Caleta Coloso

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 24 Dec 2010 00:24

20.00 Position: 23 45.50 S 070 27.71 W
At anchor Caleta Coloso
Wind: Calm
Weather: Sunny, warm
Days Run: 37 miles

Another slow night with very light winds, we drifted along at barely a knot, our ancient mitre-cut light weight headsail filling and collapsing as Sylph rolled gently in the mild swell, the headsail sheets like a drunk fiddler scraped a clumsy tune on the leeward shrouds. Overhead the full moon shone through the thin layer of high soft clouds, the odd bright star or planet peeking occasionally through the gaps. To the east the dry and barren Andes drop precipitously into the Pacific Ocean, their looming presence painted in varying shades of grey, and only one faint light marked mankind’s presence as we sailed slowly north.

Come sunrise the cloud quickly burnt off and the wind slowly picked up, by midday we were running wing and wing before a fresh south westerly. We have made better time then we expected (our expectations were not very high) and if we had continued would have arrived at Antofagasta at about 4 p.m. We have heard that Antofagasta is very expensive, and as we did not want to be committed to high marina fees just yet we decided to anchor in a bay, Caleta Coloso, six miles short of Antofagasta. We furled the headsail at 2 p.m. as we approached a medium sized merchant ship secured to a T jetty and large mooring buoys, loading ore from a conveyor belt. Beyond the merchant ship and jetty lay the Caleta crowded with fishing boats on moorings. We wove our way through under mainsail finding a clear spot between them and the shore where we rounded up into the wind, dropped the mainsail and let go the anchor.

There was a small colourful village on the shore with a pub clearly in view. Martina suggested a fresh cold beer - I think I am falling in love.

All is well.