Zephyrus arrived into Puerto Natales seven nights ago under full and beautiful downwind filled sails, with the mountains now to the west keeping all that horrible rain at bay, whilst we flew over wave tops in sunlight and relative warmth…. Before heading up the channel to Natales.
We dropped anchor in front of the town on what we where to discover was probably the only calm night of the century. Basking in our cleverness and the great weather, we laid out damp clothes,and in the setting sunlight had a beer.
Later we rowed ashore on mirror calm waters after a meal and a couple more beers we were making our way back to the boat. All the while looking for something else, not sure quite what people,
company, talk other than our own…
But nothing until, resigned to a quiet night onboard, we arrived back at the dinghy to find six chillean lunatics surfing in two inches of water all of them stood in our wee row boat.
And so the night began you like Rum? yup! Ice? yup!
But where have you come from? Puerto Williams !how long has it taken you?
about three weeks!
In this boat (pointing at the dinghy!)
You need more Rum…
We were looked after by some fun loving very funny lively people who took us to several bars,before deciding at 4am we should go dancing. Mag and i confessed we had no money and were told not to worry they lived there, we would be looked after.
We tumbled outside to a waiting taxi the six climbed in then promptly drove off leaving Mags and i stood in the middle of the road. As the taxi drove away all six waved just as sincerley as they had with
their smiles of welcome when we arrived. Bienvenido a Chile and dropped like two hot and broke potato’s. Perfect, we giggled our way home.
The next day was a slow one with a fairly lazy morning followed by a pretty sedate afternoon wrapped up by an extremly relaxed evening. Only one thing had changed, the wind had picked up from the North West and was blowing (hard and frequently) the boat was now bucking like a wild horse. I was deeply unhappy and crawled miserably around the bildge whilst Mag’s strolled around on deck like he was on the promenade.
So followed six days of fixing and resupply with just a bit more fixing. A lot of to-ing and fro-ing across the channel to escape bad weather which meant we were boat bound as it was over a mile away.
Even in the relative shelter of the North shore we recorded gusts of sixty knots. Turning the water and our anchorage into a pan of boiling rice.
And so bravely we sat and drank tea and did boat jobs…
I once said that; i had discoverd sailing has nothing what so ever to do with sailing,- Its all about fixing stuff in exotic ports!. A good friend of Mags, Pete McCrumb (who if nothing else has one of the
best names ever) and who has no desire what ever to go sailing has said of it
.. A series of fiddly jobs in a wobbly caravan.! Genius.
Our alternators and batteries had been playing up so a visit to the mechanics shop and a new alternator bought. But with a ever so slightly different casing, we spent the next two days
with a hack saw and a various files getting it to fit, new belts add infinitum.
We have met some great folk ‘Alfredo’ the electrician who came out to the boat and assured us that the heat in the new alternator was fine and that once our batteries had all been taken ashore to his house and put on charge for 24hours that we would be up and running and so it is and we are.
Alternator cool both banks charging loads of lights and plenty of tunes playing.
Mucha gracias Alfredo
‘Roberto’ who repaired our broken oar for two thousand pesos ¬£2.00 and we had tipped him one of those. Then made us a lovely chopping board from ‘Antarctic Beech’ as a going away gift.
All the boys at the Indigo bar with a front room viewing out to Zephyrus, the bar is being just a few hundred meters away, they have been able to follow our every move, including yours truly naked as the
day he was born happily soaping and pouring water around in the sunshine with not a care in the world. Not realizing they had a telescope set up for all and any in the bar to view the incredible waterfront vista!!! Once again it seems i have managed to show my a**e in public!
The brilliant family at the fruit shop of whom Mags is now officially a surrogate son. Secretly i think it was the daughter he was going back for and not another bag of spuds but who am i to argue. The boat has never seen so many nets full of peaches!
We upped anchor this morning at six. As i write we are motoring along and are now thirty miles further west under grey drizzle and low long clouds with incredible shafts of sunlight lighting patches on hillsides and mountain tops. We had a dolphin escort on the bow as we left port and cruised out under fishing fleet escort who where all heading out to work all of whom coming in close for a wave and a smile. Lovely lovely people.
And for us today remarkably in a place that is famed for west wind we are completly wind free… Engine on and full stick we should clear the worst miles by this evening Woohooo.
The final word goes to Natales and its folk after another trip ashore last night this time carrying the outboard motor between us we were stopped by some fluffy chillean hippy folk who had been watching us rowing back and forth all week and were intrigued. After a coffee and hellos and a catch up on our travels, the response was yes it sounds great but all this looks like a lot of hard work ” well yes a bit” followed shortly by
Well would you like a hot tub……..
So to the garden five hot tubs in total dotted around some under stars some under dome tents, followed by a eucalyptus massage….And a few hours later two smiley shiney boys rowed back, once more on mirror calm waters.
Since writing this morning we are now anchored in Calata Columbine, West coast of Estrecho Collingwood
Making good miles today and the rain has returned. Its good to be back.
Mucha suerte amigos y gracias para todo
Que tenga una buena vida
Andy y Mag