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Day 156

By Brian Hancock

Marie Tabarly and her amply able crew came in hard and fast. What a show they put on and thank you to the people from Punte del Este who came out to welcome them. Just so you know, Punte is a wonderful city. I have spent a lot of time there since 1979 and the people are wonderful. Long time ago.

I watched Pen Duick VI arrive in Punte. Good on them. One of the best performances in this race so far and they hit it out of the ballpark. Sorry, it took me more than a few years of living in America to understand what that meant.

Explorer is getting closer to that Big Turning Point; Cape Horn. Mark Sinclair and his talented team are smoking it (no, not that stuff) and they have their eyes set on that wonderful landmark. Just turn the corner and you are almost home. Well not really, but I am trying to make life better and the future brighter. You may get some mud chucked in your face on the way back to England, but at least it will be warm mud. Hang in there; you have done a great job.

There has been a little changearoo (nautical term) and the maidens on Maiden are now hunting the Finns on Spirit of Helsinki. There might have been a little bit of Finnish Delight in the night as they snuck by and now they are six miles ahead, according to the Yellow Brick Tracker. I am pretty sure that they are chucking out pickled herrings to lighten ship. They have less that 300 miles to go before that can enjoy the menu at the Yacht Club Punte del Este. And it’s a good one, no matter your pleasure.

So I have a funny story for you. I have spent quite a bit of time in Uruguay (surprisingly). I heard of a tailor in Montevideo that would custom make leather jackets for not much money so I went for a ‘fitting.’ Now give me a break here. I was only 22 at the time and didn’t really need any fitting but there you go. So I went for the fitting and the tailor, if I remember he was a handsome man (and I am not gay but nevertheless.) He was good looking. Anyway, I digress. He said, “come back in two hours and your jacket will be ready.” So I went to a place that served beef. All was going good until the check came. It was much more that I had expected. So I sat and thought for a moment. I had either enough money to pay for my lunch or my jacket, but not both. So I did a run (sorry, but I did and I am not proud of it) but I was the sorry one when I realised that I had left my backpack at the restaurant. I know, It’s a bit like walking the walk of shame after a long night with someone who didn’t look that good at the start of the evening, but a few beers in looked ok, well good enough for… (Okay we are all adults here).

I went back. The waiter said, “You look like a man down on your luck. Here is your backpack and here is a glass of wine; on the house.”

So safe and fun sailing for those still out there. There is a big piece of hairy beef (I will come back to that and I am talking about beef, not…, well you know, the other thing). Uruguay has the best meat on the planet and if you don’t like meat they have the best fish on the planet and if you don’t like fish, they have the best vegetables on the planet. What’s not to love?

He was a nice and said the wine was on the house, but you still owe us for the lunch. So if you’re ever in Montevideo, there is a place the with medium leather jacket that you may get for a bargain.

Love out.

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