Sunday, February 23, 2020

The High (Weather and Otherwise)

Sea Rover and Rum Doxy sharing a quiet afternoon

As Gary mentioned in a previous post, we met up with Mike and Annette on Rum Doxy in Caleta Julia in the Beagle Channel.  I first met Annette in the laundry room at the marina in Puerto Escondido in Baja, Mexico back in 2016 – you just never know what a random conversation on a mundane day will lead to.  They sailed with us off and on for the rest of that season and we’ve kept in touch ever since.  They sailed to Chile a year ago and we spent a fantastic day with them at Laguna San Rafael last season.  Their plan for this year was to sail from Valdivia to Puerto Williams (end of the world) and then back to Valdivia in one season.  As this is the hardest sailing we’ve ever done in our lives, I can’t imagine doing both ways a 6 month time period!  I’m going to need some time to recover before I can even contemplate going north again!  Especially as ‘north’ is the hard direction as it is mostly against the wind. 

They had left Puerto Williams at the end of January and were spending a few weeks enjoying the Beagle Channel before starting the slog north.  We had a fantastic two days getting caught up and sharing the hardships and magical moments of our respective trips.  The weather cleared up and so we hiked to the top of the nearby ridge where we were treated to absolutely stunning views of a good chunk of the mountain range.  Rum Doxy had spent at least 3 weeks in the Beagle Channel, and while they had seen every glacier you could see from the boat, they hadn’t had a really nice, clear day. 

Well, Annette got her wish that day.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 

Having good weather in Chile, especially in this part of Chile, is almost unheard of.  I lost count of how many days we couldn’t see more than 2 nm in any direction while we were sailing in the Patagonian Channels.  I kept saying to Gary that we could be sailing anywhere in the world for all we were actually seeing of the Patagonian scenery.  It rained every day.  And not just a bit of rain, we are talking torrential, can’t hear yourself talk over the rain kind of rain.  It rained every time we put down the anchor and set the shorelines, and every time we pulled up the anchor and brought the shorelines in.  I have 2 completely different outfits that I wear, one for anchoring/shore work and one for sailing, as the anchoring set was soaked through almost every day. 

So to arrive in the Beagle Channel to sunshine, with a forecast of an entire week of good weather and calm winds and seas was truly a gift. 

Unfortunately the gift of good weather meant that Annette and Mike had to use the weather window to start their journey north, but we are so glad we got to share a perfect day with them.  We wish them calm seas and fairwinds on their trip north.  Until next time…

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