The initial passage in our commissioning sail took place over three days and two nights beginning February 20th. Memo arrived at the boat for a 7 a.m. start and off we went. The objective of the passage was threefold: to test Milly generally on a longer sail, to test the water maker in salt water and to land in Uruguay and, hence, export the boat, passing ownership officially to us. To reach salt water we needed to go towards the mouth of the river, at least beyond Montevideo.
The trip to our destination was upwind. No sailor enjoys upwind for long - it is bumpy. The waves on a smaller body of water have a shorter period and are steeper than longer ocean swells. This makes it more uncomfortable and a bit tough on the stomach, at least mine. Neither Memo or Peter seemed to mind but I took a Bonine - thank goodness for friends travelling to US who replenished my stocks before leaving Toronto. Walking in the boat requires one hand for the boat at all times - hauling up bottoms at the end of toileting, for example, is a challenge and must be timed just right. The men on the boat elected to let me sleep through a watch so my night was a cinch. Peter’s required a nap after sunrise. And I’m not sure if Memo slept much at all.
|Closest to Montevideo we got on this passage|
Our destination on the river was dictated by the colour of the water. It went from brown to brownie-green which meant the salinity of the sea. Our water maker test happened to be beside a shipping lane and anchoring spot so we needed to monitor our meandering course as Memo tested the machinery. Persisting for a couple of hours alternating between reading the manual and going back to work, Memo demonstrated how to work backwards from a point of a problem logically to find the source. He narrowed it down to two possibilities but couldn’t correct it on water. The watermaker and a couple of other hiccups were all that were discovered amiss. Otherwise, Milly sailed beautifully and we were completely satisfied.
Next on the itinerary was a beautiful downwind sail through the second night to arrive in Colonia, Uruguay across the river from B.A. The sail was peaceful and easy. Nightwatch was had by all. A beautiful starry sky, rushing water and surfing down small waves. On the way, Memo took us into one of his favourite anchorages in a small winding river. We hope to return over the next week or so.
Our trip was made more interesting by watching and learning from Memo’s expertise. A life long sailor and long distance racer, to Africa and Europe, he has great stories to tell and much to teach. His familiarity with life on a boat was obvious by his ease of movement. He was fun to watch.
|Milly is Canadian!|
Arriving in Colonia and the ensuing trips to customs and immigration were momentous. Memo exported the boat and ownership was finally and completely transferred to us. We are now the very proud and happy owners of Milly. There are a few things to complete and manage but we have been enjoying the cruising life for the past few days since arriving.
|View from Milly|