Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Southern Chile is not done with us yet!

"Hang on!" I screamed to Mark. He was up front getting the anchor ready for our arrival back at Caleta Fog when a giant white wall of wind and water descended upon us from behind. I gave the engine all the throttle we had to try to turn the boat around into it, lest we be thrown well up on the beach. With very little room to maneuver I somehow managed to keep the boat off the rocks as we shot just past the headland with a solid 50 knots hitting us on our side. We had seen a few willywaws and waterspouts on our way south from Puerto Natales but nothing like this racha that hit at the most inopportune time. Southern Chile was certainly not done with us yet.

Caleta Fog was no longer an option for us so we continued south staying well off the coast as the strong squalls were now frequent. In a way we were lucky the squall hadn't happened after we had anchored as it was unlikely the holding was good enough to keep us off the shore there. Unfortunately we now had no option but to continue through the narrows and try to find shelter past the tricky rapids. We quickly checked the tide tables and it was maybe possible for us to pass through so we pushed onward to get a closer look. After a few minutes of reconnaissance with the binoculars we waited for the next squall to pass and then made a run through the angustera. Once on the other side unscathed we could both breath a sigh of relief. We continued a few miles further and anchored in Caleta Cascada, very aptly named as there were numerous towering waterfalls around the slight indent in the main channel. We got the hook down and a few lines to shore and sat, thanking our luck for making it here to apparent safety.

I was not convinced the anchorage was good as it really wasn't much more than a small dent beside towering cliffs and very few trees were large enough to provide any shelter. That night proved otherwise and while slightly blustery in the rigging we saw very little disturbance on deck or in the water. The next day proved even more so as wave after wave of squalls, waterspouts and white walls of water passed by in the channel with little impact to us. We were very thankful have a safe place to watch the tornado parade march by as they pinballed down the steep sided narrow channel.

On our day off we took stock of our fuel and provisions acquired in Natales. As always we could have used more of "this" or "that" and we seemed to be going through way more fuel than expected. We'd need to be careful until we could replenish that supply at our next stop 200NM to the north in Puerto Eden. Hind sight is 20/20 and little did we know that fuel would be our next significant challenge to face.

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