A Long Day

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 12 May 2010 04:05

Position: 53 13.26 S 073 21.86 W
At anchor Puerto Tamar
Wind: North nor’ east F3 gentle breeze backing West nor’ west and later increasing to F6 strong breeze.
Weather: overcast, rain, short sunny patches, drizzle, cool.
Day’s Run: 24 nm (47 sailed)

Its been a long day today, we have only arrived at anchor about an hour ago after a rather rigorous sail. Conditions and forecasts from several sources fooled me into thinking I might be able to sail overnight. Come sunset we were enjoying a gentle breeze, it had stopped raining, the sun had come out and projected a vivid double rainbow behind us. As night fell the stars came out and I was enjoying a tasty dinner. The at 10 after seven the wind started to pick up and we were quickly down to a scrap of jib and double reefed mainsail and still struggling in the strong headwind and increasing seas. But we had made good progress to date and I wasn’t about to give it up. Nearby was an anchorage, Puerto Tamar, which while by no means an easy navigation exercise in the dark with strong winds I thought it doable and the idea of staying out and battling against the headwinds for the rest of the night which were only likely to get worse was not very appealing at all.

We continued close hauled making good about four and a half knots which soon had us in the lee of Isla Tamar. From there I dropped sail, with the excitement of a mainsail halyard jam as we were rapidly approaching a shoaling coast to keep me on my toes, and once the halyard jam was sorted, I started the engine. At this point we were starting to get a little bit of protection from the lee of the island and I motored slowly edging my way closer in and watching the echo sounder closely. It was very dark and difficult to make anything out but byu taking things as slowly as we could in the strong breeze we felt our way into the bay using the echo sounder like a blind man uses a cane. It was rather confusing at times but I kept the land close by on the right, shining the spotlight to make sure we were a good distance off, small islands passed as dark blotches on our left and we didn’t find any of the rocks in the bay.

At 9.30 pm I laughed and almost cried as we let go the anchor in 10 meters of water, 20 meters from the guide book’s recommended position. It is now blowing stronger than ever outside, a near gale at least and I am very happy that we are securely at anchor - though I will be checking it regularly through the night. I have changed into dry clothes, have warmed up with a cup of tea and am feeling content.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Content is he? Well I’m not! What a day. This thing I am required to somehow survive in just moves in the most impossible way for a feline to get a decent day’s sleep in. yet alone the other essentials of life. At least it seems to have settle down a bit now, still noisy outside, no heater and no skipper yet to warm my bunk. Oh well, I will give it my best shot …. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..


PS I (skipper Bob) had just finished writing my piece and checked the anchor to find that we were dragging. I had to start the motor to stop us from drifting down onto some rocks. I have put out an extra ten meters of chain, and think the anchor is now set, but so much for being dry and feeling secure.