Monday, June 21, 2010

settling in at la punta, peru

we've been in La Punta, Peru for two weeks now, moored at the Yacht Club Peruano.  On May 28 at about 5pm the travel lift in La Libertad, Ecuador dropped us back into the water and we immediately sailed over to Salinas about an hour away.  We hadn't slept on the boat for a month.  We wanted to have an early evening getting ready for our departure Saturday morning at first light.  We were up at 4:30am so Jim could mount the boards against the stancions that would hold our extra fuel jugs.  We headed out by 6:30am into rough water and a strong wind.  Good thing I'd made soup the night before as that's all we could manage to eat the first couple days while we regained our sea legs.  It took us 8 days to beat (zigzag) our way south to Callao, mostly sailing, against 15-25 knot winds. 

The greatest challenges were avoiding the fishermen and fighting the Humbolt current and headwinds.  Five days out we saw another sailboat and made radio contact with Edi and Michael on Sequitor. 

Our routine consisted of Jim trying to sleep during the day with occasional sail adjustments and i slept from about 10pm to 4am.  Once we were inside the Peruvian border which extends 200 miles offshore, Jim had to check-in at 8am and 8pm - a complex and annoying process of emailing from the Sat phone ($$$$).  Once we were 20 miles out of Callao we had to check-in at 5 mile intervals waiting for them to make radio contact with us (which didn't happen).  This can be a big deal if you can't document your efforts as they can charge you with a substantial fine or send you back 200 miles out to do it right!  Our approach to La Punta was confusing with poor visibility at 6am.  We were shown to a mooring and soon boarded by an agent and 2 health inspectors.  We were officially checked into Peru and $900 poorer.

Since we've been here in La Punta we've learned how to bird proof the boat, get purified water onto the boat, buy an internet stick for the computer, feed ourselves from local eateries, and shop for food and dvds.  We owe a huge thank you to the following people who have made our time here go more smoothly.  Bev from The Lady J showed us how to negotiate the bus system.  Frano (executive chef at the yacht club restaurant) has introduced us to amazing Peruvian food.  Gonzalo (Seven Seas Sailing Assoc. representative) has extended himself personally and professionally introducing us to the culture and help with customs and resolving so many boat issues.  Susy and her family for escorting us around Lima. 

More reports to come. 

too many pelicans to count fly out in the morning and come back at the end of the day

this area was known for their guano until the invention of artifical fertilizers.  it's an endless chore getting  it off our boat

Jim is up the mast creating a bird diversion on the spreaders - lots of boats do this here.  it was pretty annoying to have the boat covered in bird poo hours after we'd moved it to the dock to hose it down.

Callao/La Punta has a serious rowing club, and we pass it each day as we haul our 10 gallons of purified water back to the boat