Day 33 Not (yet) the Golfo de Penas

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Fri 16 Sep 2016 00:26
47:54.17S 74:20.21W

Caleta Caramor proved excellent shelter in a stiff northerly breeze so we are putting together the tourism brochure. You never know, one day it might become the star attraction of the Canales. 

Caleta Caramor from the shore

Today started off well with a light easterly wind but it didn’t last. We then spent an hour sailing at one knot forward while drifting back with the tide, at 1.5 knots. These bright sunny days are very pleasant but the lack of wind does hamper progress. In the end we stuck the engine on and, just as the Golfo de Penas came into sight, turned right through Paso Somerset into Canal Baker.

The Golfo de Penas (Golf of Sorrows), sometimes mis-translated by yachties as the ‘Golf of Pain’ is a serious stretch of water. Gusts, during northerly fronts, regularly reach one hundred knots, steep waves caused by the ocean swell hitting the relatively shallow coastal area, build quickly and are made worse by cross currents. One evening, while anchored in Edén, I was eavesdropping on the VHF and was astonished to hear a large cargo ship inform the Navy that it was going to anchor until the weather improved before crossing the golf. “What weather would stop a cargo ship?” I wondered. The forecast was for 30 knots with gusts of 80.

Golf de Penas through the gap

Today would have been a perfect day for a cargo ship to cross the golf. We are, however, off on another diversion, this time to two small villages Yungay and Tortel. In three days time the Chilean National Festival starts with the traditional ‘cueca’ dancing and cider drinking and we are hoping that Tortel will be a good place to take part in the festivities. 

Fewer trees, more rock on the diversion to Tortel

Puerto Larenas where we are anchored