Friday, April 5, 2024


Cofradia Nautico del Pacifico

Following a tough passage from Valdivia, we have spent the last few days licking our wounds in Algarrobo. We had been given some intel about the marina before making the decision to come here, but still didn’t really know what to expect. A google maps search showed a resort town, and indeed the first thing you see when you sail in from offshore are the miles and miles of tiered hotels on the seemingly endless beach. But as you get closer, you can see it is much more than that.

Bird sanctuary in the marina

The marina itself is situated in the middle of a National Park that was obviously formed after the marina had been developed. To generate the marina, they made a breakwater between the shore and a very large, distinctive white rock. As it turns out, this rock houses a colony of…..PENGUINS!!!! Yes, we have Humbolt Penguins living 100 metres away from us. They look a lot like the Magellanic Penguins in the south, but they have slightly different markings. There are also hundreds of gulls, pelicans and other shore birds that call the rock home. Things get noisy in the evenings.
Humbolt Penguins - found on the coast of Peru and Chile

Back to the marina. It is quite small and as mentioned in our last post, uses a med-moor type tie up system for all the boats. Despite the breakwater, the big seas just outside the walls do make their way into the basin in the way of surge. The mooring system alleviates any issues that would occur if they were using a regular dock-finger type system like we are more used to. Plus, they can fit in more boats. This is not a Cruisers marina. All the boats here are owned by locals (ie, people from Santiago) and are used primarily for day sailing (yes, out in the big, 2.5m+ swell just outside the walls – as I said before, Chilean sailors are crazy). In addition to the bigger sailboats that are kept in the water, there are fleets and fleets of different kinds of race boats lined up out of the water. There are also small sailing dinghies and a few powerboats. On a weekend, the place resembles the Jericho Sailing Club with people doing every watersport imaginable. It has been fun to watch. During the week, it has just been us and the marina workers. They all seem a bit perplexed that we are here, but have accepted it. The facilities are more geared to day use than overnight, but there is a large bathroom with toilet and shower stalls. Unfortunately there is no laundry… I think we are back to hand washing for a while. Sigh.

The local beach on Easter Sunday

The marina is at one end of the National Park. From the gate, there is a trail that travels for a couple of miles along the shoreline to another large, white rock (probably filled with more birds…). There are a couple of stunning beaches in between. We went for an exploratory walk on Easter Sunday and were expecting to have the trail to ourselves. We came around the corner to….thousands of people on the beach! It was a sea of umbrellas for as far as the eye could see. We watched the people for a while, then walked up through the neighbourhood back towards the marina. It is a nice little town that reminds me of a mix of California and the Galapagos. The backstreets in the neighbourhood are sand, not paved. And it has a sunny, ‘California’ vibe. We haven’t walked the whole beach yet as I’ve been busy this week with work, but that is on the agenda for one day soon.

We are slowly recovering and enjoying our interlude in this quiet place.

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