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Aggiornamento: 13 nov
Stanley Harbor, West Falklands
Last night was a very pleasant one: no waves, 10 knots of wind, mainsail and thee code 0 ashore and we slide on the water at 7.5 knots without warning movement.
The ideal night to send the crew to sleep and stay on watch all alone for the entire night.
All alone besides my wife, whom does not give up even for a minute.
The Radar alarm set the 6 miles, the pilot on 90° wind angle to starboard and we were ready for a good rest in the saloon.
Yes, because this is how we sail during the long offshore navigation.
I know that not all sailors behave this way, but after more than 100.000 miles around the world, I came to the conclusion that if the weather does not require my physical presence in the cockpit, I rely on technology and my senses and when I rest in the saloon.
What the radar does not see certainly I will not be able to see it myself and an alarm warns me in case of wind jumps exceeding 10°. Any other change to the status quo, physically warns me.
So at about 5 am I felt that the speed had dropped significantly and I woke up.
On the horizon a fiery red ball was emerging from the sea, still a beautiful day but characterized by little wind. My plan was to be in Stanley earlier in the evening thus to carry out our check in formalities to enter the Falklands and offer a beer to my crew.
So I decided to turn on both engines at 2,000 to gain enough speed to reach my objective.
By 6:00 pm once in front of Cape Pembroke, I called trough VHF the port authorities of Stanley announcing our arrival in the harbor at 18:30.
Anchored in front of the Public Jetty we called the Customs on channel VHF 12 who immediately answered by giving me an appointment after half hour at the jetty to clear all the formalities. I asked if the presence of all the crew was necessary and the courteous customs agent replied that it was enough to bring with me the documents of the boat and the passports of all the crew members. Once at the Jetty a young woman of Asian origin in her elegant uniform, was waiting for me with a dazzling smile. “Hy, this is Katy, I was waiting for you”
I had sent an email to the customs office few days before announcing my arrival around 18:00h and they were waiting for me in a very British style.
Sitting on a bench on the dock, she extracted from her backpack a a stamp and within a few minutes all our passports had been stamped.
Then she gave me a publication with a series of information about Stanley and two yellow plastic bags. We have to call the custom office by VHF radio and they will come to the pier to pick up the yellow bags where we shall collect our waste.
In light of such elegant courtesy I asked where to go for a beer and where to withdraw cash to find out that there are 3 pubs in Stanley, but there is not even an ATM in all the Falklands!
We have to wait until tomorrow morning to go to the only one bank on the island where they offer cash advance with VISA and MASTERCARD.
After having cordially greeted the lady officer, I returned to the boat where the crew was thrilled by the idea of enjoying a nice pint of beer. Despite the bad news we decide to try the same. We visited all the 3 pubs, but no one accepted credit cards, only cash.
It was already 21:00h and the hunger began to be felt, so I suggest to my crew to return return on board to reward us with an excellent dish spaghetti “aglio, olio and peperoncino”.
But at the moment of serving the delicious dish, I opened a bottle of properly cooled Argentine Brut: “Cheers Angelique II”.