Eye Surgery

My surgery was performed at Sanatorio de la Trinidad, San Isidro. It was a very busy place but I checked in and, after preparation, was ushered into surgery pretty much on time.

Ninety minutes later I was bandaged up and sent home with strict instructions re movement and activity. A gas bubble had been injected into my eye to hold the repaired retina in place during healing.


Uh Oh. I have an eye problem!

Visited Instituto Oftalmológico del Norte this afternoon. After looking at my eye for 30 seconds the doctor ushered me into see a specialist.

He had a longer look and stated that immediate surgery was necessary. The next slot was tomorrow at 14:00.

My left retina was badly detached with two tears and a hole. This is quite serious.

Payment was arranged and surgery confirmed for tomorrow.

The boat will have to stay in Piriapolis for a while.

Back to Buenos Aires

A curious development this morning. I seem to have drastically reduced vision in my left eye. The cause was not obvious.

Andre caught a bus from Punta del Este and I boarded in Piriapolis. Destination Tres Cruces terminal in Montevideo.

While there I questioned Buquebus on why I had been charged a 20% foreign purchase tax levied by the Argentine government. No help there.

We took a Buquebus coach to Colonia connecting to the slow evening ferry to Buenos Aires where we docked around 22:00

Arrived at Piriapolis

Up reasonably early for departure at 08:20. Andre arrived back around 08:00 after a long night out.

It was bit fiddly leaving berth 319. One has to be very careful with mooring buoy chains.
Initially we made good progress under sail with a NNW wind but around 11:00 the wind backed W and we began to motor tack against a strong ebb.

Progress was very slow and we took over 8 hours to cover 20 miles.

Arriving at Piriapolis just after 17:00 we found the port almost full but at 17:30 we were all fast at berth #50.

The rudder was removed for repair and the plan is to return to BsAs for a few days before moving the boat round to Puerto Sauce.


Rio Grande to Punta del Este - Day 4

Conditions remained stable from midnight and the sea and swell eased as we closed the coast of Uruguay.

It was a sleigh ride down to Punta del Este where we rounded Bajo del Este buoy at 06:07. At 07:00 we were all fast on Buoy #526 at Punta del Este.

Distance from Rio Grande, 256.8 miles. Average speed 3.88 knots.

The weather then deteriorated with frequent squalls and heavy rain at times.

Outer breakwater at Punta Del Este.


Only a few outer buoys remained vacant.


We decided not to go ashore and had a good sleep. Later we ate our fresh Swordfish steaks. Very nice.


Rio Grande to Punta del Este - Day 3

Winds increased to F5-6 overnight with rough seas and a big swell. The yankee was furled and we made good progress under main (3 reefs) and staysail.

Seas were fine on the port quarter but the Aries steered well. As noon approached winds were gusting to 30 knots at times.

Noon run: 100.02 miles. Punta del Este 80 miles. La Paloma 32 miles.

Robust conditions continued through the afternoon and evening with clear skies appearing at times.

La Paloma lighthouse was abeam to port at 19:30.

Rio Grande to Punta del Este - Day 2

Overnight the seas roughened as the wind increased to ESE F6.

Noon run from berth 76.08 miles. Punta del Este 193 miles.

During the afternoon the wind backed to the east and eased to F4. We made good progress under main (3 reefs),
½ yankee and staysail.

Andre caught a Brazilian swordfish with his trailing line. A vicious looking thing that had us hopping about the cockpit when it wriggled off the hook.



No change during the evening as we made good progress with the wind on the port quarter.

Rio Grande to Punta del Este - Day 1

We left Museo Oceanografico at 10:00. The wind was SSE F3 but was forecast to back to the east.

With no sign of a change in the wind we anchored inside the breakwater at 13:15. At 16:00 the wind appeared to be backing eastwards so we weighed anchor and cleared Rio Grande breakwater at 17:05.

We were able to hold a course of 185º T for the rest of the evening sailing under main (3 reefs),
yankee and staysail. Moderate to rough seas with a moderate swell. Boat motion was uncomfortable.

Rio Grande - Maintenance

Last day in Rio Grande. We cleared out yesterday.

Kiriwina will be 15 years old this year. The first 20 metres of her anchor chain have pretty much lost all galvanising and rust freely. I'm not sure yet whether I will re-galavanise or purchase new chain. In the UK I would re-galvanise but over here I suspect a new chain will be cheaper.

Chain corrosion.

Today I replaced the anchor chain markings and topped up with 95L of fresh water. Donation to the museum R$70 and a final supermarket shop.

Rio Grande - Bunkers

Our average fuel consumption on this trip was 1.323 litres per hour. Not too bad.

Today I added 90 litres of diesel (R$2.38 litre). The nearest service station was about 20 minutes walk away and four return trips took a couple of hours.

Later on Andre cooked dinner and we welcomed a charming guest on board.

Rio Grande

Routine maintenance today.

Since leaving Florianopolis we had run the engine for 60 hours. The engine bilge had about ¼ cup of coolant. Much reduced from previous observations. This was cleared up.

Other jobs:
- Engine lube oil top up.
- Tighten shaft gland. Packing likely needs replacing.
- Clean auto bilge pump and raw water inlet filters.
- Tighten alternator belt.

It has become apparent that using the generator for quick charging is not effective. Charging for an hour with engine is.

Rio Grande

Statement prepared we returned to the Receita this morning and were granted an extension. We then made a quick visit to the Capitania and our for formalities were complete.

Therafter a bit off shopping in the centre before returning to the boat.

Andre and the Portuguese tile mural.

Testing a fishing net.

Formalities in Rio Grande

We have been given permission to remain on our mooring at Museo Oceanografico.

First stop this morning was immigration at the Policia Federal. No problems. It only took about 20 minutes. After lunch we visited the Receita Federal. Things did not go well.

After waiting nearly 2 hours the Receita decided they were not happy. They suspected we were in Brazil illegally. We were taken back to Kiriwina with three Receita officers who inspected the log book and questioned us at some length.

We were then taken back to the Receita office. Here we were told that while they were now satisfied as to our legality the exit document issued by the Receita in Florianopolis was incorrect. Legally, Kiriwina had not been cleared out. We need to prepare a statement requesting an extension. The intention being that a correct exit document would be issued when left Rio Grande.

This took all afternoon. The Capitania would have to wait until tomorrow.

Florianopolis to Rio Grande Day 5

In the early hours the wind continued to back as we motor sailed towards Rio Grande.

At 03:30 we entered Rio Grande breakwater and at 04:15 anchored where designated to the east of the big ship channel. Passage distance 362.1 miles. Bar 1001, light rain with wind WNW 15 knots.

After a comfortable sleep we weighed anchor at 10:45 and proceed inbound. The wind was now WNW F6.

Passing the shipyard at 12:23.

All fast at the Museo Oceanografico dock at 14:10.

Our concern was justified. Southerly winds are forecast for the next week.


Florianopolis to Rio Grande Day 4

No change during the early hours as we continued motoring under clear skies with a slight sea and swell.

Just after 07:00 we had a brief spurt of wind. NNE 4, but it didn't last long.

At noon the wind was still NNE at F1-2. We continued to motor in slight seas with a moderating swell. We had expected a bit more wind from the east.
Noon run 102.8 miles. Rio Grande entrance 72 miles.

Conditions during the afternoon were quite pleasant with a lovely sunset and stunning evening sky.

Andre relaxed at sunset.

Later in the evening the wind backed to N and increased to F4. We interpreted this as confirmation that headwinds were on the way within a day or so.

Forecast for 8th March - 5th March

Florianopolis to Rio Grande Day 3

Conditions remained the same overnight as we made good progress in rough seas. We passed the latitude of Porto Alegre at 04:00.

During the morning the wind eased to NE 4 and the seas moderated. We again poled out the yankee. By 11:00 the wind had dropped to NE ½ and we reluctantly put the motor on. Our weather window was not large and we faced the possibility of headwinds if we did not reach Rio Grande by Sunday.

Noon Run 104.84 miles. Rio Grande Entrance 180 miles.

Conditions remained the same as we continued under motor.

Forecast for 8th March - 5th March

Florianopolis to Rio Grande Day 2

Overnight we continued motoring in almost calm conditions as the forecast wind NE did not appear.

At 08:00 Cabo Santa Marta was around 10 miles to starboard. A light NE wind provided some extra power as we continued motoring. Conditions were settled but a slight swell threw the boat a boat a bit.

A bit later the wind increased to NE 4 and we continued under main and poled out yankee.
Noon run 79.36 miles (21 hours). Rio Grande Entrance 270 miles.

The wind was now more or less as forecast though a tad stronger.

Forecast for 7th March - 5th March


By 20:00 the wind was NE 5 with rough seas and moderate swell. We proceeded under main with 3 reefs, staysail and yankee. Boat motion was uncomfortable at times and Andre suffered mild sea sickness at times.

Florianopolis to Rio Grande Day 1

Our plan was to sail on the mid afternoon tide. Conditions were calm with a NE wind forecast to develop during the afternoon.

My first job was to give the dinghy a good scrub and rinse. It took a while as barnacles from San Antonio were well established in places. Thereafter I checked oil levels and belt tension and we were pretty much good to go.

I collected Andre at 14:00 and after stowing the dinghy we weighed anchor at 15:00 in light variable winds.

Clearing the bridges southbound at 15:20.


As we approached Punta Dos Naufragados and Canal Sur leading to the open sea breakers were clearly on the rocks to starboard. Canal Sur is benign in settled conditions but when an ebb tide meets southerly waves or swell conditions can become very violent.

In the event our passage was calm and uneventful. We cleared Punta Dos Naufragados at 19:40 just after dark. Andre was on the phone to an experienced local sailor who recommended proceeding east to an offlying island before turning south.

Absent any wind we continued motoring in slight seas and swell.

Forecast for 6th March - 26th Feb

Forecast for 6th March - 5th March

Checkout for Uruguay

After bailing out a pretty full dinghy I went ashore to meet my crew for the trip, Andre, and attend to formalities. Our plan was to clear out for Uruguay with a fall back plan to shelter in Rio Grande if the weather turned.

First up was immigration at the Policia Federal. They don't do too many yacht clearances in Florianopolis and we were there for over an hour. No problem though. Then we just made it to the Capitania before they closed at 11:30 but we were all done in about 20 minutes. Normally we would have visited the Receita Federal but I had been told that provided we left by 10th April no further visit was necessary.

Later in the evening we did a final supermarket shop to complete provisioning and I spent a second night comfortably anchored off Beira Mar.



Santo Antonio to Beira Mar

Ashore early this morning to get some laundry done and top up on stores. The weather forecast is looking good for departure on Wednesday.

Returned to the boat early in the afternoon to find the wind was blowing 17 knots from the SE. The anchorage was becoming bouncy so at 14:00 we weighed anchor and shifted across to the more sheltered anchorage at Cacupe.

There followed an afternoon of very heavy rain with winds gusting to 25 knots. All fresh water tanks were topped up with rainwater.


Late in the afternoon the rain stopped and the wind eased so I decided to move down to Beira Mar which is well sheltered from southerly weather.

It was only a 5 mile trip but en route a SE wind returned and we ended up motoring into 20 knot plus winds and took around two hours.

Finally at 19:20 we were comfortably anchored off the jetty at Beira Mar.