Before we can really set off, there are still a few things on the agenda: a last major shopping trip, re-stowing the same and the last fresh vegetables delivered. But above all the formalities, including customs and emigration procedures. We all have to appear in person at the immigration office at the port in the afternoon. The wait for the completed papers drags on, some of us use the time for a short nap. But at some point, after a final official check of every single face against the photo in our passports, we are free to leave Argentina.

From Argentina to Chile

The weather is uncomfortable for the first time, it is raining and there is a strong wind from the east. Piotr decides that we won’t set sail until around midnight, hopefully with the rain easing and the wind shifting to the west.

After dinner, everyone retires to their bunks to get a few more hours of sleep. And at two o’clock in the morning, the time has come. The sound of the engine starting and the hustle and bustle on deck wakes everyone up. Suddenly we are underway, the lights of Ushuaia slowly getting smaller and smaller in our wake. Even if it is only a first short trip to Puerto Williams, we have now cast off the lines. It is an emotional moment. Everyone is standing on deck, lost in thought. Two years, wishes and dreams come together in this one moment, and it’s not just the raindrops running down my cheeks.

Piotr and Woitek steer the Selma and us through the cold and wet first night, I wake up at around six in the morning to the slightly different sound of the engine. Up on deck I am greeted by blue skies and sunshine, the last mile to Puerto Williams and the Isla Navarinho lies ahead of us, behind us the rain of the night has left the higher elevations of the Argentinean mountain range magically sugared white. One or two of us gradually crawl out of the bunk. We tie up at a mooring buoy not far from Micalvi, next to two other boats, and after a coffee we heave the dinghy out of the forepeak onto the deck and get it ready to go ashore.

Emigration from Argentina is followed by immigration in Chile – another extensive and time-consuming procedure. We fill out our personal papers at the Micalvi Yacht Club, and Piotr is then on his way with all our papers and the ship’s papers. A good hour later, we are allowed to present ourselves again in person so that the official authorities can finally check that our passport photo matches the real one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *