Friday, March 9, 2018

Leg 3 - Heading to the Promised Land - Day 15

Karina: The "Gaia Principle"

If you've been following us on our tracker, you are probably shaking your heads right now and saying 'those poor creatures have finally gone mad in the southern ocean'. Although we've spent a few days traveling directly towards our destination, we veered off yesterday morning and started to sail north. No, we haven't lost our minds (although that is debatable). We'd traveled in the southerly direction for the past week knowing we were going to get pushed north with the last gale. And that is exactly what happened. The wind veered to the south and so the only direction we could travel with any kind of comfort was NE. As it turns out, this was a good thing...

Now to explain the "Gaia Principle". We have friends, Desiree and Damon, on a junk-rigged steel boat called 'Gaia'. They've are about our age and have been Cruising for at least 10 years. They've done a number of ocean crossings and are famous for never using their engine. They sail to anchor, they sail off anchor. Basically, they just sail. I wasn't even sure they had an engine until Damon talked about needing to buy diesel - shocking. Anyway, we got to talking about our upcoming trip back in the fall and Desiree told me how they literally floated in the monsoon trough between the Galapagos and Hawaii for 14 days. Their overall trip took something like 30 days. Ugg. I asked her how she could handle being 'out there' for so long, and she said that she considered the boat her home, so where ever the boat was, she was home. Therefore it didn't matter how many days a passage took as she had everything she needed with her. Gary and I both thought this sounded good in theory, but weren't sure either of us could put this into practice. We called her attitude the 'Gaia Principle', which I've been trying to live up to ever since (mostly unsuccessfully, I might add).

We now have a chance to put the "Gaia Principle" into full practice. We were hoping to make it into Puerto Montt before a big low hit the coast of Chile, but it doesn't look like that will be the case. If we'd kept our current course of heading straight to Puerto Montt, we would have ended up right in the middle of it. Having been in 4.5 m seas twice now in the southern ocean, I'm not keen on experiencing the 6 m seas that are being predicted with this latest system. Both our weather routers (yup, we have two) have told us to run north for the next few days to get out of the winds and big seas, so north we go! So no, we haven't gone mad, we are just moving to 'safe waters'. This of course means that we will not be into port by Monday, as we were all looking forward to, but as Desiree said, this is our home and so what else do we need? We will be fine being out here for a few more days. Sometimes the way to your destination isn't a straight path.

Oh, and it now looks like our final destination will be Valdivia instead of Puerto Montt. Stay tuned.

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