09 September 2010 | Caleta Istmo, Chile
Chris & Julie
Well we had hoped to be somewhere in the region of Isla Gordon in the Beagle Channel by now but severe weather over the weekend has delayed us by a couple of days. More on that later.
Julie Lherault, Pelagic's new mate, joined the boat on Friday. We immediately made a start on putting the sails back on and re-rigging the running rigging. We got as far as getting the main sail sitting on top of the boom on Friday afternoon when rain put a stop to activities outside. That rain turned to snow over the course of Saturday and became a full snowstorm on Sunday dumping about 30 to 40cm of snow on Puerto Williams; it also took out the power supply to the town as the wet snow built up on overhead cables and dragged them down. The snow was accompanied by high winds so the ferry to Ushuaia couldn't run; which meant that our friend Steve Daltrey couldn't join us on Sunday as planned. Steve will now join us later today, Tuesday 7th September.
We hosted Ben Wallis, the skipper of 'Australis', Murry, a mechanic who is working on 'Australis', and Trevor the skipper of 'Iron Bark II' for dinner on Saturday evening and caught up on all the gossip that has happened over the winter months.
Monday was mainly clear but cold as the high pressure that is following the cold wet front established itself. Today has been beautifully clear and bright. The last two good days have allowed us to catch up on deck work and there is not much left to do before we can depart.
The plan is now to leave Puerto Williams first thing Wednesday morning and head for Yendegaia, about 45 miles away, where we have to make a mail drop. We'll stay there the night before heading further west along the channel.
11 September 2010
Ok so we did leave Puerto Williams on Wednesday morning. It was a glorious day with not a cloud in the sky and no wind. We motored to Caleta Ferrari in Bahia Yendegaia to anchor for the night and to visit Jose and Anemie who run the estancia there and deliver some mail for them. They were killing a young veal cow when we arrived so we helped out with some of the lifting and pulling involved in that before having a cup of tea. Anemie had a pair of skis and boots that fitted Julie and very kindly lent them to Julie for this trip; we also left with some fresh meat supplies.
Thursday 9th September - was also a beautiful day which we took advantage of to sail (motor) close along the north coast of the Beagle channel doing some guanaco spotting. We only managed to spot one. We spoke to the Alcarmar (coast guard light house keeper) man at Alcamar Yamana and told him of our intentions for the evening; the whole family came out to wave to us as we passed. We motored past Isla Diablo to take some photos of Glacier Hollandia. Isla Diablo is named after an incident when Captain Fitzroy, his survey party, and a young naturalist called Charles Darwin were camping there; during the night the marine guard saw the 'devil' looking at him from some bushes and shot him. The devil turned out to be an owl. Thursday evening saw us moored in Caleta Istmo in Seno Yishka where we took the dinghy for a sight seeing trip, reconnoitred at landing place for a possible skiing trip on Isla Gordon and took some more photos. Sorry but you will have to wait until we have internet access for the photos.
Friday 10th - We made and early start and piled all of our skiing, avalanche and crevasse rescue gear into the dinghy and motored across to the southern shore of Isla Gordon where we had spotted some promising looking skiing. After a hard 5 hours of climbing in very mixed terrain, some skiing on skins (Steve and I have skies and skins, Julie only had snowshoes for climbing), some hiking over bog and rock, and some scrambling we strapped on our skies for the decent. The mountain that we were on is about 1600m high, but as the top was in cloud and we were unsure of the state of the glacier we didn't go all the way to the top. We skied down all the way to the beach where we had left the dinghy. This was Julie's first day of mountaineering, back-country skiing, glacier travel, skiing with a backpack, and skiing through forrest etc. and while I don't think she enjoyed the 'whole' experience I am sure she will be back for more. On our return to the boat Steve baked a fantastic lasagne.
Bonjour a tous! (ou du moins a ceux qui connaissent l'adresse) - Je n'ai plus de jambes aujourd'hui, ni de dos, ne de pieds, ni rien! Hier nous sommes donc partis randonnées dans la montagnes, et la neige tous ca tous ca, puis descendu les 1600m a ski. Pour moi qui n'ai jamais vraiment sut skier c'était une catastrophe, je suis tombée je ne sais combien de fois, rouler bouler, je me suis pris quelques arbres, enfin c'était très dur, je trouve moi personnellement. sinon les canaux de Patagonie l'hiver c'est splendide, tout est enneige, il y a de magnifiques couleurs c'est la nature complètement Pour situer un peu, nous sommes au Sud de Isla Gordon, a l'Ouest d'Ushuaia, et avons une semaine pour faire le tour de cette Isle. Ce soir nous irons mouiller a la Caleta Penhoat au nord de l'Isla Hoste. Actuellement Les pains reposent au chaud, Steve astique ses skis et Chris check les Gribs, nous allons nous préparer a lever l'ancre et enlever les amarres des arbres.. A bientôt! Julie