Day 14 Emelita to Pozo Marit
On Sunday we weren’t the only ones hiding in our cove. It was too rough even for hardy fishermen.
The Beagle Channel is behind us now and ahead lies Canal Brecknock, open to the Pacific Ocean swell. Since we left Williams, the forecast for this section has been consistently strong winds and rough seas, though it looks like we might get a break over the next few days.
From Caleta Emelita we followed the shipping route through Canal O’Brien which runs south of the island. The area was busy with fishing boats and we kept a keen lookout for the floats marking their crab pots. The wind was heading us and if we tacked we would never make the anchorage before dark, but with the mainsail hoisted, we were able to motor-sail and use the wind to gain a knot on our motoring speed. Motoring does three things; it propels Caramor through the water, heats the water for a shower and charges the batteries. In the sheltered anchorages, there isn’t enough wind for our wind turbine to produce much energy and the weak winter sun doesn’t do much for the solar panels.
Once clear of O’Brien, the wind freed us up enough to sail and we made good time across Canal Ballenero to Isla Grande. We nipped through a gap between two islands and started looking for Pozo Marit, our anchorage. The narrow entrance leads into a sheltered round basin. Although the shape of the land on the map is usually fairly correct, it is often not drawn in the right place, and this section of the channels is particularly poor!
Sailing in Canal Ballinero
On the map Caramor sailed across an island and anchored in the middle of the sea. In reality we sailed round the island and tucked into a sheltered pool.
The landscape is changing. Gone are the majestic trees of the sheltered Beagle Channel, they have been replaced by hardy creatures, tortured daily by the strong winds and the salt spray, who scarcely dare raise their canopies above the surrounding grassland.
Soon after Caramor was settled in the pozo (means ‘well’ in Spanish) with two lines to shore and the anchor, a fishing boat pulled up alongside to offer us a generous present of three king crabs (centolla). We gratefully accepted one and I was looking forward to crab for tea … until I saw it move. It was still alive, oh dilemma. I couldn’t leave this poor animal, sitting quietly on our bench, to expire slowly, either we had to kill it straight away or put it back in the water.
“We could cook it now and eat it cold” suggested Franco, worried that his dinner was about to be returned to the sea. He fetched the pressure cooker. It looked tiny next to the crab. It just wasn’t going to work, whichever way we tried, the king simply wouldn’t fit.
“I could pull its legs off” offered Franco, helpfully. I could see that he wasn’t very keen. A fast death is one thing but a slow prolonged torture might even put Franco off his seafood. The test was whether the beast would revive in a bucket of salt water. It did. We wished him luck in his travels.