29 November 2011 | Alwoplast marina, Valdivia
Safe and comfortable cruising is all about picking the right weather, and for our 14 hour due south journey, strong winds from the south is not the right weather. Our little weather window closed before we could complete all of the new-boat paperwork with the Chilean authorities, so now we wait until Thursday. On the sunny side, the Pacific high pressure system responsible for these southerly winds has moved close to our position (OK you weather nerds remember we are in the southern hemisphere and high pressure = CCW winds) and giving us beautiful sunny days. Our seemingly endless pile of personal stuff is inventoried and stowed; it is easy to do that on a 57' catamaran but very difficult to remember where it all is. Safety gear is tested and stowed, more procedural review today. We even took the chance for a little reception for the friends we have met here, which meant that briefly the boat was sparkling clean and organized, and I have created a photo gallery of the final product, "Construction Final."
A bit on the near term plans, we are softening our goal to sail to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine national park and nearly on the straight of Magellan, because of the extreme nature of the terrain and weather in deep Patagonia and shortage of experienced crew on Hekla. We plan to spend some weeks in the gentler Gulfo de Ancud and Isla de Chiloe area getting familiar with the boat and general operations, and reevaluate after that time. We can always park the boat in a marina and fly to the park.