Day 40 Dipping a toe in the gulf

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Fri 23 Sep 2016 01:02
47:48.82S 74:38.57W

Another year of my life whooshes by. Thank you to those who sent ‘good wishes’ emails, they were appreciated. In addition I received three very nice presents; a sunny day, our first otter sighting and a very colourful hat from Franco.

Kath wearing her new hat

In most cultures, age and date of birth are important or at least worthy of recognition but the emphasis changes from one language to another. In Spanish the word for ‘birthday’ is ‘cumpleaños’ from ‘cumplir años’ meaning ‘to achieve years’. It is the passing of the years that is celebrated rather than, as in English, the nostalgia for the day of our birth (oh so many years ago).

Franco in Canal Martinez

The wind forecast for light variables was correct, the gentle breeze came from all over the place. As we turned up a channel and expected it to be behind, it was suddenly heading us. All in all, we managed to sail over half the distance. 

As we approached our goal, we stuck our toe into the Golfo de Penas and it was horrid. The swell had a nasty rhythm that I am sure will make us, channel folk, sea sick. I suggested to Franco that we turn around and head straight back south. He reminded me that by this time of year the far south of Chile is continuously pounded by strong westerlies, and besides, he is on the Chilean lemon meringue pie trail (CLeMP) which started at the Chilean hotel in the Falklands and will no doubt culminate in Santiago. Turning back is not an option.

It is hardly surprising that the Golfo de Penas is an unpleasant stretch of water, the sea depth decreases very rapidly (over a distance of 5 nautical miles) from over a thousand metres to one hundred (just writing it makes me squirm). It is like a huge motorway pile-up of all the waves that have crossed the Pacific.

As we turned south between Zealous Island and Porcia Island, we started looking for the entrance to our anchorage, a narrow gap difficult to see. We knew that Caleta Lamento del Indio was at the base of the large mountain in the photo.

Can you spot the entrance?

Here we will wait for a good weather window, ideally a south-westerly, force 3-4, no swell and sunshine. Oops, was that a pig that just flew past? No, it was a kingfisher. Nothing remotely like that is forecast this side of the week-end. 

Caleta Lamento del Indio