It doesn’t seem so long since we last left for Argentina, at the start of winter, our first trip in our semi-repaired Space Oddity. Three months later, when the frosts were thinning and the snows were falling less frequently, the same visa-related reasons compelled us to repeat the journey. Which was a problem for our ever-expanding German Shepherd crossbreed Zibby, whom we’d adopted after the first trip as a six-week-old puppy. Without his vaccines he’d be unable to leave his homeland of Chile, and he hadn’t had them due to an unforeseen difficulty. The ordering of parcels to Puerto Williams, one of the planet’s remotest places, is an exercise in optimism or at least in patience. And this applied to the vaccines as much as anything else, awaited by vets since Zibby was a baby. These still hadn’t appeared on the day of our departure.
Since we bought our boat going on six months ago, it hasn’t moved from an inlet of the Puerto Williams bay, thanks to engine troubles of which our readers are aware. Or rather it hadn’t until recently. Thankfully we became mobile shortly before the temporary import permit’s expiry, enabling us to fulfil the requirement of re-entering the country. More detail in earlier updates. The standard solution is a visit to Argentina’s Ushuaia, 45 km distant on the Beagle Channel’s other side.
Back in January, I wrote that we were about to buy our then-derelict boat to start our sailing journey. Four months later, the boat’s looking a lot better, though the sailing remains in the future. We’ll be forced to make our first excursion shortly, when our vessel’s import permit expires, which will require that it reenter Chile. So we’ll visit Argentina on the Beagle Channel’s opposite side.
‘I wouldn’t buy it in that state,’ was the conclusion of the friend whom we’d asked to check out our prospective boat while deciding whether to travel down here. On the basis of his photos, and also his thorough written survey, we differed from this sufficiently to make the journey. We doubted we could afford any boat in any better state. But we arrived in Puerto Williams a bit apprehensively.