top of page
  • ggiannoccaro

Free shopping at the Gabriel de Castilla Base

Lat 62 ° 58,45'S; Long 060 ° 40.60'W It is 2300h and as I write this note, Valentina and Matteo are arranging about fifty kilos of freshly shipped food. A pack of 6x1.5-liter bottles of orange juice A pack of 6x1.5 liter bottles of Coca Cola 6x4-liter bottles of mineral water 24 cans of beer 12 cartons of 1 liter milk 6 boxes of 1 liter of cream for desserts 6 cartons of 1 liter of fish stock 6 packs of 800 gr of assorted powdered stock (vegetables, chicken, legumes, mushrooms and asparagus) 6 packs of 500 gr of coffee powder 12 cans of 170 g of tuna in oil 10 cans of 1 Kg of tomato paste 2 kg of frozen bacon 2 kg of frozen beef steaks 1.5 kg of frozen pork steaks 3 kg of frozen chicken wings 5 kg of macaroni 5 kg of spaghetti 2 kg of butter A box full of puffed rice snacks But let's start from where I left you. Yesterday morning around 11:00h we left our anchorage on Enterprise Island. Forecasts were announcing wind from South, South West for the next 48 hours, so my plan to make an intermediate stop on Trinity on our way back to Deception was skipped. I decide to take advantage of this good conditions and to sail straight north for a single leg of 120 miles. The entrance to Port Foster requires a minimum of attention, so I decided for a mid-day departure so as to arrive at Deception with the sunlight. Mainsail and Gennaker, 13 knots of apparent wind from 140° and the log on 9 knots. Still large Icebergs, but relatively few blocks of ice. The day was warm, so we opened all the zippered canvas doors giving access to the cockpit to enjoy a wonderful sunny afternoon. We met many whales, but all extremely shy. Around 22:30h the darkn arrived and with it the impossibility to continue at the same speed due to the high risk of hitting some big block of ice. So the strategy was down the sails and proceed with a single engine at about 1.5 knots until the first light at dawn around 4:00h. So at 08:30h we set anchor at Port Foster, just in front of the Spanish base we had visited just few weeks before. Our Spanish friends appeared very busy from the boat. The base operates only in summer and on May 28th a Spanish research ship will come to retrieve all the members of the expedition to take them to Ushuaia from where they will return home. "Wintering" a station like the Spanish one is not an activity that takes place in a couple of hours. So we decided not to disturb and to call them only by radio to say hello. Today was another spectacular day, warm and totally windless. We have dedicated ourselves to a control of the equipment, the level of motor and generator fluids and the cleaning of the bilges. The program is to sail tomorrow at dawn to cover the 70 miles that separate us from King George Island, in the Shetland Islands, where we will wait a favorable weather window to cross again the Drake Passage, this time heading the Falklands. So we organized the activities ot to have an early dinner early so to go to sleep as early as possible. But around 20:00h we receive a VHFcall from the Spanish base. "Base Gabriel De Castillia llama Angelique II, Base Gabriel De Castillia llama Angelique II, Angelique II me recibe, change?" "Aquí Angelique II, buenas noche Gabriel de Castilla, adelante" "Captain puede acercarse by 23:00 a la playa? Tenemos un paquete por el paisaje del Drake" "Seguro que si, muchísima gracias".

So they were inviting to reach the beach at 23h because the had a pack for our Drake passge! So at 23:00 with Matteo we took the dinghy and we headed to the base where we found waiting for us th Commander Alberto Salas Mendes and his second, Lieutenant Fernando Rodriguez Alfranca along with two soldiers. As soon as we reached the beach, the two soldiers loaded a large plastic bag, a large plastic box and several plastic boxes on our dinghy. "We thought a little food after 3 weeks and the Drake to deal with, could cheer you up".

These basically were the words of the Spanish friends. I am very inclined, especially by culture, to hug people in moments like this. But this time, the very military handshake offered us by the two officers, I have to admit has fully conveyed the spontaneity and sincerity of that gesture. Thank you very much Commander.

5 visualizzazioni

Post recenti

Mostra tutti


bottom of page