Back in the Forties

Position: 49 20.44 S 074 24.67 W
At anchor Caleta Grau
Wind: Mostly calm.
Weather: Partly cloudy, cool.
Daily Runs:
24th - 64nm
25th - 15nm

Yesterday we had some fair winds so managed to make good use of them putting in a day's run of 64 miles.

We got away from anchor after taking over an our to get all our chain in from the deep anchorage, and once back into the channels found a southwesterly. Hooray! After a few initial tacks to clear the anchorage area we put the wind on our port beam where it stayed for most of the day. It was squally at times which required a reduced sail but while cold, wet and windy they didn't last long and once passed I learnt to promptly set sail again then keep an eye open for the next one. By early evening we were approaching Canal Wide. This channel as the name suggests is nice and wide and with a north nor' east trend put the wind on our port quarter, and allowed us to run before with the jib poled out opposite the mainsail, wing on wing. A little while earlier I had heard Persimmon on the radio. We had a brief conversation as they were quite a way away and reception was poor, but good enough to exchange positions. It turned out that somehow, despite their long detour via Puerto Natales they had managed to sneak past us and overtake us again. I must confess I was a little miffed at how they had managed it and it motivated me to catch them up.

So I kept on sailing, and motoring in the calms, through the evening and early morning until we did so. I had spoken with the skipper, Ian later in the evening when reception on the VHF radio had improved and arranged the rendezvous. At midnight I noted in Sylph's log latitude 49 45.1S, we ahd at last left the furious 50's behind, and are back in the roaring forties, though there is still plenty of opportunity for rough weather ahead I feel this is something of a landmark in our circumnavigation. Sylph and I have come a long way together..

At 2 a.m. this morning I caught Persimmon up at Caleta Parry, Isla Mason where they had anchored for the night. I rafted up alongside them and after a brief hello with Ian went to bed.

Despite the late night I was up early as usual to get the weather fax and have a brief meeting with Ian and his crew. They had plans to visit a large glacier nearby and invited me to join them but I declined as it would probably have meant at least six hours of motoring each way which I really would have found extremely tedious and tiring. Persimmon on the other hand has plenty of fuel, an autohelm, and four crew. So we split up once again with arrangement to rendezvous in Puerto Eden.

Today was mostly calm so more motoring. In any event much off the channel we had to negotiate today was very narrow and would have been virtually impossible to sail with a headwind. I still managed to get an hour and a half of sailing in for the day when the channel broadened out a little and some wind came along, from the north of course, so more tacking. Again I have no idea how many tacks we did as the channel was still quite narrow and I was too busy sailing and keeping an eye on the navigation to be keeping detailed entries in the log. Late in the afternoon the wind faded away and with only four miles to our evening's anchorage and two hours of daylight left I turned on the engine and motored the remaining distance.

With luck we will be in Puerto Eden tomorrow, 20 miles from here. Puerto Eden is a village of about 280 people so I am planning on topping up with fuel and getting in a few supplies.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Every time the beast below the floor boards comes alive my abode is calm, every time it sleeps life seems mostly miserable. It has been purring away quite a bit over the past day - purr away noisy beast and I will join you.

Some tuna for dinner, the heater is on, a much better day. I think I will make the most of things while I can and top it off with a nice long .. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.