Thursday, December 25, 2008

Vendee - 4,000 miles front to back - NZ - to Perth

18 of 26 still racing, Michel Desjoyeaux leads the fleet by 44 miles (after 14,000 nm) as they approach the "gate" east of New Zealand.  Gates are designed to bring the fleet north of the ice zones.  The leaders have 10,000 nm to go - aiming next for Cape Horn. 

Here's the Christmas Day Roundup, and a graphic with the fleet position

Southbound 650 - Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso - a neutral city and site of a key battle in our War of 1812, is the headquarters of the Chilean navy.   Taisy studied there at the Pontifical University - the only Catholic school I ever got her to.  Marilyn, Gary and I visited her there and heard Inti-Illimani in a pub, reminding me of the Allende years, as did the Esmeralda - the white tall ship in the naval base shot.  Prisoners were tortured aboard and Susan was arrested unfurling an anti-junta banner from its deck during an Op-Sail visit to NY when Reagan was blessing the Statue of Liberty or smtg.

We stayed in a Bohemian neighborhood at a hostel across the street from the Lutheran Church (called the German Church there) - and next door to the place where Jesse stayed, a coincidence.  So here are some of Jesse's typically well composed and selected shots of Valparaiso, plus one of a strange sculpture in the desert on the way south from Antofagasta.

Jesse and Andy parted ways in LaPaz.  Next post will (hopefully) be Tierra DelFuego.

For more pictures of desert, sea and highway go to Southbound 650.