Sunday 23rd - A Good Day's Run

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 23 May 2010 23:52
Position: 50 33..02 S 074 40.89 W
At anchor Caleta Los Hermanos Moglia
Wind: Northwest veering northwest, mostly F3 gentle breeze
Weather: Overcast, cool.
Day's Run: 21nm (36nm sailed)

Today's mission was to get past Angosta Guia, a narrow passage marking the northern exit from Canal Sarmiento into Canal Inocente. The passage is only a couple of hundred meters wide, strong currents run through it with the tides and its southern approaches are lined by some large steep mountains which makes for gusty conditions including williwaws.

Getting away from our overnight anchorage was a little more difficult than normal because the cove was so small and once the shorelines were untied Sylph was only hanging off her anchor and could easily have swung into some rocks. So once I had let go the lines it was a quick dash back to the boat to start the engine to have ready to keep her clear if needs be. I then pulled the shorelines in, only having to give Sylph a nudge ahead with the engine a couple of times to prevent her hitting the sheer rock sides of the cove, then swung the dinghy inboard, lashed it down and finally recovered the anchor.

Once clear of the cove we found a nice gentle breeze but also a foul tide which made progress very slow. We put in many short tacks in the narrow channel often returning very close to where we had left two tacks previous. Frustrating! But when the tide turned at about 11 a.m. our progress improved significantly, we rounded a point and there ahead lay Angosta Guia. The north side of the channel was steep with some deep indentations down which came some very strong gusts. I put in a reef for a while for the worst of them but as we got closer to the narrows the gusts abated and we were able to return to full sail. I lost count of how many tacks we put in for this part of the day, I was unable to leave the helm with such confined waters and the wind being so changeable. The wind was dead against us but the current helped and just after noon we were through. The next channel, Canal Inocentes was much more open so now I could relax a bit and I enjoyed some pancakes for lunch.

We continued to have changeable conditions during the afternoon, varying between a gentle breeze and almost calm, the seas were often choppy, presumably due to wind over tide, but despite this we made good progress, covering 21 miles for the day.

We are now at anchor in Caleta Los Hermanos Moglia which I have to say I am very disappointed in. The cruising guide shows depths to be between 10 and 20 meters and suggests anchoring in a spot with only six meters of water. I was looking forward to a nice simple anchorage for the night without the chore of shorelines, but on sailing into the anchorage could not find a usable spot with less than 25 meters. After motoring back and forth a few times looking for somewhere with a reasonable depth I resigned myself to a deep anchorage. I found a spot with 21 meters but by the time I had let the anchor go it had increased to 27 meters. I have let out 50 meters of chain which isn't really enough but there is insufficient swinging room to let out much more. So unfortunately rather then the peaceful night I had been hoping for I shall be keeping an eye on the anchor for much of the night to make sure we do not drag.

Recovering the anchor tomorrow morning is going to be a real workout.

All is well.

Bob Cat;

Are we back in contact with the outside world yet? I hope so, it is some small solace to know that my public awaits to hear from me, and provide me with some release to the daily hardships I must endlessly endure. More thissing and thatting today, with everything at completely intolerable angles. I passed my kittenhood many years ago and do not find this sort of thing in the least bit fun. I can't pursue my life's vocation, I can't eat, the amenities are a death trap, all I can do is hang on and try not to .. well my dignity does not permit the expression. It has stopped now thank goodness, I won't think about tomorrow, just . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.