Chile's Sailing Ship "Esmerelda" Sunset Cocktail Party.

3 November 2016

I have a soft spot for the Chilean training ship The Esmerelda, not just because she’s an impressive sight moored, but because of the imagined old world excitement of a proper sailing ship taking you away to far flung ports and exotic destinations while learning about all that rigging, ropes and swabbing decks.

 The reception for her 12th visit to Australia was the hottest ticket around the circles that know about this fantastic night out under the stars drinking pisco sours and eating empanadas, especially when word spread that the Governor General was to be guest of honour, and I was again lucky enough to get a guernsey. And if they’d upped anchor and set sail I’d have happily gone along for the ride across the Pacific on a circuit heading slowly home to Valparaiso.

 She’s quite the most stunning sailing ship to enjoy a bit of swash and buckle aboard and was lit up like a Christmas tree sparkling alongside at Garden Island just up the wharf from Harry’s Café de Wheels. Spruced up with brass shining, wood polished and rope rigging done to make her ship shape for a guest list of international visitors from Chile, Canberra’s diplomatic community, dignitaries, Royal Australian Navy guests  and a ship’s company that were out to impress and did that with class. The band welcomed the Governeor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady (Lynne) Cosgrove aboard then offical toasts the Captain and company as well as to Australia and all on board made the formalities memorable on our sparkling harbour at sunset. And then it was on with the party.  

It was a night to remember especially with the hospitality, the very attentive and couteous crew, our Chilean diplomatic representatives from Canberra who made it possible and two of the crew Margarita Riquelme and David Correa, who are now my besties forever.