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

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Wind and Rain, Sun and Ice


We're in the rhythm of cruising the canals here in Chile. It's been cold, so we wore lots of clothes and kept the heater running day and night.

patagonia hail

It was usually blowing a gale the wrong way, so in the rare calms we motored north. Even more rarely we got to sail, to reach or run for half a day or so. Most of the time, we rode out the winds at anchor, explored the shore and kept warm down below.

windy anchorage magellan st

Ginger is very happy to use our radio capabilities, restored fully after our catastrophic radio failure in Namibia. She chats daily to the “Patagonia Net,” reports (en español!)to the Armada ships and shore stations, keeps up with emails, and downloads weather gribs and charts.

ginger deskwork

Using as much diesel as we were, made us glad to finally reach Puerto Natales, our first fuel stop. We felt like a big boat as we refueled directly from a tanker truck.

p natales refuel

After getting fuel, we anchored across the fiord to get a bit of protection from the wind. The view from the boat was magnificent.

p natales view

Beautiful black necked swans cruised by Marcy.

p natales swans

Interestingly, Puerto Natales is just outside the coastal rain belt, getting only a tenth of the rain that falls just a few miles away. Ginger was giddy with happiness as she peeled off the foulies she had lived in for weeks.

ahh sun

The terrain reminds us of Eastern Washington with dry hills and blue skies. It was good to dry out, but Ginger's weather information told us we needed to move on – a spell of high pressure promised good conditions for northbound travel. We set course for one of the many great glaciers that spill out into the channels. As we motored up the twenty mile long fiord, we passed groups of seals warming up in the classic “jug handle” pose and chunks of ice.

jug handle seals

Pio bergy bit

Dolphins seemed glad to see us and escorted us along.

dolphin escort

Seno Eyre dolphin escort

The skies kept clearing, and we began to see awesome peaks that had been hidden in the clouds.

Cordillera Darwin

We made a quick pass by the 150 foot tall, two mile wide face of the glacier named Pio XI, then retreated to a nearby cove for the night. The next morning dawned clear and cold.

Pio XI sunrise

The wind was very light, perfect for sailing among the bergy bits – since the motor wasn't running, we didn't need to worry about the prop being damaged by ice.

sailing Pio XI

Ginger went up in the rig to take some pictures.

photo perch

Marcy in ice

The dolphins, bored with our slow speed, hunted nearby.

dolphin foraging in ice

We felt very lucky that one of the very few brilliant sunny days we've had since arriving in Chile would occur as we visited the photogenic glacier. What are the chances? After some last looks at the glacier, we turned and motored back out the long fiord.

sunny Pio XI

Pio XI close up

The dolphins were happy that we were moving fast again, we were happy to have had such a wonderful day at the glacier and to be heading back to resume our northbound course in the channels.

bow dolphins near Pio



At 8:33 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Great photos, as usual! Take care - Mike

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi ginger and peter. we hope you will be able to check into the pmmsn (21.412)soon. we are listening for you every day. jack WA4PVZ


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