Clark June 13th, 2007

24º14′ South, 71º14′ West

Still charging north under every available bit of canvas, but I made an unpleasant discovery this afternoon. Condesa’s temporary import permit to Chile expires on the 16th, in three days. Most countries are pretty unforgiving on these matters, and the fine for exceeding the date is usually the price of the boat, or some some ridiculous amount. If they won’t extend it, and I get to Iquique on the 15th or 16th, and my new passport is there waiting for me, I could check in and check out of Chile on the same day, but that will make for a lot of solo sailing without a break. If they won’t extend it and my passport isn’t ready yet, I’ll be in a fine kettle of fish. I’m figuring I better play it safe and charge straight to Iquique no matter what, because any stop along the way would push me past the 16th for sure. They could give me an extension and I can relax, but the Armada de Chile hasn’t been exactly easy-going thus far. Soo, at least two more nights at sea, maybe three to Iquique.

I know I’ve said it before, but I think it might actually be getting warmer. It is certainly getting clearer: I’m forty miles offshore and the mountains look like I could touch them. I can see observatories on the mountaintops. There is legendary atmospheric clarity in this part of Chile and several countries have observatories. Last night was the first night without running the heater.

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