Shown the Door

Clark June 19th, 2007

June 19, 2007
17 degrees, 54′ South, 70 degrees, 55′ West

I’ve had to leave Chile hastily and now I’m about 200 miles offshore. The Port Captain called me in for a ’special meeting’ on Sunday to inform that I would probably have some serious problems in trying to extend my permit on Monday, and that it was probably best for all of us if I just left. We started the process of preparing my exit papers, which always takes them an hour or so. While I was sitting around the commanding officer’s office chatting, the subject of my voyage came up. As they always do, he asked me how I supported myself. I issued my pat answer, saying I was pretty much broke, but that I made a little extra money as a writer. He answered, “I know.”

Could it be that the Chilean Armada has honored us with its presence at Could it be that the Commander of the First Naval Region didn’t like reading that he had been promoted to the level of his own incompetence? I’ll never know for sure, but they seemed to want to be rid of me and with my expiring permit they had their means. It’s sort of like Hugo Chavez closing that TV station in Caracas: It’s not censorship; he’s just not renewing their license.

Oh well, I’d had two good nights sleep, filled the water tanks, got more food, and there wasn’t so much to do in Iquique anyway. Arica was the only remaining port in Chile, and once you’ve seen one port in the middle of the Atacama Desert you’ve seen them all.

The wind has been pretty light, and I’ve been slatting along at 3-4 knots with five sails up…can’t do that with a sloop. With a 650 mile passage to Lima, not enough fuel to motor the whole way anyway, and diesel at a buck a liter, I’m just living with going slow.

I tried to bake a strawberry cobbler out of these canned strawberries I’ve got, but it ended up looking like a pan full of head wound.

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1 Comment »

Comment by PFT
2007-06-22 01:12:32

I came across an article you wrote in a recent mag, and have become a regular reader of your blog, living vicariously thru your adventures from an Army assignment in Korea. Keep up the good stuff. . .

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