Today is Tuesday, so this evening I depart Buenos Aires bound for San Francisco. It’s a quick turn-around, just to pick up some sailing gear and equipment and take care of a little business, and then I’ll be off to Tortola and the boat. That also means that the next two nights I will be sleeping on an airplane. Ah well…
I promised to introduce the crew for this adventure, and now’s the time. Joining me will be Steve Felte and Marianne Wheeler, both long associated with Tradewinds.
Steve recently qualified as an instructor at Tradewinds, which should be a perfect fit, as he is a calm and patient teacher. I have enjoyed having him aboard several different Barking Spiders, racing across the Pacific and down to Mexico, and cruising California, and he is always the voice of reason. Which is probably why he works the bow during races, to be as far away from me as possible. He is also a natural helmsman, and with an easy smile is a comfortable presence aboard. Steve has been a skipper on most of my flotilla trips to different corners of the globe, and has chartered on his own as well. He owns Home Free, a Catalina 36 in the Tradewinds fleet, and is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Marianne is a veteran instructor at Tradewinds, with many years and classes of happy competent students to her credit. She circumnavigated the globe on her Cal 40 Chaparral, and sailed with me on several of my Barking Spiders as well- racing to Mexico and Hawaii, up and down the California coast, back from Hawaii, and through Alaska’s inside passage. Marianne has been on almost every flotilla trip either as skipper or crew, and never misses a chance to get on the water. When racing, she manages the cockpit ropes and sail trim, and as a great organizer and morale booster, her presence aboard always keeps the crew happy- and its not just the smell of garlic and onions wafting up from the galley that makes me say that. A genuinely pleasant person, Marianne has a quiet inner strength that makes her the most reliable, dependable crew no matter how stressful the situation.
Finally there’s me, one of the few people crazy enough to plan and organize all these adventures. As a preferred broker for the Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose and LeBoat, I am currently trying to spread the concept of chartering to the good folks of Argentina. Through boat shows, magazine ads and our website (www.AVInautica.com), we are introducing more and more people to the great joy of sailing in exotic locations. Bringing Ambassador to Buenos Aires will help us to show people what a big charter boat looks like- 30 feet is a big boat down there, and goofy protectionist laws make a Beneteau like this non-existent. It may also give us a chance to get more involved in the local sailing scene, volunteering, maybe racing, and just enjoying and exploring some of South America with family and friends. And there’s a lot to explore down there, from the tropical islands of Brazil, to the Amazon river, to Argentina and Uruguay and up the Rio de La Plata, all the way down to Patagonia, the Magellan straits, and Antarctica. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a chance to join us along the way…