_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sailing the Beagle Channel

Ushuaia dog

Weeks of rubbing elbows and fenders with all the boats in urban Ushuaia made us ready to depart Argentina for Chile. We wrangled with “government bureaucracy” for the last two weeks of December and it was a relief to finally get underway again. Though we did have to haul the Argentine flag to the top of the mast to satisfy the Armada safety inspector before we were allowed to untie the lines!

Argentine flag

Had we been headed south, Peter would have lashed a lamb somewhere as a traditional way to carry meat into the deep-freeze climate in the south.

lamb for Antarctica

To Ginger's relief it isn't quite cold enough for “outdoor refrigeration” in the Beagle Channel so we had to settle for vacuum packed beef in the fridge. Lucky for the cows in Puerto Williams we left Ushuaia with more beef than one person should be able to eat in a month. In fact, we had so much Ginger even had to taste a few bites of it. She liked it....

Marcy Micalvi 3

We enjoyed our trip to Cape Horn and the quiet uninhabited islands around the cape.

Cape horn monument . marcy caleta martial

On our way back from Cape Horn we stopped at Puerto Toro and enjoyed a hike to an old cemetary.

Marcy at Puerto Toro dock

p toro cemetary

One more stop (required by Armada) for paperwork to travel from Puerto Williams to Puerto Natales and we were finally on our way west in the Beagle Channel. Our first couple of days were short hops between tiny anchorages barely out of the wind. Several times we anchored for a few hours and then carried on as the wind subsided.

caleta Olla

After entering the NW arm of the Beagle Channel our travels were rewarded by close up views of glaciers and waterfalls. It seemed almost like cheating to see these sights from the comfort of the cockpit without having to hike even a few feet.

Brazo Noroeste glacier

brazo Noroeste waterfalls

Noroeste glacier 2

We encountered our first floating ice soon enough and were lucky to have an unusual following wind as we sailed in to anchor near a glacier.

Seno Pio

After setting our anchor and shore line we decided to stay a couple of nights while the wind howled out in the canal. We took advantage of the great views from above our anchorage.

Cta Beaulieu

Peter explored the bay by dinghy.

Peter and Hootie cta beaulieu

For lighter winds the best time to travel in the canals seems to be early in the morning, so we rose before sunrise and headed west in the channel early one morning

Brazo Noroeste sunrise

Several anchorages along the route provided excellent opportunities for hiking as we enjoyed some sunny weather.

Peter cta lagunas . Ginger hiking patagonia

With the hilly terrain we were afforded many views of Marcy at anchor.

Marcy cta lagunas

Atracadero anchorage

One of the most unusual anchorages was Caleta Brecknok with steep rock walls and hanging lakes, one barely higher than sea level.

cta brecknock

Of course, after the sun.. comes the rain. We are in Patagonia for summer and the coldest winter we've seen on this trip has been summer in Patagonia!

setting 2nd anchor

It's great weather for ducks!

steamer ducks patagonia

So, we don our rubber boots and foulies and go hiking in the rain.

Peter Brecknok

copihue chilean national flower




At 1:28 PM, Blogger Ken and Susan said...

Excellent pics! Reminds me a bit of the Aleutians although we never had the option to tie a lamb carcass to the radar arch there. That is just awesome...now I understand why you guys went all the way down there.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger Don said...

Hi YOur getting a ways around the world. I noticed you do not have your position on the blog. I liked the position lat long so I could keep the tack in Google Earth where you are now. Are you out in the Pacific yet?


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