Fafner Log


Date: February 21, 2009

Location: 41º 30' S 72º 59' W at 1200 hours

We left Puerto Montt today just before noon. Yesterday I went to the Aduana and looked particularly pathetic and the man in the green suit got on the phone and called Santiago and spoke lots of Spanish and the upshot was - if I came back in an hour I could have a magic piece of paper that would let me get our heater part out of the Post Office without paying duty. I spent part of that hour in the Cathedral thanking Jesus, Mary, God the Father and St. Jude for all their help. I got the part, two rotisserie chickens and a box of wine and caught the bus back to the marina. I was so pleased with myself. Geoff doesn't do pathetic well. I don't think the man in the green suit would have called Santiago if Geoff went to check on the package.

While I was gone a Swiss family on a huge (70 foot) motor-catamaran arrived looking for fuel and a berth. They left France on November 7 and got around the bottom of South America via the Straits of Magellan to arrive in Puerto Montt yesterday. The boat is a Sun Reef 70 built in Poland. It's name is Jambo and I think their website is Jambololo. If you get a chance, check it out. Very posh. Today they were getting fuel (only 15,000 liters) before they were going to move to the dock. But they had a slight problem. It's a new boat and it was missing a hose clamp on the fuel vent line, so they got 100 liters of fuel in the bilge. Insert Polish joke here.

So we are on our way to Robinson Crusoe Island.

Date: February 18, 2009

Location: 41º 29.654' S 72º 59.095' W tied up in Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt

We are still enjoying Puerto Montt and getting both ourselves and the boat ready for the next legs of our journey. We've been provisioning, boat repairing, part replacing fools.

Date: February 10, 2009

Location: position on 2/7/09: 42º 18.801' S 73º 15.897' W anchored in Caleta Mechuque, Isla Mechuque, Grupo Chauques, Golfo de Ancud

position on 2/8/09: 41º 29.654' S 72º 59.095' W tied up in Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt

We left Quinched and took the scenic route to our next anchorage. The scenic route was through the Delcahue Canal past the pretty little town of Delcahue and some more wooden churches on the islands on the route. The day was sunny and the pastures with sheep on the green hillsides were lovely. The salmon farms were easily identified, the fishing boats and work ferries were polite and the fishing floats were avoidable. All in all it was a good day. Until maybe the point when we noticed that instead of adding charge to the batteries while the engine was running we were in fact losing power. We anchored in Caleta Mechuque for the night. We were anchored off a quaint village which was quite small. A fishing boat coming in with us took our picture as did the Carabinieros (I think they're the police) in their boat. The tides in this area are big. The range in Mechuque was 6 meters. I'm glad we came in at low tide, otherwise I would have been sucked into missing the big shoal area in what looked like a great spot to drop anchor. We watched shore birds come to eat stuff exposed by the low tide and then continued to watch as some village dogs objected to the birds occupying their territory. One of the dogs appeared to be part Lab and went into the water to make sure the birds got the message to leave. With the refrigerator off we kept power through the night and left the next morning for Puerto Montt.

We got more sun during the day and arrived in Puerto Montt and tied up in Marina Oxxean. It is very reasonable to stay here. In fact, washing and drying a load of laundry in the marina's washer and drier costs more than it does for our boat to stay for one night while we use water and wifi and power. We're hooked up to shore power and Geoff and Claire are looking into the engine stuff. Yesterday we took a bus into town. We had huge hamburguesas completas for lunch. In Puerto Montt the necessary burger toppings include: tomatoes, mayonnaise, pickles, guacamole, bacon, fried egg and sauerkraut. Strangely, it works. After Australia however I was wondering if sticking a beet in there would further enhance the flavor. We found a grocery store and were decadent and bought cold cereal and pastries. Geoff found and bought the last 4 cans of Diet Coke in the entire store. It seems that Coke Zero is the diet beverage of choice.

Today it rained and we're doing things on the boat. Tandem has arrived so maybe we'll lure them over later. Sonia brought a box of See's candy that we saved to celebrate passing out of inclement southern weather. We've had enough sunshine here to be ready to break open the chocolates and uncork our champagne. Our Patagonian traveling buddies need to have some as well. We share with all of you too!

Date: February 2, 2009

Location: 42º 34.695' S 73º 45.373' W tied up in Marina Quinched, Caleta Linlinao, Estero Castro, Chiloe

We got up early, it wasn't exactly bright, and left Queilen and moved the 32.6 nm to Marina Quinched. As we traveled the sun came out, the wind was pleasant, and the birds started chirping. So we peeled off our long-johns, ate our last bag of Doritos and generally appreciated the beautiful day and our good fortune in being able to enjoy it. We snaked our way through a collection of mussel-farm floats and lines to the small but extremely friendly Marina Quinched. The owner, William, has gone out of his way to make us feel comfortable and to make sure we have what we need. He has showers and a washing machine, that's all I needed today. Tomorrow he will drive us in to Castro (the big city) and we will go shopping for new food. I've heard tell of a museum and an interesting old church too ... Tandem didn't enjoy Quellon, something about 200 pescadores, so they arrived this evening and are tied up next to us. We'll have to find some wine in Castro and then toast ourselves again. William has a BBQ pit that he is encouraging us to use, so I think we'll need to buy some good beef with our wine purchase and make a real party. William has 3 horses too so tomorrow he said he'd saddle one up and let Claire ride. (Trond, there is somewhere in the world where Camilla could have used her saddle) All in all we're one bunch of happy sailors. We hope everyone else is enjoying life today too. Oh and Happy Birthday Sonia and Walter!

Date: February 1, 2009

Location: 42º 53.561' S 73º 28.826' W anchored in Puerto Queilen, Golfo de Corcovado, Canal Queilen, Isla de Chiloe, Estero Mechai

We've now had 48 hours without rain. Weird. Last night we even got a glimpse of the nocturnal orb before clouds crept in. This morning we entered the Golfo de Corcovado and if Allein is correct we will find the Chilean equivalent of the French Riviera. We're already noticing that we feel warmer. Soon I may feel comfortable enough to remove a layer of thermal underwear, I've been wearing two. The waves decreased so Alex is A LOT happier. She made us cornbread and chili for lunch today in celebration. Tandem decided to stop in Quellon tonight so the dynamic duo has broken up. It's a little odd to look out at anchor and not see them. They plan to spend a day in Quellon and then join us in Quinched at the marina. We went farther today and just stopped for the night. We are anchored a stone's throw from a massive salmon/oyster farm. Perhaps we should plan a midnight commando raid on the fish and stock up our freezer. We'll be gone in the morning, would they suspect us?

Date: January 31, 2009

Location: 45º 20' S 75º 22' W at 1200 hours

Today we had some sun and blue sky which was nice. Claire and I were convinced that that stuff was only in myths. The @!*&^%# waves are still rolling us about which is really getting on my nerves. This is a lot better than bashing into the wind, though. Rolling aside today was a good day.

Date: January 30, 2009

Location: 47º 22' S 75º 13' W at 1200 hours

We left Caleta ideal bound for Quiched this morning. It has been rolly but at least the wind isn't in our face.

Date: January 29, 2009

Location: 47º 45.487' S 74º 53.592' W anchored in Caleta Ideal, Bahia Tarn, Paso Suroeste, Isla Wagner-Isla Schroder(Schroder needs an umlaut)-Isla Porvenir

It looks like we will be able to move north tomorrow. The grib files indicate that the wind should shift to come from the south. We will all be happy to be on our way. We hear rumors that the elusive orb shows itself more frequently even just a few more degrees latitude north of where we are now. Our plan is to take advantage of the south wind and stay off the coast and make time going to Chiloe. The Canadians on Traversay recommended a marina in a place called Quinched, so that's our goal. I'm already fantasizing about the advertised warm showers and laundry. However, if the weather turns, we will duck into the canals. The guys at Faro San Pedro now call me up twice a day to read me the weather in English. How am I going to break the news to them that we are leaving?

Ed- The Americans on Endeavor are from the Pacific Northwest and they are named David and Candy. There is a Patagonia Net on the SSB and they are on it too. There are 16 boats on the net encompassing a boat already heading out to Easter Island, a bunch of us between Puerto Montt, Puerto Williams/Ushuaia and Punta Arenas and a couple of hardy crews heading for Antarctica. One guy arrived around Cape Horn yesterday from South Africa. It's nice to know we are not alone.

Date: January 26, 2009

Location: 47º 45.487' S 74º 53.592' W anchored in Caleta Ideal, Bahia Tarn, Paso Suroeste, Isla Wagner-Isla Schroder(Schroder needs an umlaut)-Isla Porvenir

Not much new to say. We decided to wait here for better weather to cross the Golfo de Penas. I feel relieved to have come to a decision even though it means hanging out in a not so exciting anchorage. Florence & Allein came over today and we plotted our next move, ate peach cobbler that Alex made and the girls had a French lesson. Allein talked about going fishing tomorrow. He saw some salmon. We're hoping the Arnold talent for allowing fish to live long and happy lives in the presence of our lines and lures doesn't extend to our friends and neighbors. We'd cheerfully eat salmon if he caught one.

Date: January 25, 2009

Location: 47º 45.487' S 74º 53.592' W anchored in Caleta Ideal, Bahia Tarn, Paso Suroeste, Isla Wagner-Isla Schroder(Schroder needs an umlaut)-Isla Porvenir

We still have our weather quandary. Go or stay? Is this as good as it gets or is there better weather on the horizon?According to the Grib file we received, tomorrow might be a day to go across. We're going to ask the Armada at Faro San Pedro for a local weather forecast this evening. I'd like to get two weather reports that sort of indicate the same thing. My new friend at the lighthouse has been very accommodating so far. Last night I called him at 2200 to ask about weather for today and this morning he called me to pass on the weather in English. Last night he had to contact our traveling buddies on Tandem to share his weather report because Florence knows Spanish. Today we've entertained ourselves by baking bread and cooking stew to warm up the boat and the kids have done loads of schoolwork. Wish us fair weather pretty please.

Date: January 24, 2009

Location: 47º 45.487' S 74º 53.592' W anchored in Caleta Ideal, Bahia Tarn, Paso Suroeste, Isla Wagner-Isla Schroder(Schroder needs an umlaut)-Isla Porvenir

We spent a mostly pleasant day traveling up the remainder of the Messier Canal. We even got a sail up. As usual, the wind really kicked in when we were about 10 miles away from the anchorage. This anchorage is a biggish bay, so no shorelines. I find I miss them. They were like a security blanket. We are now at a jump-off point and we are trying to get reliable weather info. Oh stop laughing. Apparently the Golfo de Penas can get "interesting" and we'd like to avoid "interesting." Florence talked to a container ship that passed us this morning and he told us 25-35 knots from the NW for tomorrow. I called the Armada on San Pedro (just around the corner from our anchorage, 2 miles away in fact) and he told us they were seeing 4 kts from the SW. We felt 25 kts from the SW getting in here. What to do? Wait or go? As Jimmy Buffett says, indecision may or may not be my problem.

Date: January 23, 2009

Location: 48º 20.321' S 74º 33.496' W anchored in Caleta Point Lay, Canal Messier, Isla Little Wellington, Peninsula Negra

Glacier Day was a big hit, very cool in fact. We got up early and went up Seno Iceberg to the glacier. We could tell we were close because 1)the air was cooler and 2)bergy bits were floating past us. We got the boat close enough to the glacier for photos and ambiance. The kids took the dinghy out and about and brought back some ice so we made chunkies which are related to smoothies. If Alex was more vicious with the ice pick then we might have had smoothies. We had some dolphins come play around the boat too. Tonight we are once again anchored and tied to shore. We're getting better at it. Claire found a Poison Dart Jellyfish in the anchorage. She thought it was an extremely lost Amazonian tree frog at first. It was bright red with a blue circle on its back and it appeared to be trailing its rear legs while swimming through the water. Chile is not that far from the Amazon, maybe the frog was on vacation. We were chasing it in the dinghy with the intention of catching it until she noticed that it did not in fact have any legs but was trailing tentacles. We left it alone and satisfied ourselves with naming it for the frog. Our cruising guide does not have info on jellyfish, and we're not really sure what we have, so we're sticking with the Poison Dart Jellyfish.

Date: January 22, 2009

Location: 48º 39.819' S 74º 19.314' W anchored in Caleta Yvonne, Punta Estacion, Canal Messier

Yesterday someone repaired all those holes in the grey sky and turned the rain back on. And our heater laughed at us and stopped working again. We're back to normal. BUT, we had a good day today. Last night a container ship came to Puerto Eden and anchored. They had some sort of mechanical difficulty. This morning the crew took down their two life rafts and they were buzzing around the caleta on a joy ride. The guys were hanging out of the windows and they waved as they circled the yachts before they took off in the direction of the Armada. We left Puerto Eden just before noon on a mission to catch a favorable tidal current to go through another narrow spot called Angosturo Inglese. Like the other narrow spot, we arrived in time to intercept ships going both north and south. The northbound ship turned out to be our friends from the bubble boats. I guess they fixed whatever it was that was broken. We all waved to each other again as we passed. It was not quite as close as passing ships in the Suez Canal, but I'm glad I had the Suez experience to compare this to - we had many layers of paint between us before our hulls would have actually touched. Okay, not really, you can breathe Mom.

Our anchorage for tonight is lovely. The elusive orb that provides light and warmth came out this afternoon. We took the dinghy ashore and went to explore. The kids have gone native. No, no one is crazy enough to doff clothing, they made a bow and arrows out of a stick and grasses and ambushed Geoff. We had the dinghy down because we have once again successfully run lines ashore to hold us in place. This is a small anchorage, so Tandem just rafted to us and it's working. Tomorrow we plan to take a detour up Seno Iceberg to go see a glacier. Then we continue up the Messier Canal on our way to the Golfo de Penas. We plan to anchor up there in a place called Caleta Ideal and check the weather. If the weather is good we stay outside and go straight to Chiloe. If the weather is not so good we come back inside at Bahia Pink and work our way to Chiloe via the channels.

Date: January 20, 2009

Location: 49º 07.707' S 74º 24.736' W anchored in Puerto Eden

It was an interesting day. A miraculous day to be correct. First, we woke up to find that someone had put holes in the grey sky and some strange color was showing through. As the day wore on the holes got larger and larger until finally we saw lots of the unusual color. I heard someone call it "blue." Geoff and the kids took another look at our heater and got it to run again. It had recently decided that it didn't feel like working. Then we had our lunch at the restaurant. We enjoyed Chilean crab, scallops and some sort of conch-like thing. The TV was on during lunch which was actually okay because we watched Obama's inauguration. For a long time the lower screen description read something in Spanish that translated to 'thousands brave the cold.' Happily, we were all on the warm side. After lunch we went to Traversay for coffee. Maryann has a piano built into the forward bunk, so we enjoyed a sing-a-long. You should have heard all of us singing The House of the Rising Sun. I think it was the wine we had with lunch.

But the best thing about the day was the diesel. Allein is the master. He went ashore and talked to one of the fishermen. Yesterday the man had no diesel to sell us, but today he had 450 liters for us and 120 liters for Allein. Whoever has the direct line to heaven - THANK YOU! The deal somehow involved the Armada. I'm not going to question how it all worked or why. We now have full tanks and we are planning to continue north on Thursday if the weather looks good. The boat carrying fresh vegetables and cheese arrives tomorrow. We don't want to miss that.

Our day of miracles produced: sunshine & blue skies, gentle wind & warm temperatures, good food & company, and diesel. Amen.

Date: January 19, 2009

Location: 49º 07.707' S 74º 24.736' W anchored in Puerto Eden

We arrived last night, talked to the Armada and anchored. Are you all sitting down? There was another boat already anchored here in the caleta in front of town. They are Traversay III out of Vancouver. We invited them (Maryann & Larry) over for drinks as well as Allein & Florence. Three bottles of wine and three hours later we called it a night and didn't try to send out a message.

Today we are taking care of the usual round of errands. Puerto Eden is a small settlement. We found a woman in town who would do our laundry. She has a small restaurant so she also baked bread for us and tomorrow all 8 of us are going to lunch there. I bought eggs at a tiny store. The man converted his front room into a store and sells an interesting assortment of "staples" like canned peaches, chocolate, eggs, rice and boxes of wine. The fuel we THOUGHT we had arranged to receive while we were in Punta Arenas, which was supposed to be no problem is, in fact, a big problem. We will be here more than a few days trying to acquire some. I know we are a sailboat and diesel should be a luxury, but trying to move north here against 25-30 kts of wind and 2 knots of current requires more patience and sailorly skill than I possess. I much prefer to just put on the motor and get somewhere. Geoff & Claire are earning goodwill with the Armada guys. Geoff supplied the Armada guys with a 15 amp fuse to repair their washing machine. Perhaps this good deed will provide some positive energy for our Karma bank and this fuel thing will sort itself out quickly.

Date: January 17, 2009

Location: 49º 56.672' S 74º 27.996' W anchored in Estero Dock

We left Calaeta Paroquet this morning bound for Estereo Dock. For the most part we had light(10-15 kt)winds that were actually helpful. We saw some dolphins and sea lions when we left Paroquet, but other than that not much happened.

Date: January 16, 2009

Location: 50º 39.195' S 74º 33.001' W anchored in Caleta Paroquet, Isla Chatham

It was still briskly windy last night, BUT this morning Tandem reported that Navtex said the weather would be good so we headed out. Today was a day for being reminded that we are in fact not alone in this world. A couple hours into our day we had a container ship coming up the channel from behind. Florence asked him to report our position to the Armada, so we were responsible cruisers, and then we spotted the other sailboat. We had decided that only French people cruise (and nuts like us) down here because those are the people we've met, except for, hmmm, a couple of Belgians, the Swiss guy and the Swede. So it was a nice surprise to see the Stars & Stripes flying off the sailboat's backstay. We chatted on the VHF; Endeavor is heading south to the Horn and then the Falklands and then the Georgians and then up to Maine. Later in the day we passed shore where a rock had an orange flag tied to it. We were curious and scanned the area with the binocs. On the top of the hill there was a small hut/house. We thought maybe it was scientists because who else would live out here in a hut on top of a lonely hill? We decided that Survivor Patagonia would be a properly challenging experience, if any of them survived. Then when we were getting ready to go through a skinny pass we heard another container ship on the VHF saying he was coming through from the opposite direction. Whoo-eee, what a day. Oh, and we have now achieved a cruising skill, we have successfully tied ourselves to shore with lines. The kids ran a line to shore with the dinghy and wrapped it around a tree. We are still picking moss out of their foul weather gear.

Date: January 15, 2009

Location: 51º 18.667' S 74º 04.3324' W anchored in Puerto Mayne, Isla Evans

Our meteo discussion with Tandem yielded the conclusion that their Navtex info and our grib file info suggested we stay put, so today we are still in Puerto Mayne. I'm glad we got to see it yesterday with some sun because today in the rainy grey it is not so pretty, although the waterfalls are much more impressive. We spent time today re-anchoring, first because our anchor moved when the wind changed direction and then because we didn't like how we stretched in relation to shore. We got a glimpse of the action out in the channel. We are very happy to be tucked in here.

FYI: our plan is to travel up the rest of Sarmiento Canal, then into Canal Concepcion and then up Canals Innocentes & Wide through the Paso del Indio to Puerto Eden for a fuel stop & little break. Of course, we are still hopping our way up these channels so the going is slow.

Date: January 14, 2009

Location: 51º 18.667' S 74º 04.3324' W anchored in Puerto Mayne, Isla Evans

It was brought to my attention by the crew that I have been leaving off our days' runs. I thought they looked bad. Get up and out of the anchorage by 0700, go at it for 10 - 12 hours and move 40 miles. Oh well, I guess I'll let you know it all from here on out. That said, today (while still only traveling 40 miles) we ended up in a beautiful anchorage and it is so attractive that even after a long, cold day the kids organized a shore party. Geoff and the girls have been for a hike in Patagonia. Now we are off to share meteo info with Tandem and plot our next move so I'm being brief.

Date: January 13, 2009

Location: 51º 53.359' S 73º 42.189' W anchored in Caleta Columbine, Isla Newton

Too bad the sun doesn't seem to last more than a day at a time. It was back to rain and wind today. We stopped early and broke into the comfort food, marshmallows and Lay's potato chips. As we were anchoring a couple of dolphins decided to come play around our bow. Luckily Claire didn't drop the anchor on them, I think that's bad Karma.

Date: January 12, 2009

Location: 52º 15.623' S 73º 41.005' W anchored in Bahia Fortuna, Isla Baverstock

Today was a great day, it had everything to make us smile. We saw sun for a while, winds only gusting to 25 kt (and that was when we were anchoring) a whale flipping us its tail, jumping dolphins, majestic mountains & glaciers to view in the distance, and chit chat with the lighthouse guys about weather.

Date: Janaury 11, 2009

Location: 52º 55.592' S 73º 46.050' W anchored in Puerto Tamar, Straits of Magellan

Another rough day of bad weather and adverse winds. Going is slow. However we are making new radio buddies with the Armada guys (and the English-speaking guy on a ship they call to translate and then relay weather for me) monitoring the VHF on Faro Felix. Tandem is still with us too, but no French lessons on the VHF.

Date: January 10, 2009

Location: 53º 18.409' S 73º 00.136' W anchored in Caleta Playa Parda, Straits of Magellan

It was a hard afternoon of adverse wind and rain. We are tucked into an anchorage but are sharing it with williwas. Our SSB is acting up, so if you don't hear from us it's probably the radio.

Date: January 9, 2009

Location: 53º 48.548' S 71º 38.354' W anchored in Bahia Woods, Straits of Magellan, Brunswick Peninsula, Chile

We moved off our mooring and rafted up to some workboats (with our new buddies on Tandem and Malou too) on our second day in Punta Arenas. We've spent the past few days playing musical boats as the work boats needed to get in and out. We shifted dock lines and moved three sailboats as one block. The fun was decreased by one boat when Malou left for Ushuaia early on Wed. We've entertained the guys on the boats no end. I think they were getting attached to us though. When the laundry guy brought our clean clothes to the dock they came and got us, and when Alex and I came back from a grocery run they helped us get the bags off the dock and onto our boat. Finally, when they needed to tell us they were going out and we needed to move they stopped knocking on our hull and waiting for us to emerge, one of them would come on our boat and stick his head in the companionway and just talk to us. We traded our tattered little American flag for a pristine Chilean courtesy flag with one of the guys. I think they will miss us.

Yesterday we went on a tour to a penguin colony and there were penguins as far as the eye could see. We paid money to ride a ferry to an island that we actually passed in the dark. I consider it money well spent. We rode in speed and relative comfort. The people watching alone was worth the price of the boat ride. Geoff and I decided we are about 25 years too old to be out here. We were surrounded by 20-something backpackers. I enjoyed observing them in the wild. We also enjoyed all the penguins on the island. It is breeding season so the adults had chicks. The babies hatched in December but are already quite large, almost adult-sized. However, they act like kids and are still fuzzy. We took many pictures and tried to smuggle one out in our backpack, but we were given away by its fish breath and honking. Oh well, it is probably happier in its hole than in our bilge.

Today we passed Cabo Froward which is as far south as we will go. From here it is a long climb north. For now we are working our way up the rest of the Estrecho de Magellanes and through a few pasos into Canal Smythe to Puerto Eden. Keep the good weather thoughts coming please.