_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marcy Sailing Uruguay

Our introduction to the coast of Uruguay was a cold, bleak, rainy and windwept anchorage at Punte del Este, perched tenuously at the corner where the Atlantic Ocean meets the big river mouth of Mar del Plata. There was no doubt in Ginger's mind, we had sailed south into winter.

hot drink ginge

As we launched the dinghy to go ashore for formalities, long ocean rollers swept around the breakwater and rolled Marcy almost gunwale to gunwale. At the landing, a big sea lion guarded the steps.

big guy . big guy 2

After clearing in, we noticed many damaged sailboats. We were told that a storm had come through a few weeks earlier, and eighteen boats had been blown ashore from their moorings.


ouch . hunter

If we hadn't known before, we soon learned exactly what pounding on shore can do to a sailboat. This wing keel used to have flat wings.

wing keel

How many hours of grinding on the beach rocks took so many inches off of this keel?

keel ground away

Exploring further, we learned that if you paint your fishing boat in Uruguay, only one color is allowed. We've been told that orange is the easiest color to spot for rescue on a rough sea.

orange boats

After a couple of days in bleak Punte, we headed upriver to the next port, Piriopolis. This country requires checking in with the authorities, offices of “Prefectura” and “Hydrografica,” at every move of the boat. Passports are carefully thumbed through, registration is copied, and much care is taken with keeping track of visitors. Ginger checked in and took advantage of a wifi connection .

wifi ginge

The weather improved, and we recorded the highest pressure (1035 mb) of the voyage to date. This was only hours after a low of 997 mb. Our ears were popping.

high pressure

In Uruguay, older vehicles are maintained and used for everyday transportation. We saw many very cool cars and trucks.


still running . mercedes

old timer

Of course, bicycles are never thrown out either. They are repaired and used forever.

freight bike

We loved the old pickups.

english ford . international

old truck

Moving further upriver (sailing for hours in water less than 10 feet deep!) to the beautiful old town of Colonia, the weather improved even more. We were treated to a gorgeous sunrise as we sailed past some industry.

sunrise pto sauce

Sailing in these waters a good lookout is needed to avoid tangling up in fish nets or longlines. Many small boats set gear even in nasty weather.

fish gear

As we arrived in Colonia, the national flag of Uruguay waved proudly from the point.

Colonia flag

Mooring, we snugged up close to the buoy. Marcy's stern barely cleared the row behind, as the moorings in Uruguay are set typically set for 25 to 35 foot boats. Our keel was only inches from the bottom at low water.

colonia marcy

Colonia was a pleasant historical town to explore.

Colonia street

A military band played just the right music for an old fortified town.

military band

Peter thinks it would be great if we could fit a cannon on deck. For fighting pirates, or honoring warships and the like.


It is necessary to show a salient feature of life here, which is of course the drink “mate.” People here go about daily life with a bowl of the stuff firmly planted in the crook of their elbow. A friendly senora offered Ginger a taste. Ginger is not yet a convert.

mate senora

mate ginge

We enjoyed laid back Uruguay, land of mate and old vehicles, but we needed to move on to a spot where we could prepare Marcy for colder weather. So we set sail for Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Labels: ,


At 8:43 PM, Blogger S/V Cape St. James said...

Jim says the cannon sounds like a good idea. Thinking of you in the cold weather. It hit 37 the other morning here.

At 4:32 AM, Blogger kyrn said...

hello Marcy from pierre et amelie, we hope that everything is allright for you! We are at the tigre sailing club,it is very nice and the spring is very welcome. Ou etes vous?

At 8:20 AM, Blogger JetCityJester said...

It is fall in Seattle - that's for sure! Nice crisp, dry weather - so the leaves are turning and hanging on...at least until the rain starts! Take care!


Post a Comment

<< Home