Puerto Sauce and Buenos Aires

This morning things were distinctly bouncy on board with 20 knots of WSW wind. Spent the day tidying and cleaning the boat

This port is exposed from just south of west through to NNW. Water levels can vary by up to 3 metres. This is no problem on a buoy but can be difficult on the dock.

I moved Kiriwina back to about 5m from the dock with enough slack in the lines to allow for vertical movement.

All being well on board I got a lift into Colonia and caught the evening slow ferry back to Buenos Aires.

Puerto Sauce - Winterising

Noticeably colder last night. I ran the Eberspacher for a while and dug out my electric fan heater which has not been used for several years. It was fine.

Added another 22 litres of premium diesel making a total of 86 litres to top up the tank to maximum.

Sprayhood removed and stowed below. Engine hours now 2198. Lube oil and filter changed. The engine bilge was almost dry. I suspect that the source of liquid there may have been a leaking filter on the auto bilge pump.

Puerto Sauce - Winterising Puerto Sauce - Winterising Puerto Sauce Winterising

Busy day today.

All running rigging stripped and stowed below. Sails and boom removed and stowed below. Dodgers stripped and stowed.

Added 20ltrs of diesel from the jerry can plus 45 litres of premium Esso diesel (Urg$44.9 per litre). Premium diesel is a good deal cleaner than standard diesel from Brazil or Uruguay.

Puerto Sauce

It is a pleasure to be back in Puerto Sauce.

The Hidrografia here couldn’t be more helpful and clearance in at the Prefectura (they have a photo copier as well) was straight forward and quick.

I arranged a mooring until the end of July and hope a buoy will become available by then.

Afterwards I had help to turn the boat around stern to quay and run two lines to mooring buoys. I modified my long lines to the buoys by splicing in thimbles and adding a metre of chain.

Piriapolis to Puerto Sauce - Day 2

Just after 01:00 we passed Isla Flores. With a fair wind and good forecast I decided to continue on to Puerto Sauce. It helped that regular forecasts were available via internet on my phone.

We crossed Montevideo ship canal (km 6) at 04:30. The wind was up to F5 but stayed north. Choppy seas developed. With daylight we were again in the brown waters of the River Plate. Last time we were here was in November 2010.

No real change throughout the morning as we made good progress past Montevideo and turned NE towards Puerto Sauce.

Noon Run: 74.1 miles. To go: 40 miles.

From noon the wind started to die away. By 16:00 it was again mirror calm.

Sunset on the River Plate just before 18:00.


At 20:00 a light northerly again appeared as we continued to motor.

Just before 22:00 we rounded the outer breakwater and entered Puerto Sauce. A quick circle of the harbour confirmed that all buoys were occupied.

Finally at 22:30 we were all fast on the dock alongside a bigger yacht and old friend, Cabo de Horno.

Trip 116.4 miles. Duration 29 Hours.


Piriapolis to Puerto Sauce - Day 1

First job today was to get the rudder mounted. This is a very simple job ashore but a tad more difficult with the boat in the water.

The rudder is very buoyant and can be floated into position. Thereafter it has to be weighed down, I use a bucket filled with chain, supported from the top and jiggled into position.

It wouldn’t go. In the end I had to remove the upper pintle then take a swim and dive down to ensure the heel was seated properly. Finally it seated properly. Then with the pintle back in place and the tiller bolted on we were good to go. It was now 14:00.

The weather forecast from Dirección Nacional de Meteorología was as follows.

Río de la Plata.

Vientos: NW y N fuerza 4/5.Nubosidad y fenómenos asociados: algo nuboso y nuboso.
Visibilidad: buena.
Olas: Zona W: 0.5 m. Zona E: 1.0 – 1.5 m.
Tendencia próximas 48 horas: vientos: NW rotando al SW fuerza 4/6.
Nubosidad y fenómenos asociados: nuboso a cubierto con precipitaciones aisladas y probables tormentas aisladas.

This was just fine as long as the wind stayed more or less north. The further it backed NW and W the less I would enjoy the trip. It is around 25-30 hours to Puerto Sauce. There being no reason to stay in Piriapolis I decided to leave and if the weather worsened there was the option to nip into Montevideo.

My mooring bill for 47 days was £360. The office staff were as helpful as ever. This time refusing to print an invoice for review before payment. Piriapolis is one of the better marinas in Uruguay but its unpleasant customer experience make it a place to be avoided if possible.

Next stop was the Prefectura to clear out. On clearing in my details were noted. Nothing else was requested. Now copies of all my documents were required and, no, they would not make copies. I was expected to go into town and obtain the required copies. This despite all documents being on file from a previous visit.

As it happened I was going into town anyway to top up on stores and completed clearance on the way back.

On board it was mirror calm making it easy to squeeze out of berth #50. Piriapolis harbour was cleared at 17:30 and course was set to pass north of Isla Flores.

It remained calm until 23:00 when a light northerly developed enabling us to motor sail.

Buenos Aires to Piriapolis

My surgeon has given me person to sail.

Last night I bought a ticket on Buquebus to Montevideo via Colonia. Sure enough, by using the Uruguay page, I was not charged the Argentine 20% foreign purchase tax.

Rather than risking train or traffic I had a nice trip down from Tigre to Puerto Madero on Sturla Viajes. Very pleasant with coffee and a newspaper thrown in. Their terminal is just minutes from Buquebus.

Buquebus, leaving Buenos Aries at 09:45, was on time to Colonia and Montevideo where I caught an onward bus to Piriapolis within a few minutes.

Arriving back at Kiriwina around 18:00 my correctly prepared rudder was there on the dock. Thanks Laurence.

All was well on board with a completely dry bilge.

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.