Wed 21/12-2011 Day 114

?, The Jefe de la Prefectura Ushuaia, Prefecto Major Héctor Daniel Vera, Julieta

Pos: here
Loc: Puerto Williams
Acc: Miguel’s Hostel Yagan
Dist: 9,3 km
Start: 14:15 End: 16:00

I got picked up by Juliet from my room in the Prefectura at 9am, and greeted by the Jefe de la Prefectura Ushuaia, Prefecto Major Héctor Daniel Vera. I was thanking him for his hospitality and for the friendliness and helpfulness of the Argentinian Prefectura in general on my whole trip, but was refusing to see a TV crew yet…this has to wait until I am really *paddling* into Ushuaia!

Juliet and I got driven by a Prefectura car to the immigration office, and as my visa was expired already and had to be extended to the possible 6 months I had to pay 300 pesos for the fee. Basically no problem, but we had to pay the fee at a bank in town…so driving through the lovely city again, just to find the bank with a queue of maybe 100 people waiting to make payments or to get money paid…

But the queue was moving amazingly fast, we may have been waiting for 20 min, got the job done, and drove back to the immigration office, and I got my passport and paperwork to leave Argentina. All good!

I would have loved to go strolling around town, as Ushuaia is really an inviting international, almost European like mountain town with lots of fancy shops and restaurants.But this has to wait as well until I’m paddling into Ushuaia after Cape Horn is done! Then I’ll take really a few “days off in the city” without work… to reward me for half time of the first leg of the trip…

Juliet was taking me only now quickly to an outdoor shop where I was purchasing a new pair of woollen warm socks, a polar fleece bandana and a thermos bottle for hot water to reheat my feet during the day :-). All things to keep me warmer in the southern area!

A big thanks to Juliet, one of the only two female Prefectura officers in Ushuaia! She was doing a great job on guiding me around, and translating all the time into perfect English. Go, Juliet! You’ll make your way in the Prefectura!

Back to the Prefectura, Atilio Mosca, a yachtsman and kayaker and contact person from Alejandro was waiting for me with a parcel from Buenos Aires – my new spare Hilleberg Staika tent, the footrest and complete rudder from my spare kayak (as the parcel from epic USA never arrived…) and a few little other things like warm shirts. This at least worked out well! Thanks to Atilio and Alejandro!

Time to drive back to Alamanza! Two Prefectura officers were my company, and in Almanza I quickly changed to launch for the short hop across the calm waters of the Beagle Channel! It was more or less raining all day, with low hanging thick gray clouds over the high mountains.

I was waving goodbye to the Prefectura guys and Argentina – see you one last time in Ushuaia in two or three weeks! A Prefectura boat was started to escort me across, but amazingly they didn’t really follow me, were just ready in case I may be capsizing on the millpond 🙂

Nearing Puerto Williams, with low hanging clouds over the mountains

It was a great feeling on this short paddle! Chile – I’m coming! Cape Horn – I’m coming! I probably paddled with a big stupid smile all the time until I spotted a small Chilean Navy boat coming up to me to greet me! Nice!

A small pilot boat of the Armada de Chile escorted me into Puerto Williams

It was good to know where to go and where to land! I got guided well by my private Navy “pilot boat” into the river entrance to the Club Nautico where all the sailing yachts were tied up!

The Club Naval de Yates Micalvi is the old navy boat in the middle, with all yachts are tied up around

You must imagine a very old big Navy boat serving as a Clubhouse now, and as a mooring base for the yachts from all over the world arriving here to sail Cape Horn and Antarctica! About 20 good-sized yachts, just one over sized one had to stay moored outside the river entrance…

The Armada de Chile was greeting me on the shore on my arrival
Entering the Club Naval de Yates Micalvi, escorted by Armada officer Vega

I got greeted on land by the Chilean Navy Captain Vega, and he invited me to see the really great clubhouse from inside, and to wait for the custom immigration officers to show up! Perfect organisation..two Chilean immigration officers stamping my passport and paperwork at the bar of the Club Nautico! 🙂 Thanks!

The immigration officer stamped my passport and papers at the bar at the Micalvi clubhouse...

Next to come was an officer of the agriculture (or such…) to check about importing fruits, soil, plants…any contaminating things…nothing wrong here…form filled out, and I was done with the paperwork!

The larger boat of the Armada de Chile fleet in Puerto Williams

My local contact of Jutta, Osvaldo and Theo from the Polarwind yacht unfortunately left just yesterday for another Cape Horn loop, but they may be back the next few days already. I got offered a stay in the nice and clean Hostel Yagan from Miguel Villa, a former Navy member, for a small fee. Good choice!

Miguel drove me up to his hostel, and I made myself at home with a hot shower, laundry, and a well deserved nap before I woke again to type this…no paddling the next few days! Fortunately the weather won’t be very inviting anyway for now…

I’ll see the people at the Club Nautico tomorrow, and will do a visit to the Port Captain to confirm my paddle around Cape Horn and to get as much informations as possible.

27 comments on “Wed 21/12-2011 Day 114

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Freya it was an honor to have you in Prefectura Ushuaia. Hopefully I`ll still be in Ushu when you come back, so i hope… bests of lucks !!! Im sure you can do it!!!

Meike Michalik

Frohe Weihnachten Freya!
Ich hoffe, dass du die Feiertage im Kreise einiger Freunde verbringst. Ich werde an dich denken. Viel Spass und die besten Wünsche 🙂

Fabian Leiva

Cumpliste tu cometido felicitaciones llegaste a Williams antes de navidad, felices Fiestas y nos vemos!!

Don Hebel

The last days on the millpond sounds different and you convey the intensity of your anticipation to do the Cape. Stay warm and have a blast!

Clas Hagelstam / Finland

Great to see you are in Puerto Williams and got a warm shower.
May you eat, slep, rest and get all your batteries topped up.
Mery Christmas from Tom, Tove and all of us att Sibbo Kanotklubb.
/ Clas

Wow Freya, about to do Cape Horn, the holy grail of sea kayaking, how wonderful for you. Solo too – what a brilliant adventure & achievement!! You will do it so well. Good luck.

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