s/v Karma

Karma in Motion

Who: Clint, Reina & Duke
Port: West Palm Beach, FL

Where are we?

Your destiny, is a result of your actions. Live by a code of conduct that will secure supreme hapiness and worldy joys; which are usually the little things.
22 February 2018
13 June 2016 | Puerto Natlaes
12 November 2015 | Southern Patagonia, Chile 50 39.60S:74 33.12W
02 November 2015 | Golfo de Penas, Patagonia, Chile
17 October 2015 | Laguna San Rafael, Patagonia, Chile
13 October 2015 | Laguna San Rafael, Patagonia, Chile
01 October 2015 | Caleta Poza de Oro, Patagonia, Chile
20 September 2015 | Los Altos, Paraguay
06 September 2015 | Chiloe
04 September 2015 | Puerto Montt, Chile

Patagonia Adventures - Rationalizing the Irrational

12 November 2015 | Southern Patagonia, Chile 50 39.60S:74 33.12W
Reina
Since leaving Puerto Montt all of our blog posts have been Clint's handiwork. Sure I proof read them and tweaked a little bit here and a little bit there, but they have all been written from his perspective. Several of his posts have shared the common theme of �"nothing worthwhile comes easy�". I never knew my husband was such a walking quotable quote. All of his catch phrases, which he has only shared a few with you all, is to keep me inspired. Why am I requiring such inspiration you might ask; because this is the hardest thing I have ever done.

The �"this�" that I am referring to is cruising the southern latitudes of the Pacific Ocean. I naively thought the biggest challenge, of our hair brained idea to cruise the fjords of Chile, was going to be the passage to Chile. After six weeks of traveling south through the fjord,s let me tell you the 4,000 miles to get to Chile was the easy part. I do not think this is the norm, I think we just happened to have a relatively easy passage. Now don't get me wrong, our trip from the Galapagos to Chile was the hardest thing I had ever done up to that point. We almost turned back and headed to Panama because of my last minute jitters. You might remember Clint's quote of all quotes, �"If you quit now, you quit every day of the rest of your life�". I got to stare at that beauty every day of our 30 day passage. I also think that over time I tend to look back on things with rose colored glasses. If I didn't I would have quit a long time ago.

Why am I having such a hard time with �"this�"? I think my biggest problem is I think too much. All the things I have ever read or heard about the conditions in the Roaring Forties through the Screaming Sixties plays over repeatedly in my head.

For the first two weeks after leaving Puerto Montt, the weather was cold, rainy, foggy, and gusty. We would get up early in the morning raise the anchor and head out with very poor visibility and I would think to myself, �"what is the point; you can't even see all the beauty�". Typically when it is this nasty out we would wait until the weather cleared but down here you keep trucking because it could be a while until the weather cleared.

The first two weeks did not just bring unpleasant weather; it brought our first and hopefully last collision with a rock. We were three days out of Puerto Montt coming into an anchorage and I was at the helm. We went from 60 feet of water to 14 in the blink of an eye. Fortunately I saw the rapid change in water depth and I threw the boat into full reverse so we hit the rock at 4 knots instead of 6. The sound of our hull on hard granite is not one I am going to quickly forget. Karma is a good strong boat with a thick hull and she is fine. We have a three foot long gouge on our center line that is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick that will need to be repaired in the near future. My psyche definitely took a harder hit than the hull. I am slowly getting more comfortable with traveling these rock strewn waters.

Those first few weeks also brought the lesson of how fickle and unpredictable the winds are down here. There really are not any good weather forecasts for the inland fjords. The best guide is the barometer and all it can do is let you know something is coming. We look at Gribs which show us the pressure systems and from them we can pretty well judge wind direction and to some extent strength.

Most of the fjords run north south following the Andes. The winds are predominantly blow from either the north or the south and the orientation of the fjords intensifies the wind creating a tunneling effect. It is very hard to predict what will happen to the wind when it comes screaming down a 9,000 foot high snow capped peak, or what will happen when a north south fjord intersects with a east west fjord. All of this means that you could be sailing along in 10-15 knots of wind and out of nowhere the winds pipe up to 30-35 knots. I realize that even 30-35 knots is not that big of a deal but for me it is the uncertainty that I am struggling with. In my overactive mind, if it can go from 15-35 knots it could just as easily go from 35-50 and that is a whole other ball game; not to mention that we are traveling inland with lots of obstacles, namely rocks.

The first two stressed induced weeks of schizophrenic winds and treacherous rocks did bring us to Laguna San Rafael which was definitively the most unbelievable experience we have had in all of our cruising and in my life for that matter. It is an experience for which I paid a price and on most days I would say it was worth it. We had two very hard weeks and enjoyed one amazing one playing with the eons old glacial ice.

The weather slowly improved and we had a rather calm week after Laguna San Rafael working our way to our next big hurdle, the Gulfo de Penas. For me this was a much dreaded and stewed over, 160nm trip. Even when we were sailing to Chile I told Clint I was only committed as far as the Gulf. Again my very active imagination had me terrified to be out in open waters at 50S. We were going to be in relatively shallow water with an open fetch for thousands of miles and subject to some of the fiercest storms on the planet; what was I thinking?

You all know the rest of the story, we did in fact cross the Gulf and it was not overly pleasant but I made it. The wind did go from 10-15 knots to 30-35 knots and then over 40 knots. We were in shallow water, making our landfall in the dark, trying to slow the boat down for light, doing 5 knots with just a hanky of a sail up. I won't go into detail but that imagination of mine was working double time.

Of course we made it; Karma is a very tough boat that can handle way more than either of us can. We are now officially in the thick of it at 50S making our way to 55S. For the last two weeks our weather has been beautiful. It is the longest stretch of calm winds and no rain we have had. It definitely was not the typical weather for this region and it did not last. We are currently holed up waiting for a deep low pressure to pass. Just to give you an idea, here is our forecast for the next couple of days:

Wind Speed Direction Pressure 11/12 3am 23 - 31 NW323 1003 11/12 9am 30 - 41 NNW333 998 11/12 3pm 33 - 45 NW323 992 11/12 9pm 28 - 38 W276 991

11/13 3am 26 - 36 WNW286 995 11/13 9am 29 - 40 WNW294 994 11/13 3pm 27 - 36 WNW284 996 11/13 9pm 37 - 50 WNW290 992

11/14 3am 26 - 35 WNW288 996 11/14 9am 23 - 32 W270 997 11/14 3pm 21 - 29 WNW286 1001 11/14 9pm 15 - 21 NNW337 998

11/15 3am 29 - 40 NW314 991 11/15 9am 32 - 43 NW327 987 11/15 3pm 33 - 45 NNW337 978 11/15 9pm 27 - 37 WSW243 992

Crazy!!!

Well as Clint has so eloquently pointed out, �"it is the price of admission�" and in my case it has been high but oh so worth it.

I can not say that I am overly proud that this has been as hard for me as it has, but I can say that I am very proud of myself for sticking it out and doing it. You can not rationalize with the irrational but I am working on it!
Comments
Vessel Name: Karma
Vessel Make/Model: Sunward 48'
Hailing Port: West Palm Beach, FL
Crew: Clint, Reina & Duke
About: We've been working towards this for almost 10 years. It has been a dream with many challenges, all of which have made it more worth while. We are so grateful and excited to start this next chapter!
Extra: Twenty years fom now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things that you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails, EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER. -Mark Twain
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Karma in Motion

Who: Clint, Reina & Duke
Port: West Palm Beach, FL

Where are we?

Your destiny, is a result of your actions. Live by a code of conduct that will secure supreme hapiness and worldy joys; which are usually the little things.