Yate Club de Higuerillas

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 21 Oct 2010 21:48

Position:  32 55.72 S  071 32.44 W
Alongside Yate Club de Higuerillas
Wind Southwest F3 light breeze
Weather: Overcast, clearing sunny in the afternoon, mild

This morning I stowed the dinghy on deck, hoisted the mainsail, slipped the mooring and allowed Sylph to slowly drift out of Bahia Quintero through the plethora of moored craft with the very light southerly breeze. Once clear of the bay the wind remained very light and with the now more strongly felt two meter swell from the southwest it was insufficient to keep the sails full, Sylph rolled and her sails slatted. Eventually I gave up, we only had 10 miles to travel so I very reluctantly started the motor. Half an hour later the breeze freshened a little and the grey overcast sky broke apart leaving only a wisp of white cloud and a beautiful sunny day. I wasted no time getting sail up and killing the engine. From then on it was a very nice sail, I only regretted that it had to be so short. The large swell steepened against the gradually shoaling coast as we closed Bahia Concon, such that as we got into 20 meters of water the shape of the swell was clearly defined on the echo sounder trace.

Getting secured alongside here was a little tricky, once again there is an appreciable surge. I had to abort my first approach, the marina staff wanted me to fit in between two palstic yachts and as I made my approach the surge swept Sylph onto one of them. I backed out without any damage, now with one of the younger marina staff on board who had clambered over the life lines as we touched. Most times when approaching a new berth for the first time I like to do a reccy run before committing to the final approach so I can eyeball the situation and then make a plan. In this case now I had a better idea of the problem with the surge sweeping us sideways, first one way and then the other, so I put out fenders towards the bow and we made our second approach. Having a second hand on board who knew the marina made things a lot simpler as well. I could concentrate on getting Sylph in position and left him to worry about picking up the lines. What luxury!

We were soon settled and I made the acquaintance of Jorge, one of the marina managers. He speaks excellent English and soon had answered all my immediate questions and has even offered to look after Bob Cat while I am off to Buenos Aires, so this is a great weight off my mind. The berth, while much better than the marina in Valparaiso, is less than ideal. Jorge assures me that their will be people who will keep a very good eye on Sylph while I am away and adjust her lines if necessary. He has also given me instructions on catching buses from here to the Santiago airport so it seems everything is coming together.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Quite a nice little sail today,. The skipper has quite thoughtfully placed a nice cushy sail bag in a corner of the sundeck. No doubt he did not intend it for my benefit, so perhaps I should say he has quite thoughtlessly left it there, of course I took advantage of it . Sunshine …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz