Punta Arenas

Position: 53 10.11 S 070 54.44 W
Alongside Punta Arenas
Wind: West Sou’ west, F 2-6 light to strong breeze
Weather: Sunny, cool.
Days run: 26 nm

Last night was windy with some very strong gusts, which was not conducive to a sound nights sleep. Late in the evening I paid out some extra cable for some extra peace of mind but the reputation of the winds down this way are such that one never feels wholly comfortable relying on an anchor alone. Still we got through the night without any misadventure, and in the morning the wind continued to blow as fitfully as it had done during the night. I got up for the morning weather fax and was tempted to crawl back into bed. It looked like strong south westerlies which agreed with what I was seeing out the window. But I resisted the urge, had breakfast then had a good look around outside. Certainly the wind was strong and gusty but it was from the west and over the next day or so looked like it would be veering into the northwest which would make getting to Punta Arenas that much more difficult. I decided that I shouldn’t waste a favourable breeze, to weigh anchor and continue on our way to Punta Arenas. A few strong gusts through the bay almost had me changing mind a couple of times but in the end we left.

And as it turns out I think it was a good decision. While the wind was very fresh and gusty, it was off the land and the seas were smooth, so we literally tore up the coast, often cracking 8 ½ knots. There were no more problems with the anchor winch, so we got away just before 10, and arrived Punta Arenas just before 3 p.m.

We are now back in the low flat dry lands that we left behind us in Argentina. It is quite amazing the difference a few miles make in the whole geography of the landscape.

We are tied up alongside a friendly Chilean fisherman who unfortunately is getting underway early in the morning, not sure when but presume he will wake me when he has to leave.

I have cleared in with the Armada, found the nearest hardware store and supermarket so have the essentials sorted. Now I just have to work out how to get the gas bottle filled up. This will obviously have to wait till Monday.

A steak sandwich for dinner with a glass (or two) of cheap Chilean red wine.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

At last, things got better instead of worse. We weren’t rolling and being thrown all over the place, in fact for the most part it was quite pleasant, and this evening I scored a piece of red meat. Now that is a first! I prefer fish but it sure is better than the hardtack. The heater is on, time for a … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.