Day 67 Arrival in Puerto Chacabuco

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Fri 21 Oct 2016 20:14

45:27.37S 72:48.30W

Caramor has a large anchor for her size. To match, she has sixty metres of 10mm chain. It doesn't all fit into the chain locker, so we stack the last twenty metres under the bed. Franco was winching up the anchor and I was stacking it down below. The steady rhythm of the windlass slowed to a painful crunching of the gears as Franco tried to haul in the reticent chain. Instead of the anchor coming up, Caramor's nose was diving, the chain was caught under something on the sea bed. We once read a story about a skipper (I think he was the Swiss ambassador to Denmark) who had the same problem and when the Danish Navy finally got the anchor up, it was embedded in an unexploded bomb!

We motored forward and came to a sudden halt as the chain jammed hard against the obstruction but somehow it worked and we were able to bring it up.

Snow clad volcano

Fish farm (salmonera)

Back in Seno Aysén the tide had turned earlier than expected, in our favour. The channel was busy with work barges, fast speed boats and fishing launches plying in and out of Chacabuco and the shores were lined with salmon farms. A headwind picked up so we sailed. The weather was glorious again and tacking to and fro in the sunshine was very pleasant even if it meant we would probably not reach port that day.

Franco hiding in the shade, first day in a T shirt!

Even sea lions sunbathe

A very smart plane flew over, small and manoeuvrable with a twin tail painted red. Franco recognised the Chilean Navy colours and explained that the type was used for reconnaissance and had a 'push' rather than a 'pull' propeller, leaving the nose clear for instruments. It came round again, this time very low. "You'll see, we'll get called up." I said as the radio crackled "Aeromar to sailing yacht, do you copy?" The line was really bad so we gave them all the info usually requested by the navy patrols. "We are looking for a missing person and would like you to assist" so, for the second time Caramor joined a search and rescue mission. Tacking slowly from one side to the other of the channel, she was the perfect search boat. Unfortunately we didn't find the person.

Approaching Puerto Chacabuco

The wind died completely and we motored the last few miles. We crossed the shallows just before high water into Enseñada Baja, on the other side of a small peninsula from the commercial harbour of Puerto Chacabuco, and dropped the anchor. The bay is famous for strong williwaws and even on such a calm day, a fresh breeze was rippling the surface. When we tested the anchor by reversing in full throttle, it plowed through the soft mud. We were planning to leave Caramor for a few days so needed to be confident she would be safe. We dug out the second anchor, attached it to the first and laid them both out. Bombproof!

Caramor’s view in Enseñada Baja