Day 31 Act III - the mixture of canned tuna, blackcurrant juice, caramel coffee and potato did not help - as it all came up again
This past several days we have been trapped. To declare that I am frustrated and deflated is an understatement. It is such - that an EGM of the South Atlantic Residents Association ended in apathy - as we enter our second month at sea - and talk of Cannibalism, Uruguay, and accidentally world famous school and rugby.
Its one extreme to another. We have been locked, seemingly., in a never-ending high pressure system. It was spread wide on either side and difficult to escape.
Instead we are catching snippets of wind here, there and everywhere to slowly and painfully make our way up along the coast of South America.Its been a bit like the Doldrums, coming early, on steroids.
Its busy. Lots to do. But motivation on board is at a low, to do anything, When on track, on course, in a breeze the world is the greatest. But it is at times like this you need all your staying power and mental strength to stay sane and focused.
I was also sick in my stomach - mind you the mixture of canned tuna, blackcurrant juice, caramel coffee and potato did not help - as it all came up again - what a waste. However we have plenty of supplies on board.
Seeking to avoid the high pressure, we are way out in the Atlantic - as we slowly creep North. Argentina is ahead - bordering Uruguay- where I first visited the Capital, Montevideo, which I remember clearly from 25 years ago. It was a fascinating privilege to stay at the Stella Maris School with a group of Irish Christian Brothers from Ireland through a friend's introduction. Their order established the school in 1955 and reported to Dublin.
With a large staff, the school was then run by about 8 Brothers at the time - though I understand this has scaled back considerably with less and less vocations. The school had over 700 students and educated the elite of this small country. For bizarre reasons the school had become accidentally world famous.
Ironically it was almost a victim of its own success. Driven by a wonderful idealism, the Order had come to Uruguay to bring the concept of Christianity back to society through education and were invited by local families. It had been lost through successive dictatorships and the banning of religion.
Stella Maris, named by the founder, Brother Patrick Kelly a devotee of the Virgin Mary, had become one of the best and most exclusive schools in the country - educating the families of top politicians and business people.
After a relatively turbulent history, Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America with a population of just over 3.4 million - with about half in Montevideo. In 2013 it was named as the " country of the year" by the Economist. Its laws are liberal from same-sex marriage to the legalizing of Cannabis and is one of the most socially developed countries in the region.
It ranked highly on global measures of personal rights and in economic freedom, growth, software, e-commerce, infrastructure investment. Nearly 95% of the countries electricity comes from renewable sources - mostly wind parks and hydroelectric.
The Stella Maris School has also led the way in developing the Rugby Union of Uruguay. And it was in 1972 that a school rugby team and supporters were flying on an Uruguayan Airforce plane. It crashed in the Andes and, after several days all hope was lost and the searching was stopped.
This is where the Cannibalism came in. Ultimately in a truly amazing story of survival. Only 16 survived after 72 days, of the 45 on the plane and they did it by eating the dead.
It became the subject of a book (ALIVE: The Story of the Andes Survivors) and a major film. And so concluding the log - in the world of survival and adventure there is a lot to be said for a Christian brothers education out here in the South Atlantic Ocean - where thinking and doing are equated. And on the fine words of Thomas Moore I quote:
"I've been told by learned Christians
That wishing and the crime are one
And Heaven punishes desires
As much as if the deed were done."
" If wishing damned us, you and I
Are damned to all our hearts content
Come, then, at least we may enjoy
Some pleasure for our punishment"