Threshold is headed south, a long way south.

16 years Karyn and I have been sailing Threshold in circles around the North Atlantic and the Med. This year, after a couple of zigs and zags, it will be mostly a straight line south toward the Beagle Channel.

18 September 2009 | Lagos, Portugal
16 September 2009 | 25 miles off NW coast of Portugal
14 September 2009 | Baiona, Ria Vigo, Spain
09 September 2009 | Sanxenxo, Ria Pontevedra
02 September 2009 | Ria Muros
31 August 2009 | Ria Camerinas
30 August 2009 | La Coruna
30 August 2009 | Viveiro
24 August 2009 | Vivero Harbor
23 August 2009 | 70nm N of NW Spanish Coast
22 August 2009 | Off the Continental Shelf
21 August 2009 | 22nm W of Ile de Sein
17 August 2009 | Off Tagus River Entrance
14 August 2009 | Milford Haven Marina
11 August 2009 | Holyhead, Wales
06 August 2009 | Troon Scotland
02 August 2009 | Campbeltown
28 July 2009 | still in Plockton
27 July 2009 | Plockton, Loch Carron near Isle of Skye
22 July 2009 | Stornoway, Scotland

The edge of civilization

22 March 2019 | Quinched Marina, Isla Chiloe
We have passed through a huge gap in civilization. West from Puerto Williams and Ushuaia in the Beagle Channel and northwest through the channels there are no lights ashore. If we travel in the main shipping channels there are widely spaced navigation marks, some are lit, marking the turns and points of land. These are the only signs that man has been here before, here being west of the Andes. Puerto Natales and Ponta Arenas are actually east of the Andes even though they are accessible through the channels. There are isolated fish farms north of Boca Occidental, the west entrance to the Straits of Magellan. There were many days we traveled with no sound from the VHF radio on channel 16. And, it was a remarkable event when our smart phones registered a signal after weeks of "no service". This only occurred within a few miles of Puerto Eden with its remote Armada station.

This stretch north of Boca Occidental and Puerto Eden was dramatic in non-habitable qualities. The temperature remained much the same as further south, mostly in the mid-40s F. The coldest noted early one morning it was 37 F. The strong wind came and went with the low pressure systems as they traveled SE offshore but we experienced nothing exceptional or remained tied in close to the trees hiding from the williwaws. The lack of animal or bird life was noted by Charley when he said "it is just too wet here for anything to survive long". It is true. There are not mammals here as there are near the Beagle. There were very few birds. Even the sea lions and penguins disappeared. On board Threshold we were dripping wet inside and out. Our breathing and the residual steam from preparing a hot drink covered any exposed glass or aluminum with droplets of dripping dew. Outside we could see our breath in the moisture laden air. And the wet wind was extremely heavy and biting on our faces as we motored directly into it. Always motoring into it as it funnels from the NW down the channels, never sailing. This entire trip was in the "wild". But this section was not just wild, it was dank and dark. This would not be a place to be stranded.

Today we find ourselves beyond those conditions. We are tied to pontoon at a marina. We have shore power and water. We are back "on the grid", Chiloe may not be fully first world but it is close enough for now. Tomorrow we begin a two day trip north to Puerto Montt. That is likely the termination of this years travels. The plan is for Threshold to remain there while repairs and maintenance take place. The last eleven months and 10,000+ miles, some hard miles are showing on the boat and on us.

Weather window for the Gulf of Penas

08 March 2019 | Caleta Lay
The scenery of the Channels is never ends to fascinate. But after weeks of majesty and grandeur one begins to notice what is missing. In some stretches it is so wet that even most of the birds have abandoned for better climate. The sea life is more scarce with no whales and fewer dolphins and sea lions. What is remarkable in those very wet canals ( where even inside the boat water drips from every cold surfac) is the silence. The noise of the wind is dominate and almost constant but when we find a quiet spot all that can be heard, and heard everywhere, is the sounds of waterfalls, the white noise of running white water. The odd, unseen song bird might chirp but there are no crying sea gulls. Once we stop, when there are no more boat noises there is silence as there are no other living creatures but the trees, bushes and silent sea life. As we are approaching the coast of the Gulf of Penas more birds are present but the environment still will not support mammals without outside aid. Nature is alive with the atmosphere at its most energetic level. It is a very difficult place for anything to thrive in.

So we are approaching the "dreaded" Gulfo de Penas. The paths through channels are closed of by the mountains. We must sail into the open Pacific for the first time. The weather across the 60 mile gulf and around the outside of Peninsula de Tres Montes is notoriously bad and we don't want to be exposed to its fury. No one does. So we watch for a "weather window" to make the leap. A period of time where the winds and seas are moderate to light even to the point of having to motor across if we must to avoid 30 or more nots of wind and large seas. A weather window, our weather window, of almost three days duration opens tomorrow. And we are going to run for it. A 200 mile sprint. That is if the forecast is correct. We have 45 miles more of channels to drive through before the Gulf. There will be two more weather forecasts to study. And, there is a very competent light house with a competent keeper that can give us an up to date forecast as we approach. If it is the same as it stands now, 21:30 8March19, we will go. If not? Well, we will pull off to another caleta and wait. Likely that wait would only be a day as the forecast looks. The low systems approaching from the west are being delayed by the extremely strong high pressure, 1030mbs,, that is over us now. Could they be delayed even more? Could the high pressure break down and let them accelerate? Yes, either. We will watch closely but be must go. We must not miss the window if it is open.

Departed Puerto Natales

27 February 2019 | Canal White
There has been no time to file a blog entry for the last week in Puerto Natales. Lots of work on the boat, a full day of fueling from jerry jugs (600 liters, 5 trips to the gas station with 6 x 20 liter jugs), a day off touring Torres del Pines park, doing wash, shopping for food, taking a bit of time off the boat, etc, etc, All very busy but some social time too.\ Puerto Natales was a surpisingly good stop. The town itself was surprising in that I expected less. The supplies we needed had to be searched for at times but we found more than we expected. Basic stuff like food was readily available. Fuel of all kinds was easily found. Parts for a sailboat....well less easy but a work-around was accomplished.\ We spent time with the crews of ZoomaX and Iron Lady (FPB 783). We are hoping to spend more time with each of them as we head north.\ Today, after some quick mx on Threshold and an extended time getting our "zarpe" from the Armada we were able to depart by 13:00. Surprised is our response at arriving at the head of Canal White and having current with us. Strong current. The timing of these thing remains a mystery. The calculations are daunting given the data and the strange references it makes. Even the data the Armada gave us was not very helpful. If they don't know what the water is doing here then it must be assumed that no one does. Well today we were lucky and got a three knot boost through the narrows. Beautiful trip through a narrow passage at a high rate of speed.\ So our week long break is over and we are back on the "road" dodging the wind and the tides. The next couple of days should be good travel days and we hope to make good miles. Back into the wind, the cold, and the Andes.
Vessel Name: THRESHOLD
Vessel Make/Model: Custom Chuck Paine/Kanter Yachts
Hailing Port: ALBUQUERQUE, needs to be updated
Crew: Steve and Karyn James
THRESHOLD is a custom Chuck Paine design from his Bouganvillea Series and built of aluminum by Kanter Yachts of Ontario, Canada. She is 17m LOA, 4.7m beam, 2.2m draft, 22m air draft, and weighs 27 tons fully loaded. We feel very fortunate to be able to own and cruise such a rugged, powerful, and [...]
THRESHOLD's Photos - Main
Just a few photos that hardly come close to describing 29 days and 4000 miles of sailing.
27 Photos
Created 3 November 2018
photos of apt., Didim, boat work, travels
28 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
5 Photos
Created 15 September 2013
Karyn and Steve at there work stations. Some of the "parts" that have come off the boat needing "help", and the bimini frame construction
11 Photos
Created 11 August 2013
8 Photos
Created 25 July 2013
Beginning of the refit. Mast lift and haul out.
11 Photos
Created 14 July 2013
Photos of the one place in the Adriatic that everyone sees.
15 Photos
Created 20 September 2011
Venice, August 4 to 11, 2011
12 Photos
Created 11 August 2011
6 Photos
Created 23 December 2009
Photos of some of the architectual works of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
12 Photos
Created 23 December 2009
Street sellers working and then on the run as the police move them on.
9 Photos
Created 22 December 2009
Beautiful anchorages around the island of Ibiza, complete with beach bars, fisherman huts, and sunbathing touristas.
6 Photos
Created 18 October 2009
Finally, some photos of the interior of the boat. Finally, got the chance when we cleaned up for guests.
10 Photos
Created 13 September 2009
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 22 July 2009
Assorted, random photos of great people.
8 Photos
Created 24 June 2009
Select photos of Highland Games that included Heavy Sports, Dancing, Pipe Bands, historical displays
7 Photos
Created 24 June 2009
12 Photos
Created 6 October 2008
8 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 10 July 2008
6 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 26 June 2008
12 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 3 June 2008
6 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 11 April 2008
13 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 20 March 2008
Photos of Drag Queens, the parade and the party in Bar One at the marina.
16 Photos
Created 26 February 2008
4 Photos
Created 14 February 2008
Details and sailing photos
5 Photos
Created 13 February 2008
4 Photos
Created 11 February 2008