Countdown to the Canales
From Puerto Williams to Puerto Natales is about 400NM. The plan is to motor or sail when conditions are favourable and sit out the bad weather in one of the numerous sheltered ‘caletas’ that can be found on the route. We are not in a rush and we expect that the first section will take about 4-6 weeks.
This is quite a long period where we are unlikely to meet anyone else, other than another yacht or a fisherman if we are lucky, so we are keen to ensure that Caramor is in tip top condition before we start. Of course all this has to fit in with Pesda Press work and generally enjoying ourselves. There are lovely walks in the area and the social scene with the few remaining yachts has been quite hectic.
Considering the rigours of the Southern Ocean, Caramor is in remarkably good condition. Nonetheless, the deal is that we look after her and she looks after us. Since I got back from the UK we have:
Fitted a new traveller for the mainsheet. (The old one’s bearings disintegrated in the cold on the way to the Falklands. I had improvised a fixed attachment till we could get a replacement.
Fitted a new instrument panel for the engine. (The old one never really recovered from a soaking when we were pooped by a wave on the way to Uruguay, and has been getting worse.)
Serviced the engine.
Fitted a new autopilot.
Fitted a couple of planks to the guard rails so that we can secure on deck the extra jerry cans of fuel we need to top up our fuel reserve to 600 litres.
Jobs remaining include:
Fitting a new exhaust to ‘Erbie’, our ‘Eberspacher diesel heater.
Replacing the float switch for the electric bilge pump and fitting a water in the bilge alarm.
Replace GPS repeater.
Fit new log (speed over water indicator).
Small repair to the mainsail and fitting some new ‘carrs’. (These attach the front edge of the mainsail to to the mast and have bearings so that they run smoothly up a groove in the mast.)
Replacing the zip on the mainsail cover.
Filling up with fuel
Writing our application for a 'Zarpe’. (The Chilean ‘Armada’ [navy] take their safety and rescue role very seriously and you have to apply for a permit outlining your route before you get permission to leave port. They also expect you to report your position twice a day if you can.)