Day 61 The return of the tern

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Fri 14 Oct 2016 01:31
45:46.55S 73:33.6W

“Bright blue sky” I announced triumphantly, glancing out of the hatch, which brought a smile to Franco’s face.

While I prepared food, Franco took a look for himself, it was lashing down and the sky was uniformly grey. It is true that I hadn’t been wearing my glasses but I’m short sighted, not colour blind. Franco was convinced that I was suffering from a severe delusional disorder.

Over breakfast, he told me that in his dream, a heat sucking alien had tortured him by sticking ice cold tentacles against his skin. “How very strange” I said, feeling only slightly guilty at having warmed my freezing feet against his thighs at 3am. 

As we got ready to leave, the rain vanished suddenly, the sky cleared and the tops of the mountains appeared, clad in newly fallen snow. Caramor liberated from her spider’s web of shorelines, we set off at a fast pace downwind. Although the islands are covered in the same evergreen impenetrable forest as further south, the wilderness feel is no longer as strong. Every beach we passed was strewn with large buoys and other human debris, the waterways are busy with cargo ships and tankers and salmon farms are dotted around small groups of islands. The increase in activity doesn’t seem to deter the wildlife and we enjoyed watching Antarctic terns fishing in the tide races, back from overwintering up north.

Sunshine to port, rain to starboard

The weather was very changeable all day, one minute we were baking in hot sunshine, the next it was cool and wet. At times it could be sunny to port and raining to starboard. We made good progress with the tidal flood, as calculated. As we swung around Figueroa Island, leaving Canal Chacabugo to enter Canal Coste the current increased, helping us along. With a good breeze to match, we gave a workboat a run for its money. Our intended anchorage was nearby but with such perfect conditions, it seemed a shame to stop, so we decided to head for the next anchorage. A mile further on, our luck run out, the wind died and the tide turned against us. The workboat disappeared over the horizon. We turned back and headed for Caleta Lynch, our original destination. 

Workboat approaching a fish farm

Franco and I have been joking that because the weather is so wet, we want to head south again. With a few days in hand before we need to renew our visas, we have decided on yet another diversion, to sail south to visit San Rafael, the most northerly glacier in the southern hemisphere.