PUFFIN’S ANGEL IN PATAGONIA
Sometimes the world seems very big; sometimes it turns out to be surprisingly small. Working in my particular niche of the market, I come across the same names and faces time and again – and the same boats too for that matter. One boat that has recently given me that déjà-vu feeling is Puffin, whose former skipper Istvan Kopar treated me to a life experience like no other during the GGR 2018. I would gladly have been spared his efforts – and to be sure I did my utmost to defend myself against them – but the affair did give me a special insight into the DNA of the event. An insight dearly bought, but still.
Having been sold to Ian Herbert-Jones just a few days after finishing the 2018 edition of the GGR, Puffin came back for another go round in the 2022 edition. Boat and skipper took a pasting in the South Pacific (including two knockdowns) and a few days ago a slightly battered Puffin was towed into Picton Island by Mark and Caro van de Weg’s Jonathan.
The network of sailors active in Patagonia who regularly venture into the highest latitudes continues to function beautifully, so a few phone calls was all it took to inform Mark and Caro of Puffin’s plight. Once alerted, Jonathan, a Koopmans 48 comprehensively equipped for extended unsupported expeditions in lonely polar regions, put to sea from its berth in Puerto Williams without delay.
Here is Mark’s report:
Hi Peter, we are heavily involved in getting Puffin out into the South Atlantic.
We towed him into Picton Island for his engine failed and then the wind dropped altogether 10Nm from here. We happened to be here and a friend of us connected Puffin to us to help out. Turns out we can do the repairs here and get him on his way again. Engine is running again now. The Hydrovane had the rudder sheared off when the drogue line got wrapped around it. Also the rod from the vane down has a little stainless steel ball at the end. It had been forced out and bent. We could repair it but it wasn’t easy, even in a calm anchorage, at sea you probably would drop some parts over the side.
The housing prevents easy access to all these fidly parts. Dodger is back in place and a small sail repair is next.
I had read some of your troubles with the previous owner of Puffin. Quite a disaster that guy by what Ian told me. Also Ian said the bearing in the pedestal were ruiened and frozen when he bought the boat.
The weather looks OK for him to leave in a few days…
Cheers Mark and Caroline
WEITERLESENEIN ARKTISCHER BILDERBOGEN