Posted on Oct 4, 2015
September 8, 2015
Bahia Anna Pink is our today destination, a large bay north of the Peninsula de Taitao which welcomes all vessels that from northern Patagonia reach the ocean to cross the Golfo de Penas and thus continuing to the south channels. Still little wind and still motoring.
Isla Clemente namely its southern coast overlooking Bahia Ana Pink, offers a very protected anchorage, Puerto Milabù (which is not a true port, but here in Patagonia any anchorage protected from the winds that can accommodate more than 2 boats It is called port). It will be our base to wait for favorable conditions to cross Golfo de Penas, which could take few days, so hopefully it will be a friendly place.
We read that this is one of the few white beache of Patagonia and we do not rule out that Ray can decide to stand in the sun or even take a bath. We sail along the nearly four kilometers of the fjord and while approaching the head, a movie like landscape appear in all its scenic beauty. The beach of white "arena" is at least 500 meters wide.
On the west coast, from perfectly smooth rock wall, a multi terraces waterfall flows downstream to disappear in a thick vegetation behind the beach. What a paradise. If we have to wait even few days, we feel that this place will not disappoint us. Immediately after anchoring we go ashore. The waterfall forms a stream that flows into the sea through the beach. We load the dinghy with all our gerry cans and reach the stream to fill them.
Completed this task we surrender to the charm of this beautiful spot in Patagonia. Vale takes millions of photos: the beach, the waterfall, the sand, the mosses, the thousands of extravagant forms that wind and rain engraving from anything to grows up from the land.
Ray goes in search of a passage in the thick vegetation that would allow to scale the waterfall and reach an infamous lake we heard but no one has ever seen personally. I, as a shepherd, run back and forth between the two in a vain attempt to keep the flock together.
September 9, 2015
At 8:00 in the morning, almost at dawn, Ray is ready inside his lobster color like PVC suit. He is determined to find a way to reach the waterfall. Vale still sleeping, excellent excuse to decline to follow.
I prefer to dedicate myself to write these few confused line in the early morning, when my crew still rests and I’m alone in the quarter. At the 11h Ray is back, he reached the top and found the fateful lake. He radiates happiness from every pore and invites us to follow him for a second ride to the top.
We prepare a backpack and set off. With the dinghy we reach the base of the waterfall and from there we begin to delve into the thick vegetation. I do not think of being able to describe the path that we have faced.
The beach is nothing but the result of erosion caused by two streams that flow into it, you are wedged into a groove in the head of the fjord. The vegetation of the gorge is mostly done by large shrubs and trees that once they fall dead on the other, form a web of living and dead trees all covered by moss and therefore extremely slippery. All adorned with a dense series of ferns, creepers and other preciousness of nature such that the delve become a real obstacle course. The space in which you move can just be measured with a centimeter.
The left foot on a dead trunk, the right hand on the root of the tree one meter above your head, the tip of the right foot an a small recess in the mud and up. We cross the dense forest and we are on the first terrace of the waterfall. From there we start to climb across a well polished wall, a sign that in the spring and summer the waterfall floods this part of the wall. We proceed like this for about half an hour. We reach the second terrace.
From here the view of the bay is spectacular. The whites and yellows of the beach, almost rust of the stream, the various shades of green of the sea. I wonder how much technology is in our eyes if the man has not yet managed to build up a photographic lens which can faithfully reproduce what our human lens are shooting.
We continue the climb. The soil becomes heavier. The slopes of the mountain are fully soups water. But there is no mud. The soil is completely covered by a moss which creates a spongy layer above the ground.
We proceed for 1 hour and we arrive at the third terrace. We make a stop rewarding ourself with crackers and a sip of cognac. We still have in front of us the last and more inclined stretch to climb.
We reached the top 1/2 hour later and, well sheltered from the wind, a large rock on the other side of the mountain welcomes us with a view of an emerald lake down in the valley.
Posted on Oct 2, 2015
September 6, 2015
We decided to Sail along an alternative route to reach Golfo de Penas. We will follow a series of secondary channels, some of which have not even been fathomed and even if reported on charts, there is no depth indicated.
But having read enthusiastic reports of boats that have sailed these waters we also want to experience the thrill of sailing "out of the beaten path", as if Patagonia is not already sufficiently "out"!
Once we left Estero Elefantes we entered Estero Tuahuancavec, a long narrow fjord. The day is sunny but no wind. We proceed motoring. From Estero Tuahuancavec we enter Estero Barros Anna who, through Canal Ultima Esperanza, to reach Canal Carrera del Diablo, very evocative names of what is waiting for us.
For the night we anchor in Caleta Diablo, a bay with a little access just wider than Angelique II which, once passed, opens to a wonderful and protected and circular basin. A stream flows into the bay and once the dinghy is in the water we decide to reaching its mouth.
The tide is low, as well as the water in the creek bed, so pulled up the engine we try to go upstream addling.
After half an hour we reach a small waterfall coming down from a pond that feeds our creek.
Nothing extraordinary, but we fill this life with little things just like that and all together, in their simplicity, make it unique, at least to our eyes.
September, 7 2015
Today we head Canal Carrera del Diablo where a narrow passage provides access to Canal Alejandro.
The problem is that the narrow is really tight and the current seems to reach 2 digits speed: The Bible of Patagonia, the pilot's book written by two Italian, suggests to make it only at slack time.
The problem is that being this a secondary channels, it is not listed in current tables published by the Armada de Chile. So we decide to anchor in a bay few miles south and to go with the dinghy to take a look.
It's raining, so we wear our "lobster color like” PVC overall and with the cowboy we move. Vale remains on board tuned on VHF channel 72 in order to communicate with us through our portable radio.
The Cowboy decide to take along his fishing rod, not knowing tide times it might happen to wait few hours to identify the slack. Once there the situation appears even worst than I expected. I can not even think what would have happened if we had come here with the boat. The tide is ebb and the water compressed into the narrow seems a swollen river with lots of rapids and reel. Moreover, the irregular shape of the coast creates a series of streams of water that flow in the opposite direction to the output current.
We try to reach the north shore of the pass, but the current begins to suck us towards the center. I head the bow toward the exit, but the current continues to push us back. I accelerate, but nothing to do, we go back again.
A shiver runs through my back, I give full throttle, like in the old days, to all 15 horses of my outboard and despite the dinghy is already gliding we can earn only a few meters to the bottom, luckily enough to get us out of the grip of the current.
Damn, that was close. We stop in front of the entrance of the pass, on a side where the current is almost virtually absent, we tie the dinghy to a tree and wait to see what happens. Ray begins to launch his line in the water but "damm, there are no fishes in this ocean."
After half an hour of waiting, the situation is still the same, but rain stopped and a pale sun makes the situation less annoying. We start speculating on the reaction that the boat could have trough the rips, so the "two idiots in Patagonia" decide to see what happens to the dinghy if it slips into the middle of that mess and make it even more idiotic, we pull up the engine and start paddling. Few paddle strokes and the current has already taken us.
We try to keep the boat with the bow in the direction of the current acting on the paddles, but the effort is futile. The little dinghy starts to turn on itself as it advances towards the “river”. Exceeded the initial horror, the situation appears grotesquely funny, while rolling toward a large rock that bisects the waterway, completely unable to handle the situation The waltz lasts only a few minutes but to us it seems an eternity. As we move away from the narrow pass, the current decreases and takes us away from the evil rock. A simultaneous big laugh comes out of our faces, "let's do it again." Repeated idiocy we stop again to wait to see if the current calm down, indicating the passage from low tide to high. 1 hour after of the rapids did not remain almost anything, the sun is still high and I decide that it is time to try so we inform Vale via radio to make the boat ready for sailing. Half an hour later we are 200 meters from the narrow passage. Ray follows us with the dinghy in case we need a third motor.
Angelique II aligns with the bows in the direction of the current, the two daggerboard are down, the engines at maximum rpm. Log speed is 8 knots but the GPS says we make 13, a sign that there are still 5 knots of current. The two hulls run like on a rail, we face the first turbulence but just a few degrees of the bar to keep the boats on their route. Less than 3 minutes to chill back and we're off: well done crew !!
By 17:30 we reach Caleta Odilia where we enjoy a well-earned rest.
Posted on Oct 1, 2015
1 Settembre 2015
Sono le 06:00, fuori è buio pesto ma abbiamo deciso di salpare alle prime luci dell’Alba, che non arriverà certamente prima delle 08:00.
Il barometro segna 1040 Mb, credo uno dei record di sempre e le previsioni danno bel tempo per tutta la settimana.
Per le 08:30 l’ancora è su e ci avviamo verso lo stretto ingresso della laguna che al nostro arrivo non poco ci aveva preoccupato.
Ma adesso registriamo appena cinque nodi di vento e, nonostante passiamo con le chiglie radenti il fondale, siamo fuori in un paio di minuti senza alcuna difficoltà.
Le cime della cordigliera intorno a noi sono tutte coperte da una spessa coltre di nebbia che spero si dissolva con l’alzarsi delle temperature.
Procediamo con un solo motore a circa 6 nodi sul fondo, aiutati dalla corrente di marea che contribuisce per 1,5 nodi.
Siamo diretti a Laguna San Rafael e lo faremo in una sola tappa, navigando anche la prossima notte, approfittando delle previsioni meteo favorevoli per i prossimi giorni.
Intorno alle 12:30 raggiungiamo l’uscita di Fiordo Aysen. Sulla costa settentrionale, notiamo una zona di mare nella quale del fumo esce dall’acqua. Non è fumo, è vapore! Una sorgente di acqua termale?
Accostiamo, ma la profondità è proibitiva per ancorare. La costa è praticamente a strapiombo sul mare e, da quel che leggo sul nostro ecoscandaglio, credo che la parete continui in verticale anche sotto la superficie. Poco più avanti notiamo una spiaggia; magari li il fondale è più indicato per l’ancoraggio.
Diamo fondo in 10 metri d’acqua a meno di 20 metri dalla riva.
Non appena finita la manovra, il dinghy è già in acqua con il fuoribordo acceso.
Raggiungiamo la sorgente, ma sfortunatamente si tratta di un piccolissimo rivolo di acqua calda che sfocia dalla parete della montagna e si getta in mare. Non c’è alcuna piscina naturale nella quale immergersi.
In compenso i primi 30 cm della superficie del mare sono bollenti, ottimi per un pediluvio ma niente di più.
Ray, che non vuole rinunciare al suo bagno caldo, sbarca e si dirige verso la sorgente.
Un istante dopo lo vediamo in costume, abbarbicato sui sassi, con uno sguardo delusissimo disegnato sul volto.
Il rivolo d’acqua è troppo caldo, probabilmente intorno ai 100°. Riempie un secchio e decide di aspettare che si raffreddi.
Rientrati in barca, mentre ci prepariamo per salpare, Ray è nuovamente in costume, deciso a farsi una doccia sul ponte come di solito fa ai tropici, solo che questa volta l’acqua è quella della sorgente termale, nel frattempo raffreddatasi: “Dude are you serious?”.
Entriamo in Canal Fiordo Costa e un bel venticello gelido da 20 nodi ci colpisce sulla prua.
Abbiamo solo il genoa aperto e tiriamo un bordo, ma il canale è troppo stretto per bordeggiare seriamente, così accendiamo un motore e procediamo.
Purtroppo abbiamo corrente contraria e la nostra velocità media non supera i 4 nodi, ma non voglio accendere il secondo motore: dobbiamo stare attenti ai consumi, per molto tempo non potremo rifornirci.
Fa buio ed il vento si abbassa a circa 14 nodi, ma la corrente continua a contrastarci. Per la notte decidiamo turni di guardia da 3 ore.
2 Settembre 2015
La notte è stata tranquilla e neanche troppo fredda. All’alba il cielo è di un azzurro terso e man mano che il sole si alza, lo strato di nebbia che nasconde i picchi della cordigliera si dissolve, rivelando un panorama mozzafiato.
Alle 8:00 ci sintonizziamo sulla frequenza USB 4164. L’Armada (la Marina Cilena) richiede a tutte le imbarcazioni in navigazione di comunicare 2 volte al giorno (08:00 e 20:00) la propria posizione e, se in navigazione, anche rotta, velocità, destinazione e ora prevista di arrivo. Ovviamente il numero delle imbarcazioni per mare è significativo, per cui questa operazione può richiedere un po di tempo.
Armada: <<Puerto Mont Radio en recepsion QTC (pronunciato “cutiace” e che ancora non so il senso dell’acronimo ma sta per Posicion y Intention de Movimiento)>>.
Dopo questa chiamata le imbarcazioni in ascolto, comunicano di essere pronti a trasmettere con il seguente messaggio:
<<Puerto Mont Radio, Puerto Mont Radio Puerto Mont Radio, Catamaran Angelique II QTC>>.
E qui ovviamente bisogna essere fortunati affinché il proprio segnale di trasmissione prevalga sugli altri e venga ascoltato dall’Armanda. Di solito le imbarcazioni vengono ascoltate in gruppi di 4.
Quando l’Armada ha ricevuto le richieste delle 4 successive imbarcazioni, trasmette una chiamata individuale:
<< Buenas dias Angelique II adelante>>
L’imbarcazione chiamata inizia la trasmissione:
Buenos dias Puerto Mont Radio, esto es el catamarano Angelique II, Charlie Sierra (sono le lettere del codice internazionale e stanno per C.S. ovvero Call Sign, l’identificativo internazionale rilasciato dalle autorità del paese di bandiera a ciascuna imbarcazione) Foxtrot Kilo Kilo Foxtrot (sta per FKKF il Call Sign di Angelique II), navigando da Puerto Chacabuco a Laguna San Rafael, al momento en posicion Latitud 46°14.34 Sur y Longitud 073°41.38 Oueste, Romeo Victor (sta per RV, Rumbo Veradero - rotta reale) 182°, Victor (sta per V, Velocidad) 5,4 nudo. Ecco Tango Alfa (sta per ETA, Expected Time of Arrival, ora prevista di arrivo a destinazione) 18:00 del dia de hoy>>.
Se l’Armada ha compreso interamente il messaggio interviene dicendo:
<<Angelique II, QSL>> e procede chiamando per nome la successiva imbarcazione in attesa del gruppo.
Completato il gruppo ritrasmette il messaggio: <<Puerto Mont Radio en recepsion QTC >> che da il via alla formazione del gruppo successivo di ascolto/trasmissione.
Navighiamo lungo Estero Elefantes, un lungo fiordo che culmina nel Golfo Elefantes dal quale, attraverso uno stretto canale, si accede alla Laguna San Rafael. Golfo Elefantes è delimitato da due due stretti, Paso Quesahuen a nord e Paso de Vidts a sud.
Il primo è formato da due penisole che da un lato e dall’altro del fiordo si gettano in mare, ostruendo così lo scorrere della corrente di marea, che subisce dunque una forte accelerazione. Inoltre, la forma sia delle penisole che della costa, crea un tratto di mare confuso, dove la corrente non segue una corsa lineare ma disegna una serie di complicati vettori, creando pericolosi mulinelli.
Il portolano suggerisce di affrontarlo 2 ore prima dell’Alta Marea. Ovviamente seguiamo il suggerimento e siamo li per le 11:00. La corrente all’ingresso è leggermente contraria, stimo circa 1,5 nodi, ma appena siamo al traverso tra i due promontori, un fiume ci investe e con 2 motori a 2.600 giri facciamo 8 nodi sull’acqua e ZERO sul fondo!
Ray suggerisce di puntare verso il promontorio della costa orientale, in modo da essere più riparati rispetto alla corrente ed una volta raggiunto, provare ad attraversare il fiume d’acqua al traverso. Mi sembra un’ottima strategia ed infatti funziona.
Siamo adesso nel Golfo Elefantes, il tratto di fiordo che conduce al secondo stretto: Paso de Vidts.
Sull’acqua galleggiano i primo blocchi di ghiaccio trasportati dalla corrente; sono solo dei “cubetti” ma è anche vero che sono i primi iceberg che incontriamo in assoluto nella nostra vita. Ne accostiamo uno per le foto di rito e Ray pensa di trasformarlo in un paio di “margaritas”.
Il portolano descrive Paso de Vidts come più impegnativo di Paso Quesahuen, a causa dei bassi fondali che lo delimitano e che impongono una serie di complicate chicanes. Adottiamo la strategia di Ray anche questa volta e la corrente è decisamente meno furiosa di quella sperimentata a Quesahuen.
Superato lo stretto entriamo in Rio Los Patos, il canale di 5 miglia che porta dentro la Laguna San Rafael e che prende il nome da un piccolo corso d’acqua che vi sfocia.
I cubetti di ghiaccio crescono significativamente in volume e affrontata l’ultima “s” del canale una villetta a 2 piani bianco azzurro galleggia davanti a noi ostruendo parzialmente l’accesso alla laguna. Siamo tutti e tre senza parole e non le trovo neanche adesso per descrivere l’emozioni che ho provato in quel momento. Queste enormi opere d’arte modellate dal mare e dal vento su dei blocchi di ghiaccio che chissà quando si sono formate e ciò che vediamo è solo circa 1/4 dell’intera superficie: il resto si trova sott’acqua. La parte più alta di quella emersa è bianco ghiaccio, ma man mano che si scende verso il mare il colore passa al turchese per poi, proprio a pelo d’acqua, virare al verde smeraldo.
Siamo diretti verso la costa nord orientale della Laguna, a circa 2 miglia dal ghiacciaio.
Un ancoraggio suggeritoci dal nostro amico Raul di Puerto Montt, dove una piccola rientranza della costa offre un buon riparo dagli iceberg che spinti da vento e corrente continuano a navigare avanti e indietro. Svegliarsi al mattino con una di queste costruzioni adagiate sulla barca non è una buona idea, per cui un ancoraggio riparato è fondamentale.
Con il binocolo individuiamo un piccolo pontile, proprio dove sulla carta Raul ha indicato il punto di ancoraggio. Evitiamo un paio di isberg e raggiungiamo la zona.
Dopo un veloce sopralluogo decidiamo di avvicinarci con la barca al ghiacciaio.
Percorriamo circa un miglio e poi siamo costretti ad arrenderci; non vogliamo rischiare una delle nostre preziose eliche!!
Lo scenario è mozzafiato, nonostante (o forse proprio per questo) la luce non sia delle migliori. Il cielo, totalmente coperto, dà alla parete di ghiaccio che si getta in mare un’atmosfera tetra, resa ancora più forte dal rombo causato dalle continue fratture che si creano sul fronte. Improvvisamente un rumore assordante di una frana: un pezzo di parete enorme si stacca dal fronte e cade in mare. Un nuovo iceberg in navigazione per la laguna.
Questa mattina, dopo il consueto collegamento con l’Armanda, alle 09:00 ci siamo sintonizzati sulla frequenza 8.164 Hkz USB dove abbiamo saputo trasmettere il Patagonian Net, un network radio che trasmette giornalmente a quest’ora con l’obbiettivo di fornire supporto metereologico e logistico alle imbarcazioni da diporto in navigazione in Patagonia, il tutto ovviamente basato sul volontariato. Le lingue ufficiali sono Inglese e Tedesco.
Lomo, il simpatico tedesco che in questo periodo gestisce il Network trasmettendo dall’Isola di Chiloè, apre il collegamento con il messaggio standard di benvenuto:
<<This is the Patagonian Net and today is 3 of September 2015>>
Poi chiama per nome le imbarcazioni che hanno partecipato alla sessione del giorno precedente per una breve conversazione:
<< Angelique II are you there? Good morning Giambattista, good morning Valentina good morning Ray. How are you today?>>
La seconda usuale domanda riguarda la posizione della imbarcazione ed il programma di navigazione della giornata. Si informa poi sulle condizioni meteo e chiede sempre se tutto è ok con l’imbarcazione. A questo punto la conversazione si sposta su qualsiasi tipo di argomento gli interlocutori decidono di scegliere e va avanti per qualche minuto, prima che Lomo saluti, dando appuntamento per il giorno seguente e avviando un’altra conversazione. Alla fine del collegamento con la stazione di terra, le imbarcazioni se lo desiderano possono usare la frequenza per comunicazioni ship to ship.
Laguna San Rafael si estende per circa 15 km sull’asse nord/sud e poco più di 11 su quello est/ovest. Il fronte del ghiacciaio si trova sula costa sud orientale.
Ma Laguna San Rafael si trova anche a soli 20 km dal Golfo de Pena, separata dall’Istmo de Ofqui.
Purtroppo la natura ha voluto che questi 20 km non fossero navigabili, per cui per tutte le imbarcazioni che attraversano i canali Patagonici che dallo stretto di Magellano giungono sino a Chiloè, sono costretti ad uscire in pieno Oceano affrontando il Golfo de Pena per raggiungere Bahia Darwin, riguadagnando così i Canali.
Gli Indigeni attraversavano l’Istmo di Ofqui , trainando le proprie canoe proprio per evitare il mare aperto e, in tempi più recenti, molti equipaggi sopravvissuti ai naufragi nel Golfo di Pena lo hanno attraversato a piedi.
Il primo sentiero venne tracciato da Chiloti alla fine dell’800, durante la corsa all’oro.
All’inizio del 900 il Governo Cileno decise di avviare i lavori per l’apertura di un Canale. Venne addirittura costruito un Hotel sulle sponde della laguna. Ma dopo circa 3 anni e mezzo di lavoro con modestissimi risultati ed altissimi costi sia monetari che in vite umane, il progetto venne definitivamente abbandonato. L’hotel restò aperto alcuni anni, per poi essere trasformato in alloggio del personale del Parco San Rafael che venne inaugurato alla fine degli anni 50. Purtroppo un incendio lo ha definitivamente distrutto negli anni 90.
Fuori pioviggina, ma non possiamo sprecare una giornata standocene in barca ai piedi di un ghiacciaio.
Il nostro amico Raul, fonte inesauribile di informazioni, ci ha detto che di fronte al nostro ancoraggio si trova una piccola pista di atterraggio da cui parte un sentiero che porta sino al fronte del ghiacciaio.
Indossiamo le nostre inseparabili cerate in PVC e ci avviamo. Lasciamo il dinghy al pontile da cui scopriamo partire un sentiero.
A circa un chilometro dal pontile incontriamo la pista di atterraggio, una lunga striscia di asfalto tra la fitta vegetazione che se non fosse per la presenza di una malinconica e sbiadita manica a vento, ricorderebbe più una delle tante strade che non portano da nessuna parte costruite in Italia con danaro pubblico.
Alla fine della pista, come indicatoci da Raul, parte un sentiero intagliato tra la vegetazione.
Piove in stile Novembre milanese. Una leggerissima ma persistente pioggerella che senza le nostre cerate ci avrebbe inzuppato sino al midollo nel giro di 1/2 ora.
A circa 1 ora di cammino dal dinghy incrociamo un piccolo chalet. Del fumo esce dal camino e della musica arriva alle nostre orecchie.
La porta è aperta: Buenos Dias?
Due ragazzi ci vengono incontro.
Sono Ricardo e Victor, Ranger del Parco San Rafael. Sono in servizio per due settimane e poi tornano a casa per una settimana di “descanso” (riposo). Sabato arriverà la nuova squadra e loro potranno rientrare a casa.
Ci confermano che il sentiero che stiamo seguendo porta sino ad un punto di osservazione, quasi al fianco del ghiacciaio e che, in funzione del nostro passo, ci vorranno ancora dalle 2 alle 3 ore di cammino!!
Domandiamo del Ghiacciaio e del tipo di turismo che arriva sin qui. Nonostante lavorino qui da soli 2 anni, hanno già potuto notare una significativa regressione del fronte del ghiacciaio.
Se il ghiacciaio regredisce, il turismo cresce in modo significativo.
Ci raccontano che un tempo arrivavano solo visitatori via terra, da un rifugio a circa 10 ore di cammino al di là del ghiaccio. Erano gruppi di 8/10 persone al massimo accompagnati da una guida.
Si fermavano per un paio di giorni, alloggiando nella guest house del parco (un tempo la costruzione andata distrutta dall’incendio, oggi una nuova baita a circa 1/2 di cammino dalla base dei Ranger).
Poi iniziarono ad arrivare i primi aerei, piccoli mono motore, da diverse parti della regione.
Successivamente fu il turno delle le prime imbarcazioni attrezzate per il charter che arrivavano per soggiornare un paio di giorni.
Oggi, durante la primavera e l’estate dei catamarani veloci partono da Chacabuco e in 5 ore sono nella Laguna dove, messi in acqua due grandi gommoni, iniziano a far spola tra il catamarano ed il ghiacciaio con orde di turisti, tutti rigorosamente forniti del loro giubbetto di salvataggio anulare.
Come se tutto ciò non bastasse, noi sappiamo che la mamma di Ray a Novembre salperà dall’Australia per una crociera intorno al mondo a bordo di una di quelle città galleggianti e una delle tappe è il Ghiacciaio San Rafael. Sarà la prima meganave da crociera ad addentrarsi nei canali Cileni. La strada è aperta!
Ci congediamo dai simpatici Ranger e proseguiamo la nostra marcia.
Seguiamo il sentiero che corre lungo la laguna per ancora 1 ora e ad un certo punto ci troviamo davanti ad un ponte in legno che attraversa un corso d’acqua. Ma il ponte a circa metà del guado è crollato.
A ben vedere, però, le condizioni generali del ponte lasciano pensare che sia inutilizzato da tempo. Deve necessariamente essere un percorso in disuso. Decidiamo di tornare indietro e cercare un sentiero che magari non abbiamo visto. 10 minuti più tardi siamo su un nuovo percorso, ma questa volta non corre lungo la costa, ma inizia ad arrampicarsi sulle pendici della montagna che più avanti crea la valle in cui si incunea il Ghiacciaio. Il sentiero diventa strettissimo, appena sufficiente per una persona e prosegue tra una vegetazione fittissima. Di tanto tanto incontriamo scale in legno e ponti laddove dislivello o il superamento di corsi d’aqqua o dirupi lo richiedono. Sia scale che ponti sono rivestiti da una rete tipo da pesca, per aumentare il grip del legno che con il tasso di umidità che c’è da queste parti, è minore di un pavimento in marmo appena incerato.Raggiungiamo la fine del percorso dopo circa due ore e mezza di cammino dalla base dei Ranger, una grande roccia piana a strapiombo sulla Laguna sulla quale è stata costruita una piccola pensilina in legno, larga a sufficienza per ospitare 3/4 escursionisti.
Siamo, a circa 300 metri dal fronte e da questa posizione il rombo del ghiacciaio in movimento è ancora più assordante. Peccato che continua a piovere, il cielo è coperto e la luce non è delle migliori, ma questa è la Patagonia e per cui siamo ugualmente ultrafelici.
Posted on Aug 29, 2015
August 18, 2015
Finally a day with no wind and no rain.
After some “home work” we decide to go ashore to do some shopping.
Chacabuco is a small town that is growing pusher by the port and of a of a large salmon fishery company.
It is located on the headland that divides Puerto Chacabuco with the lagoon where we are anchored.
The houses are tesi typical of the area, all built of wood and covered with sheets of corrugated aluminum. Very frugal but in return, very colorful.
But every single house in their own courtyard shows up a luxury pick up, an unmistakable sign of how in these area of the world you affirm your status symbol.
There are four small grocery stores and, as usual, we visit them all.
We buy bread and butter from Miguel, potatoes and avocados from Luis, cheese and dish detergent from Donna Adriana and lettuce and broccoli from Hector. In this way not only we choose the best, but we do not disappoint anyone.
In fact everyone here is already aware of our presence (los gringos del fate) they already and they are all extremely courteous.
Here they do to see many yachts and during low season, even tourists are scarce.
Around 15h we receive an email from Ray?!?! Ray sends email from Chile?!? Him with his dislike for technology?
He is informing us of being just landed at the airport of Balmaceda, to have an iPhone, and a Chilean phone number. This is really a scoop.
We call him on the phone;he is already on a bus taking him directly to Chacabuco. He also tells us that we can keep in touch via WhatsApp. What? Ray, WhatsApp? He must be kidding !!
We wait on the roadside, where the path leads to the beach at the head of the lagoon, hundred meters from our anchorage.
We spend the night on board in front of aperitifs, which as Ray tells us about his trip around the world in 90 days, becoming more and more substantial, culminating in chicken fajitas dressed with, peppers, guacamole and sauces to taste.
Outside is incredibly quiet and we struggle to tell about the severe weather conditions we faced up to now.
Tomorrow the forecast gives little rain and very little wind, High Tide will be at 09: 00h and so we decide to beach the boat to remove the propeller and see what to do.
August 19, 2015
By 09h the boat has already secured on the beach, the bow still floating, but aft graze the bottom with the plates at the base of our keels.
We released our spare anchor from the stern, entrusting the issue to Vale. I at the helm and Ray in the water to check the "beaching" within my dry suit.
Now we just have to wait for low tide around 13:00h in order to more easily access and remove the propeller.
Unfortunately we are in a phase of the month in which the excursion of the tide is at its lowest, so despite low tide the propeller is covered with a few centimeters of water.
Once having taken apart the propeller from its shaft, we take it inside the boat, to be opened and so accessing its internal mechanism.
We film all the dismantling process, so as to keep track of the various steps and especially the tightening of the different components.
In reality, the task is easier than expected, almost banal.
Unfortunately, once we opened we realize that different sprockets are damaged, but more importantly one of the three blades is blocked and do not change her pitch, and being connected to all the other lades, this is the reason why the propeller is just pushing the boat forward.
We should try to extract the sprocket of this blade by its hub.
We try it with a rubber hammer and with a puller, but without any success.
Our friend Raul of Puerto Montt has recommended a close friend here in Puerto Chacabuco, Mr.. Jatton running an excellent workshop.
Tomorrow we will look for it.
August 20, 2015
By 09h we visit Luis Jaton, a sympathetic and reassuring big man. Just mentioned Raul’s name and if possible, he turns even nicer than he already his.
We mention our problem and show the damaged blade.
Unfortunately, also Luis with all his skills and the help of its hydraulic press can’t separate the sprocket from its hub.
For days, I have been trying to contact the manufacturer, but it is mid August and no one answers.
I ask Luis if is there any possibility to find and fit a propeller to my shaft.
He disappears in one of the secret rooms of his workshop from where he reappears few minutes later with a propeller in his hands.
Its a 3 blades propeller but 2 of them could not definitively compete for the world record of fluid dynamics, but compared to the efficiency of our propeller right now, this is like having a offshore racing boat propeller.
He measures the cone of the propeller and compare it with the cone of our propeller.
A genuine, contagious, liberating smile comes from his big face: estas bien!
We must now try to mount it and see how secure it to our shaft, but ….. it is already high tide!!
Luis will meet us tomorrow at 13:30 on board.
August 21, 2015
As precise as a Swiss watch Luis shows up 13:30 o'clock on board of his flaming pick up.
We tight the dinghy alongside our port hull so he can dive his big hands on our shaft and with a caliper he takes some measurements.
Half an hour later we are back in his workshop. A 36mm bronze bar sits on his lathe and he makes out of it two nuts.
One will be used to secure the propeller to the shaft, the second will act as a locknut.
Me and Ray go back to the boat try to finally fix the new propeller to our shaft, but the new nuts are struggling to be screwed.
Ray runs back to the workshop. The nuts are made out of bronze, while the shaft is in stainless steel, material extremely harder than bronze, so Luis’s choice was to make a thread slightly steeper than necessary, perhaps too much.
Corrected the tolerance, Ray return to the boat and we try again.
This time the nut is screwed, though with the support of a huge wrench which we use to tighten the turnbuckles of the stays, but there arises a new problem.
After tightening the first nut there is not enough room left for the locknut.
Meanwhile is already High Tide and we have to postpone any further action to tomorrow.
August 22, 2015
By 09h we are at Luis workshop were in few minutes he solve the problem by reducing the thickness of both nuts.
But we have to wait till low tide, before attempting again.
As soon as the tide allows I dive again and easily screw inn the 2 nuts. The propeller is secured but to test it we have to wait until tomorrow. The high tide will come back only in the dark and I do not want to venture into this maneuver without knowing if the propeller works.
August 23, 2015
We well prepare the maneuver so that everybody knows what to do. It is blowing again 22 knots of wind and it comes from our port stern.
I expect the wind, will pus hard us once the ropes securing as ashore will be released.
Downwind we have a half sunk metal pontoon which would not contribute to the aesthetics of my hull sure if we will touch it.
We try, but as soon as we slack the lines ashore the boat starts dangerously drifting toward the pontoon.
Vale, who no longer need orders or even suggestions, jumps to port side winch where she starts recovering the upwind stern line as a consummate America's Cup grinder .
Meanwhile Ray turns himself into Hulk, jumps on the pontoon and pushes the boat thus preventing she hits the wrecked pontoon.
Saint Don Miguel, the friendly Chilean living in the house on the beach right in front of our boat, who was apparently monitoring our operation, understood the things were turning for the worst, so he also jumps on the beach the smartly trough another shore line which I pick and start recovering.
Angelique slowly goes back to her original position. Nearly there !!
We decide to enjoy our Sunday's try again tomorrow ....... Wind allowing.
So we pay a visit to Donna Margarita who runs a small restaurant with good Wi-Fi, which we experienced few days ago.
Being Sunday the kitchen is partially open, so they "only" serve excellent empanadas.
Aug. 24, 2015.
By 8:00 am we have enough water under us to try again and, above all, there is no wind. .
This time in 10 minutes we are already anchored a few hundred meters from the beach and, more importantly, the propeller seems to work very well.
We call again by phone the manufacturer of our propeller, which finally answer.
We talk with a courteous technician who confirms what we feared. We can not remove the pinion from the hub of the blade. Simply we do not have the necessary tools that they have built especially for this operation.
We just have to ship everything to Italy.
We prepare a package and run to Chile Express office, the Chilean courier we noticed on the main street of Chacabuco.
The employee half amused and half bewildered tells us that we need to visit their office in Cojaique, 70 km from Aysen !! Only there they manage international shipments.
Our tireless Ray encourages us to try.
We jump on a collective minibus to Aysen and one hour later we are on our way to Coyhaique.
The road sinuously cut through the valley, wedging between the peaks overhanging the river Aysen, itself is worth this unforeseen detour.
The river banks offer verdant pastures for horses, cows and guanacos, many guanacos. The few buildings we see are ranches, farms, all made of wood and beautifully maintained, a clear sign that here rural economy is still worth something.
Coyhaique is a fast growing city thanks to the presence of industries for the processing of wood and tourism.
From here starts many excursions to the Cordillera, to Laguna San Rafael, and some ski resorts. We arrived for lunch time and the Chile EXExpres office is closed. Excellent opportunity to test the local empanadas which we buy from Lucia, a nice young Chilean preparing them on he cart.
By 15h we ship the propeller and we are told us that in 5 working days will 5 working days it will be at the destination.
Now we have to find a way to make it back home. Does anybody volunteer?
In the evening we are back in the boat and at dinner we comment the unexpected and pleasant trip to Coyhaique. Among other things, the small town is "only" about seventy kilometers from Balmaceda, the Chilean airport that serves this region which we know not being far from the Argentinian border. We check on Google Map and find that it is actually ”on" the border with Argentina.
Our interest derives from the fact that the Chilean visa lasts 90 days. Myself and the Vale enter Chile in early July, so ours VISA will expire in early October, most probably before we get to Puerto Natales, our next stop in civilization. If that this is the case we would be subject to a fine.
So we decided to reach the border, enter Argentina and return immediately to Chile with a new valid visa for another 90 days.
Aug. 25, 2015
At dawn (08:30) we are already on our way to Aysen and after about 1/2 hour we are already on a bus to Coyhaique. From there we shall take a bus to Balmaceda where we should arrive at 13:30.
The airport is located on a large desolated plateau. There are only few houses, the only ones that we have seen since leaving Coyhaique.
The border is one hundred meters away.
We enter the the custom office where a zealous agent of the immigration police welcome us.
At first he does not understand. We walk in a immigration office, in the middle of nowhere getting there by foot, with no luggage beside a small backpack.
In our well-educated Spanish we try to explain our need.
It responds, seraphically: but this is illegal !!!
I try again: no look, we are here in order not to commit anything illegal. We will be sailing to Puerto Natales in a few days, where we hope to arrive in mid-October when our VISA will be already expired. That is why we have to come all the way to here. We cross the border, we come to Argentina and we return to Chile.
All unleashing two angelic smiles.
And he seraphically questions: how are you going to get to the border of Argentina, is more than 5 km away?
Evidently the look that me and Vale we exchanged must have been totally lost.
So he addresses to one of the two men behind us, waiting to be received. Can you can drive this couple to the border with Argentina?
Few minutes later we are on a minibus with Ricardo.
With his van Ricardo is carrying people around the region and in particular today he is here to drive from the Argentinian to the Chilean border a Chilean technician who works in a mine about 200 kilometers away in the Argentine territory.
Arrived to the border he takes to an office where we are welcomed by a funny customs officer.
We explain again our problem, assuring however that Argentina is in our future travel plans and that we will be in Ushuaia for the end of year and then up to Buenos Aires.
When looking our passports he understands that we are Italian, he asks: what do think of Maradona?
Now many of you know that I do not understand anything about football, but Maradona is like Michael Schumacher. Any Italian should be able to put together two words on Maradona. Thus I begin to praise San Maradona, of how good he was, how he loved his team and his fans, etc.
Meanwhile the Maradona fun clubs gets 2 new members, 2 young officers of the immigration police, who amiably stamp our passports and ask about of our trip.
Wishing us to "disfruttar el viaje" they greet us with warm handshakes as we move towards the Ricardo’s border car which will drive us back to the Chilean border.
We feel I to point out that Ricardo, regardless the fact he is a taxi driver, he did not ask anything for the "service" he provided us.
The friendly Chilean immigration officer was waiting for us with amused interest as he stamps 2 shiny new VISA on our passports rewarding our indisputable audacity.
Posted on Aug 23, 2015
August 5, 2015
Today we finally set sail from Huelmo (P.to Montt). On the pier, to give up our lines, Hector and Tita the owners of the small marina which has hosted us in the last months. Other special people, as is increasingly the case, we happen to meet on our way.
In this period spent in their marina, we were treated like we were family. Countles cares, every day a special occasion to have lunch or dinner with them, or even with the whole family, like when we were invited to the baptism of their nephew.
Special people like Raul, an experienced sailor of the region, which for years has supported with his boat international scientific expeditions throughout Patagonia. We met him on the day of our arrival in Puerto Montt and since then he did miss a day calling us and offering his help.
I lost count of the number of times he came to pick us up to Huelmo, which is 25 km from Puerto Montt, or as often he has offered to buy spare parts in the city and get them till Huelmo. Without considering the treasures that gave us trough his tales. Tales of sea, of Courageous Captains, of mysterious disappearances of entire crews with alleged loads of gold. Of fantastic bays, of cemeteries for whales, of islands made entirely out of marble. Enough to write a book.
Our destination is Estero Cahuelmo, a small secondary fjord of Estero Comau that we could not visit in April and that everyone suggested not to lose.
We left the marina with 10/13 knots of wind which allow us to put ashore the only Gennaker reaching an average of 7 knots.
Around 17h we had already covered 36 miles and we are abeam of Estero Bonito, a small but well-protected harbor, where we decide to stop for the night.
August 6, 2015
At dawn (8:30 am !!) we continue our sailing to Cahuelmo, a three miles fiord which end up on the delta of a river that born a few miles upstream from a small lake in the Cordillera.
Waters are very deep and only few meters from the coast they reach acceptable depths for anchoring. For this reason it is very important to tie up at least two ropes ashore thus not allowing the boat to swing on her anchor and loosing the grip because of increasing depth.
We anchored in 25 meters of water about ten meters from the coast, on the northern shore of the fjord, ensuring the mooring with two lines ashore.
In the afternoon, we put the dinghy in the water, and we approached the river. 1 mile upstream we should find a path that leads up to a lake. Unfortunately we realize to be full low tide and the river was not navigable. We than decided to go back on board, although accompanied by a noisy family of seals.
August 7, 2015
The next day we woke up with a shyining sun and so we decided to take advantage of this rare condition enjoying the natural springs of Cahuelmo.
Right on the south bank of the river delta, we notice an area from which rises what might seem to be smoke, or rather, steam !!
We secured the dinghy we start walking. From the vegetation a small trickle of hot water slide down to the river through a large stone slab in which the time engraved (or someone has dug) three small pools, each with water at different temperatures, less warm as the water proceed downstream. The pools look towards the river delta and therefore the entire Fjord. We are alone and immersed in this wonderful spa bath, fascinated by the view overlooked by our pools, we release a little of the cold and moisture accumulated in this first winter in Patagonia.
August 8th, 2015
The idea was to set sail at 8:00, but again the tide surprised us. When we secured the lines ashore they were about 2 meters above sea level, this morning they were almost 1 meter underwater. So we had to wait for the tide to get down which occurred around 9:30.
Inside the fjord it was pretty calm, but already towards the exit I could see fringing waves on Estero Comau, a clear sign of pretty strong wind. So we hoist the mainsail with two reefs and in fact, just after having put our bow in Estero Cahuelmo, 27 knots of wind pushed us close hauled towards the tip of the Northern Peninsula of Huequi, where to head back to the Gulf of Ancud and continuing our journey toward south.
We were heading to Dalcahue, a village on the eastern coast of Chiloè. Every Sunday (tomorrow) in the early hours of the morning in the small port they organize a "feira" (market). It’s a market where you can find any type of products from food to crafts, clothing ("made in Chiloe") and people come from all over the island to sell or buy.
At about 11:00 we were near the Peninsula of Huequi and totally sheltered from the wind coming from NW. We decide to turn on the starboard engine which was running till one hour earlier but the engine wan’tl start, actually even the starter motor was not moving, a clear sign of an electrical problem.
So we run the port engine to overcome the Capethus catching a new wind, this time of just 16 knots which with 2 reefs on the main sail was still allowing us to proceed at about 7 knots.
The engine is practically new, completely redone. The problem is certainly electric and therefore I thought the problem has anything to do with the mechanical work we did in Puerto Montt, but ... .. what the Hell !!
I started checking the battery charge and was ok ('I just replaced the battery in Puerto Mont), checking battery connections and they were ok. So I begin to fear that the problem was on the starter. I decide to take it apart. After about 20 minutes the patient was on the table in the cockpit. I open it. It was very dirty, but windings, charcoals, gear all look ok. I took the opportunity to clean it with a deep brushed with gasoline and then greased with marine grease. 1 hour later it was again reassembled but the engine would not start.
You know this is a sailboat but the idea of venturing for months between fjords and channels with anchorage that require to get as much as possible near the coast to seek shelter from the wind, with only one engine properly working is not a great idea. So I decide to skip the visit to Dalcahue and to bow directly on Puerto Quellon , south of the island of Chiloè.
It is an important fishing center and last April I met a very nice electrical mechanic who fixed a pump water pump for us. But I would not travel at night, so we decided to stop in Muchuquè, a small island with a super protected bay.
Around 16:30 we were less than two miles from the entrance of the bay of Muchuquè.
We turn on the port engine and prepare to take down the mainsail.
We still have 17/18 knots of wind, always close hauledl.
We are on the deck, ready to tension the lazy bag when ....... buff, buff, buf, bu, b ... .. the port engine goes off.
We are now almost half a mile from the coast proceeding at 6 knots. Valeeeeeeeeee let’s taaaackkkkkkk .
We run in the cockpit and with the skill of a seasoned crew of the America's Cup in just one minute we are on the new tack, moving away from the coast of Muchuque.
Without engines, unless absolutely necessary, I would avoid to slip in small bays where in addition to the problem of tack and put the bow into the wind must also consider the current accompanying the alternation of high and low tide.
So we decide to sail to Quellon which has a large bay and especially a relatively easy access. The forecast gives good wind up to 7/8 am tomorrow morning and then a day of very light winds, just the perfect conditions for us.
We just have to be careful to get trough the Desertores Islands. Because of the wind angle we will need consecutive tacks.
Having set the auto pilot on a 40 ° angle to the wind, Vale take the watch and I dive myself into the engine room.
It is clearly a fuel problem and having all the fuel tanks full, the problem must be linked to a malfunction of the pump or impurities. I changed all the filters before leaving Puerto Montt, but I do not exclude that moisture condensation has been generated in the tanks !!.
So I do the first check on the fuel pump and luckily it works perfectly. There is no fuel getting to the pump. It is definitively an issue related with impurities and I will need to clean the entire system, all pipes and filters ranging from tanks to the fuel pump.
In the meantime it was already 20h, it started raining and getting colder. We decide to prepare us something warm, get some rest and get back on duty in few hours.
However we still have to solve this mess before reaching Quellon. It would be better to access to the bay with the availability of the motor. We will arrive in lite wind conditions with a current going against us.
A nice hot soup and a nice cigarette, enjoyed in the warmth of our heating system put me back in a good mood and by 10h I’m back in the engine room.
I come out at around 02h am, with the engine puffing buff, buff again.
Meanwhile, the rain have stopped, the wind dropped to 15 knots and we saling close aule at about 7 knots.
Vale is finally resting. I stay on watch.
The only boats we have crossed are either cargo or fishing boats and behavior at sea is impeccable, with the utmost respect not only for the rules but also with a respectable etiquette. For example the boats with favorable current, besides the right of water, if necessary give way to vessels which proceed against the current. If course are supposed to be convegni you always contact on VHF channel 16 and the conversations are always extremely friendly and make you feel less alone. You know that at sea, on that night, here at the end of the world, there is someone like you at sea.
To us it happens to be contacted.
Vessel: << Imbarcation Estrella Austral llama velero con rumbo Sur en el Canal Apiao, me recibe, cambio?>>
Angelique: << Hola esto es el Velero Angelique II, adelante, cambio>>
Vessel: << Buenas noche Capitan, la llamo por seguridad de rumbo. Estas bien por ustedes si mantenemos rojo con rojo, cambio?>> (He is refering to the keeping a course that will take the two vessel to pass each other on the port side, characterized at night by a red light)
Angelique: << Para mi es perfecto. Muchísima gracias. Cambio>>
Vessel: <<Recibido, Mucha gracias a usted Capitan. Buenas Noche y buena navigation. Vuelvo en escucha en el Canal 16>>
As stated in the forecast, at 8h am the wind dropped to5 knots. The dawn announces a sunny morning, and I enjoy the buff, buff my port engine that pushes me through the channel between Chiloe and Cailin, giving access to the large bay of Puerto Quellon where we anchor at 12:30h.
Posted on May 16, 2015
Our first month in Patagonia has proved to be much better than our, already high, expectations. Here everything looks amazingly different. Chiloe' the second largest Island of Chile and door of Patagonia is a coffer full of treasures. Chiloe' has more than 1.000 wooden churches, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The small islands between Chiloe' and the continent are a maze of old stories, tales and mith which could be more persuasive than Maga Circe with Ulysses in Keeping you here for ever. The continental coast is a maze of green fiords where thousands torrents find their way to the sea. For more stories on Patagonia click on the "next" button at the bottom of the page.
Enjoy our video here.
Posted on Mar 19, 2015
The island of Chiloe and more precisely Puerto Quellon, our port of landing after 2000 miles across the South Pacific, is located at 43 ° 07 'S and 73 ° 37'W, 300 miles south of the imaginary border of the Roaring Forties,
This is the story of our journey towards the fateful Forties, as extracted from our logbook.
WP (WAY PONIT) BOCA DEL GUAFO 43°27’S/74°27’W.
DTW (DISTANCE TO WAY POINT) 1.954 NM.
* Our journey begins at 11:00 am on 27 Frebbraio, so the first day of sailing will end at 11:00 of February 28 and so for the days to follow.
** After hours annotation note, I report a negative number steadily increasing. They are the nautical miles separating us from Boca del Guafo, a close in the far south of the island of Chiloe through which you access the Gulf of Corcovado and from there to Puerto Quellon. While it is not our final destination, it is important for me to constantly monitor the distance and estimated time of arrival. Boca Guafo is crossed by strong currents due to the tide which, in certain days, reaches up to 8 meters over six hours. For this reason it is essential to carefully plan the transition, so that the wind and tide going in the same direction, otherwise you run the risk of encountering pretty dangerous conditions.
*** Our route in Degrees Compass
**** Our average speed in knots (1 knot = 1 nautical mile = 1,852 meters)
***** Every 24 hours from the time of our departure, I log the miles traveled in the last 24 hours. These are not the miles ran above the water neither on the ground, but those ran toward our destination. When we are forced to tack because the wind does not allow us a direct route, the miles done both on the water and on the bottom are always more than those made towards the goal.
11:00h. -1.954**. 160°***. 6kn***. I'm leaving Hanga Roa with a strange feeling.It is like those moments when the taxi which will take you to the airport leaves while you are waving to a dear friend who lives far away which you visit after many years and in your heart you know you probably will not see him again. Maybe we should have stayed longer, but autumn is pressing and is waiting for us: Iorana Rapa Nui.
A breeze from NW around 10 knots, accompanies us while we pass over Matu Kao Kao, the small island where, in the rite of Tangata Manu (man bird), was conquered the first egg laid by Gaviotin.
15:15h -1.931. 118°. 4kn. The wind has left us (as expected) and will not return for the next 48 hours, so full trottle on our engne.
11:00h. -1.837. 125°. 4kn. 117/24h*****. Only 117 miles in the first 24 hours. We are not used to these averages, but with only one engine and just 1,800 rpm, you can not do better.
22:50h. -1.770. 118°. 4kn. Wonderful day, warm with a clear sky and a sea of deep blue. I prepared a Focaccia Pugliese with potatoes, black olives and baked onion, spectacular. We continue to motor.
01 March Added one hours of the boat watch to get closer to the time of continental Chile (+ 2h compared to Rapa Nui)
12:00h. -1.712. 118°. 4kn. 125/24h. A few more miles in the last 24h, but still very far from our usual avarage. Patagonia seems really far away today.
15:30h. -1.695. 140°. 6kn. Finally a bit of wind (13 knots of real-NW). Off the engine. Full mainsail and Gennacher.
19:00h. -1.682. 157°. 6.5kn. Wind backed to E / SE, 11 knots real. Mainsail and full genoa, rudder to 45 ° to the wind.
09:10h. -1611. 164°. 7.5kn. The wind freshens to 18 knots true, we gave one reef in the mainsail and reduced the Genoa to 110%.09:45h. 164°. 7.5kn. The wind freshens to 20 knots real from SE. Let's take a second reef in the mainsail.
12:00h. -1595. 164°. 6kn. 117/24h. Still very little miles sailed towards our goal, but we could not follow our ideal course.
18:40h. -1.561. 165°. 7.5kn. Wind drops to 16 knots of real, we fly again full mainsail.
07:40. -1.508. 122°. 4kn. Wind collapses again and turn on the engine.
11:00. -1.494. 110° 4kn. Finally engine off. The wind rose to 5 knots real and with an angle of 45 ° to the wind we have can reach the same speed sailing. Moreover, we have to start thinking about the fuel consumption. We have already consumed 1.5 tanks of 4 available and we have to leave a safety margin for the enginesì as well as think about the daily consumption of thr generator and, possibly, heating.
12:00h. -1.488. 122°. 4kn. 107/24h. Still too few miles.
17:50h. -1.455. 110°. 7kn. Finally some breeze. 10 knots of real wind and we develop 7kn of speed, not bad.
23:30h. -1.421. 110°. 6kn. Spectacular day, light wind, but steady, long wave and lots of sun. Proper conditions for some maintenance. We fixed some of the seams in the cockpit awning, replace the seals of all the hatches. Now it's raining and it is pitch black. For tomorrow we expect a reinforcement of the wind up to force 6/7. There are still 6 degrees latitude (600 miles) to the Roaring Forties, but the temperature has already fallen.
11:00h. -1.399. 122°. 8kn. Wind freshened to 28 knots real. We proceed on a reach with two reefs in the mainsail and genoa 80%. Leaden sky and sea that starts to get big!
12:00h. -1.340. 122° 7.5kn. 167/24h. A little better, the daily average, I start feeling I can make the grossing in 15 days. According to the Armada de Chile in Easter Island (the Chilean Navy), the average sailing time up to Chiloe for a sailboat is 21 days. Surely an ambitious goal.
14:20h. -1.322. 95°. 7kn. The wind dropped to 15 knots real and turned south. We proceed to windward at 45 ° with full Genoa and one reef in the mainsail.
Continuous rain squalls follow, each generating instability in the wind. Before the front arrives the wind strengthens and normally rotates clockwise, then with the arrival of the rain the wind drops significantly, then return to the previous conditions of strength and direction. The more we go south, the closer we get to the 40th and more the colors of bad weather at sea are different from those that I have experienced so far. Here gray is the dominant and sea and sky are the same shade, merging on the horizon.
00:00h. -1290. 85°. 7kn. No progress towards our destination. The wind is refreshed but, with the help of a current of about 2 knots from S/SE we are throwed back. In the last five hours we have progressed towards Boca del Guafo only eight miles while we have sailed over 30 !!
01:30h. -1283. 60°. 6kn. Wind refreshed at 25 knots real. For a more relaxant night I decide to take twoo reefings to the mainsail and to reduce the Genoa to 100%. But in the last 10 hours we have lost 7 'latitude, ie instead of advancing towards our goal we lost almost 7 miles!
04:40h. -1278. 124°. 4. I veered out of desperation, at least now we advance towards south, but forced to a close-hauled 35° thus developing little speed.
07:30h. -1269. 123°. 3.5kn. 97/24h. The wind finally collapsed leaving us with a big sea which slows us down even with the engine running. Perfect closing of a day in which we recorded one of the worst averages in the history of The Lifetime Cruise. Only 97 miles in 24 hours toward our destination (136 on the water).
19:25h. -1298. 85° 5.5kn. Wind from south 10 knots real. We proceed with full mainsail and genoa. The squalls continue.
12:00h. -1.260. 122°. 8kn. 80/24h. Our worst performance ever. We sailed for more than 140 miles in the last 24 hours but only half are useful to toward Boca del Guafo. Sigh!
15:30h. -1241. 123°. 5.5kn. Waiting for the wind. This day turned out to be warm and quiet, perfect conditions for some other maintenance. Still some minor surgery to our bimini top (we treated with silicone all seams made a few days ago which had shown little resistance to water during the squalls of the last hours) and we disassembled, cleaned and stowed all sun covers. I also found the time to prepare three pizzas with tuna, onion and capers. We expect a reinforcement to F4 in the evening, up to F7/8 for the night, but coming from the 1st / 4th quadrant leaves me pretty quiet.
19:10h. -1.212. 123°. 7KN. The wind has finally arrived. We have 17/18 knots true wind from NW that allows us to stay on course. The only problem is that having the wind practically at 180°, finding the right tuning of sails is not easy. Eventually, after several tests, the solution was mainsail on starboard tack and Gennacher with tangoon spinnaker pole on the left, the classic "butterfly". We are not fast, it would probably be more effective a closer angle to the wind so to increase the apparent wind and therefore the speed. This would, however, take us away from our ideal course and I'm psychologically tired to sail miles and not have decreasing the magic number that indicates the distance from our next WP. It 's like when you have to bet whether to take a speedway, that promises you faster but longer run, or a standard highway, slower but shorter. You choose choose the speedway and then you find yourself in an endless queue bottled that wrecks the hourly average on which you had wagered. Well today I choose the "highway"
23:00h. -1.194. 123°. 8kn. Barometer is falling. -3mb In 4 hours and - 7mb in the last 14. The wind freshened to 22/25 knots real, always NW. For the moment we maintain full mainsail but we have the Genoa instead of the Gennacher, always with tangoon. Hopefully no further reinforcements because , for the time being we are fastand in absolute comfort.
02:00h. -1.171. 122°. 9kn. Wind refreshes again and burst under us now to over 28 knots. I had already given a first reefing to the mainsail and I just gave the second and also reduced the genoa to 100% always with tangoon. Angelique II has shown a tendency to go towords the wind, so I decided to reduce sail aft and to leave power in the bow. In general, however, the comfort on board is very good. Only the vibrations and the roar of the wind remind us, we are sailing with peaks in excess of 11 knots. The new cover that closes the cockpit, made in Guatemala on my design is proving to be the most useful tools of this first voyage to the South. Protected here in the cockpit I have full 360 ° visibility and are totally sheltered from the wind and sea which, in these situations, really makes the difference.
06:30h. -1.138. 122°. 8kn. The wind has made a jump of more than 90 ° in less than a minute. Fortunately the pilot was set to the wind and the alarm woke me up. We had thegenoa with a tangoon!! Over 1/2 hour of work to disarm it and put it on its stand to at the mast step. The rest of the Crew is sleeping and I did not want to wake them up. We travel to the beam with about 25/27 knots of wind, three reefs in the mainsail and genoa to 60% and we peaks 10 knots. What a boat!
10:30h. -1.111. 122°. 8kn. The wind has dropped and turned to W. One reef in the mainsail and genoa 100%.
11:00h. When we gave the first reefing to the Main Sail, Ray did not realize that the back snatch at the mast step was not in his natural position, so the reefing line was working on the face of the snatch instead on the appropriate roll. So, in the end, the reefing line was cut !! We gave the second reefing, but we'll have to think about how to replace it.
12:00h-1.103. 122°. 8kn. 157/24h. Given the history of this crossing I'm very happy with the yesterday average. We hope to continue like this.
15:30. -1.079. 121°. 6kn. Contrary to expectations the wind reinforced and turned to NW. Again Main sail on starboard tack and Genoa with spinnaker pole on the left.
21:05h. -1.042. 121° 7kn. For the night two reefs in the mainsail and genoa 110% same walls. We hope to rest.
ore 10:30. -1.111. 122°. 8kn. The wind has dropped and turned to W. One reef in the mainsail and genoa 100%.
7:30h. -968, 120°. 7.5kn. Quiet night. The radar woke me up only 2 times for the usual, harmless, squalls.
10:15h. -949. 120°. 8.5kn. Today I want to run serious miles. We are going to fly all sails we have.
12:00h. -941. 120°. 8.5kn. 162/24h. Even today good performance. Our goal gets closer.
ore 13:45. -919. 120° 8kn. Excellent speed over the groud, with an average of 9 knots, While I pamper my crew with a tasteful Focaccia Pugliese with onion.
15:30h. -909. 100°. 4.5kn. The wind, as expected collapsed. We put ashore the Gennacher instead of Genoa but with an angle to the wind of 60/70 ° performances are the same. Until tomorrow it will rwmain like this.
22:45h. -875. 160°. 3.5kn. We proceed with 6 knots of apparent wind, pretty much what we develop. We can not start the engines. We have to be careful with our Diesel consumption.
08 March A second hour added to our boat clock. Now we're on the same time zone of Chile Continental.
11:50h. -816. 118°. 8.5kn. Finally, the wind is back. Now we will try to make as much road as possible because in the evening we expect force 8/9
12:05h: The Warrior after post watch nap.
13:00h—808. 118°. 8.5kn. 133/24h. Given that for 3/4 of the day we wandered the South Pacific to the average of 4 nodes in search of the wind, the result is still acceptable. But the race against myself gets more and more difficult.
15:00h. -795. 118°. 8kn. Wind raise and barometer falls. Wind gusts of 40 knots. We proceed to the large slack, two reefs in the mainsail and genoa 100%
16:45h. -783, 118° 7kn. We gave the third reefs to the main sail, sacrificing speed to safety. I am always surprised by my ability to never be satisfied. I decided to reduce the sail for a greater margin of safety and now I complain for having lost 1 knot of speed. What a fool. On the other hand even with force 7, comfort on board remains high as testified by the freshly baked "pane alle olive nere"!!
20:05h. -758. 117. 7kn. The wind is now constantly over 40 knots. We keep an angle of around 120 degrees to the wind. The waves begin to shatter and to gain respect. I reduced the genoa to 60%, while the mainsail is still on with its 3 reefs. The autopilot behaves very well, undoubtly the best crew member. It is constantly at work, does not complain and consumes very little. The comfort on board is still surprisingly high. We watch a documentary on Marilyn Monroe.
02:05h. -722. 130°. 8.5kn. New Eve style night, all awake. The wind continues about 40 knots, but the waves are now 5/6 meters and begins to shatter. Sailing abeam, occasionally, fringes on the side of the boat and the Holy awning avoids unwanted showers. We are in the cockpit really away from everything and the storm out there seems less threatening. I decided leave sea and wind to our aft for a more comfortable and above all safe run. With Ray we went to tie the Lazy Bag (canvas that collects the sail when lowered) that was disintegrating under the whipping wind. Once fixed the lazy bag I remain few minutes at the mast step, enchanted by the immense spectacle that was on stage in front of our bows. The full moon shone in daylight crashing giant waves of a metallic gray, foaming crossing our bows. All this did not generate any sense of apprehension or fear, on the contrary joy perhaps, with a hint of childish irresponsibility, the prelude of a dream that lasted a lifetime.
03:30h. -714. 155°. 6kn. In the last 10 minutes the wind has remained consistently above 50 knots and gusting much higher with a bit of 65,7kn !! Too much for our reefed mainsail. The boat under burst broach dangerously exposing the sides to the breaking waves which are now really high and completely engulfs the moon. We pulled down the mainsail completely and to tie it to the boom we hade to turn in trapeze and jugglers. Now with a small sail (the genoa to 30%), we have reduced the speed to just over 6 knots, the boat does not broach anymore and navigation is once again absolutely comfortable. The storm should pass but do not know exactly when.We download forecasts with an interval of 12 hours (I could also have them with an interval of 3 hours, but the file would weigh more greatly and data traffic costs almost as much as gold), so I just know that for 15 hours: 00 today we should have a F5. We'll see.
07:49h. This is the dawn, but the sun and the horizon were swallowed up by the mountain of water that lies ahead
13:00h. -660. 115°. 7kn. 148/24h. The miles traveled are not many, but considering what we experienced in the last 24h we are really satisfied. In these moments I also put aside the silly challenge against myself. The night passed with winds between 45 and 50 knots and a huge sea. I'm happy because the boat performed excellently, always safe and with a level of comfort on board that I never imagined in these conditions. Observing the crew seems more intrigued by the new experience that worried. Viva Angelique II.
15:05h. -639. 114°. 7kn.The wind is still about 40 knots and we still proceed with the genoa only 40% but again on course. We still have to wait. I have to rest sometime. This night the watch shift should be on Vale, but even if it was up to Ray, with these conditions I would not feel comfortable to go to sleep. I 'll try to take a nap in the lounge.
20:35h. -607. 120°. 7kn. The wind has finally dropped to 25 knots of real NW. We proceed with the mainsail reefed with two hands and the genoa 100%. The sea is still very big, but the wave has stopped breaking. In return, still a fabulous sunset. The colors of the Roaring 40 are extreme as its winds and the sea.
23:45h. -584. 118°, 6.5kn. We just passed the 40 ° south latitude, we are in the Roaring Forties. We celebrate with a chocolate cake and a nice cup of tea. In return Eolo rewards us with a wind down to 18 knots which we face with full Main sail and Genoa to 110%. As expected I'll say on watch instead Vale, but I really hope to sleep few hours.
04:50h. -556. 114°. 5kn. The wind dropped to only 11 knots real which with our course 120 ° to the wind turn into just 8 knots of apparent wind. I replaced the genoa with the gennacher . It's cold outside, I go to sleep.
ore 13:00. -515. 118°. 5kn. 145/24h. Still a good average in the last 24h.
ore 14:00. -505. 122°. 5kn. Clear sky and a sun that warms us from the cold and humidity of the last 48 hours. Dawn was uncertain, but then someone decided to send an extraordinary day. We proceed with butterfly sail, I still choose the "countryside" highway. I want to do less miles possible. At lunch I prepare a delicious "pasta che Saddi" (pasta with sardines) to the delight of myself and my crew.
ore 18:15. -484. 115°. 7.5kn. To conclude this wonderful day, Neptune sends us a nice tuna of about 15 kg. He obviously was aware that our diet was low in protein in the last days.
ore 20:55. -471. 130°. 3.5kn. The wind has dropped to just 8 knots real which with our course become 5 apparent. The mainsail covers the gennacher which tends to jibe, while the wave yet formed swings the boom causing strokes tugging on all the equipment. So I decided to take down the mainsail and use the spiunnaker poleon the gennacher. We lost one knot but we do not stress the rigging and, above all, my nervous system! In return another joint gift from Aeolus and Neptune: a fairytale sunset spotted by a vertical rainbow. Angelique II and his crew thank.
ore 08:00. -420. 110°.7kn. Quiet night, Ray was on guard and managed to get me some sleep without interruption, the first since we left Rapa Nui. The night went surfing downwind with only the gennacher on spinnaker pole, pushed by a gentle breeze around 12 knots real. Before sending Ray in the cot for a well deserved rest, we hoisted the mainsail. The wind has shifted to N a few degrees allowing a closer angle to the wind.
ore 10:20. -404. 110°.8kn. I had just sent Ray to rest and I was going to prepare a hearty breakfast with coffee and a cup of oatmeal with raisins and milk. Ijust filled the cup with oats and raisins when I heard a loud "BANG". The U bolt to which the leeward sheet of the mainsail is attached was gone because of the continuous tear suffered by the boom in the last hours due to the low pressure of the wind and to the long ocean wave. I secured the the boom directly to the stern davits with a piece of spare rope and start thinkig bout a solution. With a 8mm Dynema rope I realized two ties of 60 cm each, with spliced and sewn eyelets at both ends. Then, each tie was passed inside a rubber hose. So I made two bands (I safely also replaced the attack of the second sheet) wich went around the stern davits and to whch the two sheets blocks were attached.
Viable solution in 45 minutes of work.
Then I returned to my cup of oats with raisins waiting to be filled with milk. The coffee was cold so I to add it to the oats instead of having it in the traditional Italian small cofee cup.I opened the refrigerator to get the milk carton, when "BANG2" (this time less noisy). The upwind running back stay was wildly oscillating, bouncing between the bimini top and the cabin roof.
I found that the shackle ensuring the stay to its sheet inn mechanism was loosene. I made up a new shackle, secured the running back stay to its block, and firmly tensioned the entire rigging. I need to check all the rigging. I did it, as usual, before leaving Rapa Nui, but here in the Roaring Forties I guess it's up to do it every day.
I went back to the kitchen and I finally added the milk and coffee to my oats. I sat at the table in the living room and while I carried to the mouth the first bite of my much deserved breakfast from the window I noticed that the rope I used to secure the boom was had left on the deck of the port hull. The latter, annoyed for the outrage, was sneaking furtively towards the gunwale ready to jump into the water. So,I left the cup and full spoon on the table and I went outside to solve the issue with the rope
The spare ropes live normally stored in ort side hull frontpeak, all secured to a 6 mm steel cable. So I opened the locker and went down (the locker is 2.5 meters deep). Once reached the bottom a shock went through allover my body, running from the tip of my toes to the brain. My legs were immersed in water up to the calf! Consider that the locker in question (originally one of the two crew cabins) is 3.5 meters long and 60 cm wide on average. For which, by referring to some vague notion of geometry, 25 cm of water multiply by the volume of the locker, make about 530 liters!
My brain, fortunately survived the shock, immediately sent a message to the legs which started running towards the starboard hull fronpeak (the workshop). Meanwhile my hands fluttered in an incomprehensible rotary motion. Once in the workshop I understood that the hands were already trying to open a container with a big screw cap where I place a pump which is normally used to refuel the boat when, in the absence of gas stations in the dock, the fuel is delivered in barrels impossible to carry on board. At this point, having a clear design, I regained control of the situation. I recovered the hose we use to wash the boat, I left one end outboard end and the other was connected to the pump. It took me almost an hour to empty it completely. After draining the bilge, I found myself in front of the dismayed question: but where the hell did all this water come from?
These are the moments in which I always think the worst: a delamination of the hull; we bumped again a whale and we open a flaw; a seacocks was broken. Only to discover later that the cause of a near heart attack is simply nonsense.
In this case, the filter plug of the watermaker had slightly unscrewed and the pressure of seawater did the rest with the aggravating circumstance that the bilge pump did not work (which is still to be investigated).
So I closed the seacok valve and tightened the filter cap.
For the moment we do not need to start the water maler, we have enough drinking water.
So after about 1 hour and 15 minutes I went back in the living room. My cup of oats, raisins and milk were no longer that tasty look of 8am. I opted for two fried eggs with becon, two slices of toast with papaya jam made by the virtuous hands of my lady and a cup of steaming coffee.
Meanwhile Ray kept resting and Vale was trying to break her personal record of "most slept nights" !!
13:00h. -392. 109°. 8kn. 148/24 Not a bad average, but still many liles to go.
14:50h. -371. 109°. 9kn. Barometer again swoops, 6 millibars in 4,5 hours. We expect F7for the night, fortunately always N / NW. For now we enjoy a strong F6 with all the sails up which push us to an appreciable average of 9 knots. At lunch tuna steaks on the barbecuewith seasoned, tomato salad, green beans and red onion, all sprinkled with a good and,above all, cheap Chilean wine.
18:20h. -345. 105°. 7.5kn The barometer down 1mb more, I know it is going to be tuff. For the moment, the wind is about 20 knots real and we sail downwind with tfull sails.
23:40h. -303. 100°. 8kn. By now the wind remains F6, the reinforcement is foreseen for 3:00htomorrow. This evening we turned on for the first time the heating, only for 1 hour, just to give it a try. A system I mounted in Guatemala with the help of Ray. A Webasto 1050, which canheat the Costa Crociere. 50 meters of 1 inch rubber pipe distribute hot water to 6 radiators(one for each cabin plus two in the living room). Each radiator has a fan which is driven by athermostat located in each environment. To connect all these thermostats to the control unitof the system we had to draw 150 meters of electrical cables. One of the many huge worksdone to the interior of Angelique II, last summer. But this is another story.
10:00h. -223. 109°. 7kn. With 7 hours delay but it finally arrived. Its name is F7 is, comesstraight from the NW and runs at 28 knots. We have it in downwind. I therefore decided totake down the mainsail and to leave the job to the Genoa, still averaging 8 knots. Meanwhilethe sun came altough is still cold outside. In the leving room only 17°!
13:00h. -203. 109°. 7kn. 190/24h. Our best performance since the beginning of this journey(the record is 278 miles, I did with Ray in 2012 sailing from Cagliari to Ibiza). I start to believe that these poor daily averages are due to the characteristics of marine weather at these latitudes, there is always more "sea" than wind. If you want to be fast you have to be ready to give up on the side of safety. Now we have 22 knots of apparent wind (about 28 real) on a reach leg, suitable according to my traditional standard to one reef and full genoa. With this arrangement we should maintain an average of 11/12 knots, but surfing down these huge waves we would easely reach speeds around 16/18 knots and the boat woud tend to yaw and the autopilot would have hard time to put it back on course. We better stay on the safe side.
17:45h -170. 100°. 8kn. Wind dropped to 20 knots real, we proceed with an angle of 130 ° to the wind, about 10° west to our ideal course. But tomorrow we expect light winds, under 10kn. In this way we will find ourself in a better position to have an higher apparent wind. Wespotted the first 3 Albatros,. They are gigantic birds, with a wingspan that can reach up to 3meters. They remind me World War II B52, the bombers. It look like they even do not shaketheir wings, they keep going and glide, even in ascension. They are very elegant. The petrelsthat normally keep us company, compared to them resemble the fast and furious F16, alwaysin continuous evolution.
23:30h. -136. 105°. 5kn. The Wind fell again to 14 knots. I replaced the Gennacher to the Genoa but I do not want to pull up the mainsail. It's freezing cold outside, to hell with thechallenge, a hot tea and my sliping bed are waiting for me.
07:40h. -90. 105°. 5kn. A squall over 25 knots woke me up. We still had the Gennacherhoisted. 30 degrees downwind to discharge pressure from the sail and I rolled it andreplaced with the Genoa. Then the wind came back to his quiet 10 knots. Missing just 90 miles to Boca del Guafo: I'm still on game. It 's time to put hoist also the mainsail.
03:00h. -59. 117°. 5kn. 140/24h. The wind is still low and will remain so throughout the daybut my personal goal is getting closer. To the delight of my crew, we continued to alternategennacher and genoa for the entire morning. Today I chose to go the for "speedway", forwhich the pilot is set to the wind. We range between 100° and 90°, trying to privilege the speed. In this way, in spite of just 7 knots of wind, we maintain a VMG (Velocity Made Good -the speed of advance towards the Way Point) of 5 knots.
17:40h.-36. 125°. 6kn. We just spotted the first boat in 14 days and 2,000 miles of sea, a small fishing Chilean boat and while I'm writing writing Valentina screams EARTH; EARTH,is Isla Guafa that just 36 miles away, welcoming us.
20:00h. -25. 107°. 3.5kn. The wind has dropped to just 6 knots and is already a miracledevelop 3. I can not turn on the motors, Puerto Quellon, where we can fill up the dieasel tanks, is still 84 miles away and we have fuel just for 50 miles.
20:35h. -24. 107°.7kn A unexpected and welcomed thunderstorm brings enough wind toaverage 7 knots.
23:50h. 0. 94°. 4kn.
“Faro Guafo, Faro Guafo, Faro Guafo, dal Catamaran Angelique II, me recibe? Cambio.”
“Aqui Faro Guafo, a Catamaran, Canal 14”
“Faro Guafo por Catamaran”
“Faro Guafo esto es el Catamaran Angelique II, senal de llamada FOX, FOX, KILO, FOX, bandera Francesa con tres tripulantes, dos de nacionalidad Italiana e uno Australiano, en navigation da la Isla de Pascua con destino Puerto Qullon. Nuestra posición es 43° 27’.12 SUR e 074°23.35 OUESTE, cambio”
“Bienvenido Capitán, necesita algo? Cambio”
“Gracias por preguntar, todo esta bien, solo comunicar nuestra posición por las instrucciones recibida da la Armada de Chile en la Isla de Pascua, cambio”
“Gracias Capitán, cual es su ETA (ora prevista di arrivo) a Puerto Quellon? Cambio”
“ 13:00, 13:00 de la mañana, cambio”
“Recibido Capitan, vamos a informar L’Armada de Puerto Quellon. Buena navigation e volvemos en escucho sul Canal 16, cambio”
“Muchísima gracias e tenga una buena noche,vuelvo al canal 16.”
With this radio communication with the Lighthouse of Isla Guafo in 13 days, 10 hours and 50 minutes, we completed our first crossing of the South Pacific Ocean.
We are in the Roaring Forties, in Patagonia.
The Cruise to the End of the World has really began.