Monday, 8 November 2010
Entering the harbour in Piriapolis was quite straight forward and not only the officials from Hidrografia were waiting to show us where to berth but there was also a number of cruising skippers ready to lend us a hand as well. The docking here is med moor style however, the one size fits all approach means that the mooring buoy is offset from the wall so as to allow 70 or 80 footers to comfortably tie up. After a scramble to find a line of sufficient length, we were all tucked up on the end of the northern pier, just inside the breakwater entrance.
Piriapolis has an active boatyard with a travel lift capable of taking up to a 7.5m beam which combined with reasonable pricing makes it far more of a cruiser destination than anywhere we have seen south of Salvador. It was quite refreshing to see a large number of cruisers in one spot with all the attendant chances to meet new people, share a beer, barbecue and tall stories.
With the weather indicating a bit of a blow over the weekend, we spent the next day turning our standard mooring lines into a cat’s cradle and for the first time breaking our very long sea anchor bridles, the only lines we had long enough to attach us securely to the bow mooring buoy. Thank God we did. The bit of a blow that was forecast turned into a couple of wild days where we had sustained winds of 50 kts for around 6 hours and rarely dropping below 30+ kts between Friday and Monday but by Tuesday the weather had cleared, the sun had come out and all was good with the world.
The town of Piriapolis is more like a large village obviously designed to cash in on the tourist trade between December and February. This means that there isn’t much going on and only a few restaurants and bars are open during the week out of season, although in the short time that we’ve been here, we’ve seen more and more gearing up in anticipation of next month’s tourist influx.
Of the dozen or so other cruising boats we’ve spoken to, most seem to be heading south to either Chile, the Falklands or Antarctica. This has caused much confusion on our part as is difficult for us to reconcile why people want to move to places where they have to wear more clothes than heading to parts of the world where you can wear less. But we nod and smile and remind ourselves that it takes all sorts to make a world…
Currently the plan is to spend another four or five days here before heading to Colonia, where we will settle down for Christmas and New Year’s before heading back to Brazil. From talking to the other boats here, we’ve decided that reports that the Argentinean authorities are making life difficult for foreign cruisers have, if anything, being understated. So we may pop across to Buenos Aires on the ferry from Colonia but Miss Bossy will be staying firmly in Uruguayan waters.