A Short Visit to Uruguay
Punta del Este, Maldonado
34° 57,486’ S, 54° 56,904’ W
Eventually, we got tired of motoring on the windless Atlantic and decided to pay a short visit to Uruguay. We spent the first day trying to locate a place where we could take photocopies because, according to the Uruguayan authorities, the Brazilian authorities had not given us enough copies of the documents. We kept walking up and down the streets in the town centre and when we finally found a kiosk advertising Fotocopias, it turned out that their copying machine had broken down already some days ago and would be fixed in the near future.
That left us with a much more laborious alternative to obtain the copies, namely using our own scanner and printer aboard. Hence, we returned to the boat, and while installing the copying equipment in place, the thus far pleasant weather turned into a nasty gale in just a few minutes. 50+ knot winds blew right into the Maldonado Bay and we were soon bouncing up and down on the white crowned waves. The violent movements of the boat snapped both our anchor chain securing lines, and during the night, we shifted about 40 metres from our original anchoring site towards the shore due to a combination of dragging the anchor and involuntarily letting out anchor chain after the securing lines had broken.
On the second day, we had ample time to take copies as the winds were still strong and the waves high and breaking. On the third day, the weather had improved enough for us to go ashore to report our arrival to the authorities, this time accompanied with the appropriate number of copies. When we returned to the boat, the wind and the waves were still harassing us so much that we decided to weigh anchor and seek shelter in the marina.
It appeared that the marina was a safe haven also for a group of South American Sea Lions. Both cows and bulls were huge but the bulls had a lion-like rusty-brown mane which made it easy to distinguish between the sexes. They slept on the concrete docks or on some unfortunate boat owner's deck, and were fed daily by local fishermen cleaning their catch in the marina. What an easy life!