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Date: 01 Sep 2016 02:09:26
Title: Day 18 “Sin Novedad”

49:38.81S 74:20.74W

We breakfasted in sunshine looking towards snowy mountains but the clouds moved in as we made ready to sail. A great sailing day, tacking (but not too often) up Canal Wide to Caleta Parry on Mason Island where we anchored without incident. ‘Sin Novedad’ - Nothing new.

Sailing in Canal Wide

Sin Novedad is an important phrase in Chile, where no news is good news. When called up by the Navy, after the usual exchange of last port, next port, ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), “did you really mean December 14th?”, our interlocutor will ask “Anything else?” to which we are expected to answer “Sin novedad”. It is the universal response given by the fishermen. I am still in training, “nothing new” doesn’t come easily, and my responses vary from “actually a little more sunshine would be welcome” to “Have you seen all the bergybits?” or “Would you like to come round for coffee?” Chileans are always very polite and nobody has picked me up yet on my total lack of protocol.

You’re disappointed? Not enough action? the rope in the propellor, the windlass handle overboard, Franco’s goosebumps, weren’t enough for you? 

How about this for consolation? My ‘common striped mussel eater’ (‘Encounters with a kingfisher’ diary post) has been identified by the renowned naturalist (not to be confused with naturist) Nigel Ajax Lewis. Nigel has kindly written to say that it might be (and I’m sure he is right) a seaside cinclodes (Cinclodes nigrofumosus). 

Apparently these birds are related to the ovenbird (see photo in Uruguay diary) and are a very special kind of passerine as they are physiologically adapted to deal with food and water of high saline concentration, and in all ways are more of a seabird than many species of cormorants and gulls. 

Caramor in Caleta Parry




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