Buenos Aires


I was not fortunate enough to sail to BA on Reina del Mar but I visited many times on St John during my time as a cadet.

On the outward voyage BA was the last port of discharge before loading for home. Any cargo that had not been discharged in either Brazil or Uruguay would be destined for Buenos Aires.

Saint liners would generally stay for about a week. A particular highlight of this stay was the “cantina” situated between Docks 4 and 3. At any time day or night they would supply the famous BA “bife sandwich”, a fresh baguette containing the best steak that I have ever had anywhere in the world. This was food of the gods and hungry cadets could be found there regularly, specially when cargo was being worked at night.

After discharge was completed the ship would sail up the River Parana to Rosario, a journey of over 24 hours.

During that time cadets and “the crowd” were hard at work hold cleaning, not just a quick sweep out but a fastidious clean, necessary because grain would be loaded in Rosario.

After a few days upriver the ship with lower holds full of grain would steam back down river and berth in Darsena C to complete loading.

Corned beef, hides, hooves, indeed all imaginable parts of cattle would be stowed in the tween decks.

At certain times of the year polo ponies would be carried to Europe on deck accompanied by Argentine gauchos to take care of them.

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On the outward bound visit Saint Line ships would be berthed in Dock 4 (Red Circle) and homeward bound in Darsena C (Green Circle)

Aerial view of Dock 4, again the red circle indicates the outbound berth

St Rosario leaving Dock 4 on her maiden voyage

now light ship and bound for Rosario

The night life in BA was legendary:

No run ashore was complete with an initial stop off at a restaurant for a “bife de lomo completo”. The best steak accompanied by chips and two fried eggs and all washed down with some very rough vino reprobado, so rough that even the locals would dilute it with water.

For post prandial entertainment a trip to 25 De Mayo was generally in order. The streets raison d’etre was to cater for needs of the visiting sailor.

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