but I was surprised by how few masses of people I ran across. With extremely generous help from Luis, and guidance from Laz, we took a few days to tour the city, catch a tango show, and walk down the storied streets of La Boca. La Boca is situated where the old port was, thus it used to be the hub of activity in Buenos Aires. The tango filled the colorful streets of La Boca on a nightly basis. Now there are cafés and art stores lining the street, but it hasn’t lost its luster. Tourist trap though it may be, it was a wonderful experience of a classic Argentinian scene. With all the artists and paintings surrounding us, we had to purchase a couple paintings. One man was painting with the brush in his mouth since his hands were deformed. But don’t let that fool you, his paintings were some of the best we saw. We were even able to meet up with some friends we made in Punta who were back in the city. Who would have thought that we would have so many friends in Buenos Aires?!

Nightlife… or not

Buenos Aires is well known for its nightlife, but we didn’t get that same impression. There was no shortage of clubs, thats for sure, but it seemed that with everyone on vacation some of the mainstay clubs weren’t even open at their usual hours. One club in particular, very close to the marina, was never open, no matter what time we happened past. We found a club on our first night, but we had to work in the morning so we set a curfew for ourselves. The next night we followed the instructions of the Lonely Planet guide to a bar that had closed since the publishing of the guide. I think we took that as a bit of an omen and never really found the necessity to stay up well past 4am. Instead, we actually got quite a lot of work done on Reliance, preparing her for our journey to the extreme South.

Preparations

Many things go into preparing the boat for a few tough weeks in big, icy seas. First and foremost, we had to hire an ice pilot to help us navigate the icebergs and ice flows of the Antarctic. He joined us in Buenos Aires to get familiar with us and the boat.

Because we hadn’t done much maintenance since Cape Town, it was time to polish and wax everything from the stainless steel railings to the painted hull. Mitch even decided to take the buffer to the whole exterior of the Bridge level. But first, everything had to be washed. I jumped the gun a bit and polished the stainless on the tender before realizing we were going to have to launch it in order to wash, polish and wax the side of the boat that wasn’t on the dock. Ugh. Once finished with the hull, the tender had to be picked back up, washed, polished and waxed again. The windows also needed a deep cleaning, and they needed it badly. After putting on and taking off multiple coats of water spot remover on all the portholes, we laid down some RainX to help keep the water spots from coming back while we travel through cold weather. Essentially, we wanted to do as much work as possible NOW so we won’t have to do it in the miserable cold. Yes, yes, we think we’re pretty smart too.

Speaking of the miserable cold, Alex was tasked with putting storm shutters on the inside of the portholes, among his other mechanical duties that I won’t try to describe. Prepare for the worst, right? But we didn’t put the storm shutters on the main level windows just yet… we’re waiting until Falklands(Malvinas) to do that… we expect the seas to be the largest from Falklands(Malvinas) to Antarctica, across the Drake Passage. To put you in the same mental state that we’re in, take a look at this photo:

Ok, we probably won’t run into a storm like this

**Disclaimer** We have not yet received our permit for Antarctica. We are waiting to be surveyed in Falklands(Malvinas)

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