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La Plata
Sat Nov 28 15:00:00 EST 2009, La Plata, Argentina

La Plata is a fair-sized city, with universities, an oil refinery, and the government of the province of Buenos Aires (the city of Buenos Aires is the federal capital). The harbor is exceptionally well-protected, and the yacht club (Club de Regattas) is very welcoming of foreign boats.

Sailing to Argentina
Tue Nov 24 15:00:00 EST 2009, Rio de la Plata

We had a lovely sail from Montevideo, Uruguay to La Plata, Argentina. The wind was always from behind, varying between Force 3 and 6, pushing us pleasantly across the muddy waters of the Rio de la Plata. If only the sailing was always this nice :).

Mon Nov 30 14:31:27 EST 2009 | Michael Ody
Richard - If sailing were always this nice, you'd be bored! ;-) I expect you are like the guy described in the prolog of Tracy Kidder's book "The Soul Of A New Machine", in which the protagonist is dubbed "a good man in a storm". While you enjoy the placid sailing, you do like the challenges, as well.
Thu Dec 3 17:10:16 EST 2009 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Mike. I guess I am fortunate that reality keeps things interesting :)
Pilot entering port
Mon Nov 16 0:00:00 EST 2009, Buceo, Uruguay

Pilot boat entering port.

Hard Dinghy
Sun Nov 15 5:27:35 EST 2009, Buceo, Uruguay

Matt and Ted (rowing) in the hard dinghy. The choice of dinghies in Santa Catarina (where I bought this one) was quite limited, and this one has more modifications (mostly raising the freeboard) required to make it suitable for our purposes. It does row well.

Issuma has three dinghies, which is a bit excessive, but nice if you can store them all. There is an inflatable (with an outboard engine), the above hard dinghy, and a Nautiraid folding dinghy (which has been the main dinghy used for the last 1.5 years). The folding dinghy stores easily belowdecks, the hard dinghy is stored on deck, and the inflatable is, with some work, stored inside the hard dinghy.

Mon Nov 16 5:15:12 EST 2009 | george Ray
Multiple dingy families smile more !!
Have look at very nice and practical dingy plan: The Danny Greene 'Chameleon'. . .
The folks at Bebi did one in aluminum. I have a set of plans and have started lofting a scale model. Would like to do it in Alum. but have more pressing projects in the near term.
Tue Nov 17 3:04:08 EST 2009 | Richard Hudson
Thanks for the links, George. Chameleon looks like a very nice nesting dinghy.
Sun Nov 8 0:02:00 EST 2009

While we continue working on the boat, other people are sailing :). The picture is of a 49er--a class of boats--that has just set its spinnaker (the dark sail). South American 49er races were held in Uruguay last weekend, and we had a good view of the boats leaving and entering the harbor before and after their races.

Sun Nov 8 0:01:00 EST 2009

49er tacking.

Sun Nov 8 0:00:00 EST 2009

49er entering harbor, before tacking.

Thu Oct 29 16:25:11 EDT 2009, Montevideo, Uruguay

We've been busy working on a bunch of projects on the boat. Nothing really exicting, just a bunch of stuff that needs doing.

Tied up next to us on the dock is one of the Montevideo Pilot boats (pilots go out to meet big ships at sea, board the ships and help them into the port). The platform on the top of the boat is to allow the pilot to step off the boat and onto the boarding ladder of the ship.

Today was a pleasant, sunny, 30 degree (86 degrees Fahrenheit) day, and there was a photo shoot on the pilot boat. It seemed to warrant a picture (perhaps this just means I've been on a boat too long :) ).

The Case For Roller-Reefing
Tue Oct 27 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Atlantic Ocean

This is the first boat I've done much sailing on that had roller reefing (sails that roll in and out by pulling on ropes from the cockpit instead of going forward and raising and lowering them).

Previously, I did not think much of roller-reefing--it is expensive, complicated, adds windage and weight up high, and a big problem if it breaks. I discussed this with Yann, the previous owner, who said he wouldn't want to sail the boat without roller furling, due mostly to how wet one would have to get to handle the sails. At sea, you try to avoid getting wet as much as possible, because you often don't have dry clothes available to change into afterwards.

Now that I've sailed this boat a fair bit, I'm really glad it does have roller-reefing, despite the disadvantages mentioned above. Issuma goes to windward quickly enough that the foredeck (front of the boat) can be a very wet place, as seen in the picture, so being able to completely control the headsails from the cockpit is a really nice feature.

Sun Oct 25 6:38:56 EDT 2009, Montevideo, Uruguay

It seemed that almost every car in Montevideo was on the street last Sunday promoting the election to be held today.

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