Tuesday dawned bright and clear as we lay at anchor in Piriapolis bay. Everyone smartened up after breakfast for the voyage photo on the foredeck. This was combined with Colin bringing out a lovely cake for Katherine’s birthday … or so he thought. In fact it was a nice April fool cake as Kat’s birthday is not till December and he had actually baked the cake for himself! We all wanted to thank him for the great cakes and cookies he had made for us this voyage.

Once the photos were taken we were free to go ashore. Swimming there was forbidden so we went in a more orderly (but damp) way by Doti boat to alongside in the marina.

Being ashore meant –

1. Trying to work out the relative currencies of Argentinian pesos, Uruguayan pesos, US dollars and sterling

2. Amazing the shopkeepers and waiters in cafes by providing customers for them (it is very much end of the season there)

3. Finding that the beer comes in HUGE bottles

4. Swimming (or at least paddling) in the warm sea on the sandy beach … the swimmers were Carolynn and Robin

5. Using the chairlift to go up to the top of Mount San Antonio

6. Hiking to the top of higher mountains (only Tom the younger did this and suffered for his endeavours by getting bitten by mosquitoes and scratched by thorns)

7. Watching the antics of a large bull fur seal in the harbour doing solo synchronised swimming punctuated by occasional snorts

8. Taking photos of Nellie lying elegantly in the bay

9. Using Wi-Fi to get in touch with home

10. Generally relaxing and having fun and making sure no one missed the last boat back to the ship at 6.30 (good running Tom!!)

Our ‘new’ Uruguay courtesy flag was improved later in the day by adding a smiling face to the sunshine – I had done some research ashore and all their flags had faces on the sun. The flag is now back up and correct.

2nd April 2014

After a night of uneventful anchor watches we sailed off our anchorage. This manoeuvre was explained to us by Barbara and involved bracing the foremast to port and the main mast to starboard while setting the fore topsail and raising the anchor (which was on the ‘wrong’ side). All went very smoothly – great team work.

News for today is that we will be at anchor tonight off Punta Del Este; the ‘egg drop’ should happen later today, the end of voyage auction will happen this evening.

We are all being kept busy on our watch –

Jenny and Rab went up to help sea stow the sails so we could turn to motor towards out anchorage, Sue has been on Mess duty, Clive has been composing his speech about our entry in the ‘Great Egg Drop’, Rab and Tom have been packing our egg safely in a specially baked loaf (from the hands of Master Baker Colin) and adding extra protection and velocity enhancers to ensure that it goes furthest aft, stays on the ship and does not break the egg. Bob our watchleader has been keeping us in some sort of order. Three of our voyage crew left yesterday to return to homes in Argentina. Augusto is back in Ushuaia and Robert and Jorge are now in Buenos Aires.

Happy Hour is next on this busy day, so that is all for now from Aft Starboard watch (aka Bob’s Bunch)