Wednesday, 12 November 2008

So, what have we been up to lately?

Well, yesterday we had a very surprising day.
We took a 1 hour bus to Valparaiso, a city on the beach, an hour drive from Santiago. We went there to buy some marine charts and meet with Tortello. Tortello is a Navy Colonel (hope I'm not mistaking with the rank), he is now retired, so we can show you the pictures...
He picked us up at the Prat monument in the city. A a few words of history, you may skip to the end of the paragraph, but you shouldn't:
Prat is a war hero. During the war of the pacific, between Peru-Bolivia and Chile, he held a siege on the city of Iquique with two wooden ships against the more powerful ironclad Peruvian ships.
He fell in the battle, while trying to take over the ramming Peruvian war ship.They say that his death inspired plenty of young people to join the army and was a significant stage in winning the war for Chile.
So, we were picked up by Tortello straight to the headquarters of the Chilean search and rescue center. Also know as MRCC. The place is located on a high steep cliff, above the ocean. First look of the pacific for On, and 25-30 knots wind to reminds us all where exactly are we.
These are the guys that will get our distress call if we send one (sorry, but we won't!).
so, meeting with the commander in charge was important to us, and a great idea of Tortello.
The meeting held in a hi-tec control room, above the ocean. Really impressive place.
The Commander Cofre', was verry helpful and gave us an idea of how to make our permit request.
We also found out that there are French kayakers, starting from the south in January, maybe we'll meet along the way.
An hour later, after buying some marine charts, we were having a beer with Tortello at the Hamburg bar. The place looks like a maritime museum. Dozens of bells in all shapes and sizes, flags from all over the world, and even the monocular of Pinochet himself .
As you can see in the pictures, the Israeli navy has a respectable place around the bar.
Later on, Tortello showed us around town and while he was driving, I wrote almost every word he said. The man spent a few year in th Patagonian channels and had an answer to almost everything we wanted to know: weather, currents, food etc.
it's not a usual thing to find someone so nice, that have a good answer to whatever you ask and all of that while showing you around town after a beer...
dropped of at the bus station, still surprised by the amazing chance we had to meet him (it wasn't luck, Eli, gave us Tortello's cell phone and we can't thank him enough).
We headed back to Santiago, understanding we have a lot of work to do.
We found out that there are other authorities that must approve our expedition before we start. So tomorrow and in the next few days we will try getting things going in the different offices.
Meanwhile, we got another supporter for the trip. Borris (from the last post), is working in a company that market Chia seeds. The seeds are grown in Bolivia, and were used by the ancient Indians before long term missions. So we got Chia supply, they have Omega 3 and prevent hunger and dissolve slowly during continues effort. (hope I'm getting things right here, for all the doctors and sports experts back home).
Any way, hope thing will get moving soon, so you won't have to deal with such long posts and we won't have to eat that much sea food.
Hasta luego, On, Shaz and me.

About Us

Roy Shatzki-(27) an air force officer, traveler and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Regavim. On Arnon-(32) an engineer, outdoor instructor, and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Gaaton in the north of Israel. Yosale Dror- (28)- sea kayak instructor at Optimist kayak club in Sdot Yam, student of Psychology, lives in kibutz Nahsholim.