Heading North

Andy and Mags are moving North at a fine old rate. Follow their adventure in the map below, and read the latest story below the map.

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Puerto Bueno East coast of Canal Sarmiento

s 50.59.25

w 074.13.00

Another big miles day with fair weather even blue skies, white sails and to the north ‘ice blink’ a way in which the skies are lit up above large sheets of ice. We have made special miles today so as to have some time to explore the next area we are heading into.

And one i have been waiting to go to for years. It takes a little bit of effort to get into but ..

The following is what the pilot has to say:

Estero Peel ..estero peel is a 45 mile long inlet with four secondary arms that cut into cordillera penetrating deeply into the heart of the patagonian icecap (campo Hielo sur). This inlet leads into the wildest and least explored areas of Patagonia, the scenery is majestic on rare clear days with high peaks emerging from blue glaciers, and dark red slopes of granite alive with countless waterfalls.

Navigation Planning

Estero Peel requires time and patience.

The weather conditions are generally bad and many days and nights pass without a clear spell opening the views of the Andean peaks.The strong frontal winds that blow down the mountains can raise big waves in the channel, which is in many places full of ice. This streams, mainly out of estero Calvo. tends to choke the central and eastern part of it. ‘Bergy bits’ can attain very big dimensions and can often unexpectedly break, leaving invisible smaller bits in the silted waters nearby. Do not approach ‘bergy bits’ to closley. Also beware of smaller ‘growlers’ Which are sometimes very clear and are hidden in the choppy green waters.They could cause major damage to a boat made of GRP or wooden craft…..(luckily we are in concrete!)

The outflow of many rivers, glaciers,and waterfalls are important here, as the current is more or less continuously ebbing out aided by the prevailing winds. All these factors will make for a hard close hauled sail with many tacks between icebergs and growlers.

An alert bow watch is recommended.

Another difficulty is an almost complete lack of anchorages in the northern part. Consider that is is impossible to sail at night and that ice movments are erratic often closing passages that were open only minutes before.

Difficulties not withstanding, the scenery surrounding estero Peel and Calvo is spectacular even on a cloudy day. The Cerro Pieneta group over 2,400m towers like a fountain of ice over the dark waters and blue pinnacles; deep seracs, black peaks and white glaciers will be the reward for those willing to sail off the beaten path.

This is why we come