Friday, January 13, 2012

Puerto Montt

Puerto Montt of Chile is a hub city for the general area down here where tourists come, and from here, they can visit sites like the Lakes District directly north of us or tour the islands etc. to the south. The city also has a bustling marine industry that services the islands and fishing industry including the multitude of fish farms. All this makes for lots of activity on the waterfronts here.

A colourful marine industry

For the sailors, this is a good place to provision and find marine supplies. There are various places for hauling out, and Club Nautico where we are docked, has a travel lift and yard haul-outs at very reasonable rates. We don't need to be hauled though. We are about four miles down the waterfront from downtown but buses run very frequently and they are cheap.

Most of the sailboats here are Chilean. We could probably count on two hands the number of foreign boats here, however as the months start to turn cold around March, there will be migrating cruisers heading north from the more southern and cape areas.

We arrived here with a list of "things to do" and "things to get" including provisioning before heading out for a few weeks tour of the islands and sites to the south. So after doing our traditional "one leg photo", the required check-in with officials, and a really nice dinner out, we got started on the tasks right away.

After the non-stop rolling on passages, our tradition is to stand on one foot

From time to time, we took breaks from our chores to do some socializing. There was Sam Davis (not Jr.) the jovial Irish single hander who has convinced us to make Ireland a port of call when we get to Europe. Also there was Jean Pierre and his wife Dana another Canadian couple on a pretty little sailboat close to us that made good company.

The busy marine industry and marinas are protected in a channel with Isla Tenglo on the other side with a few residences that rely on small boats to get on and off the island. As a respite from work one day, we dinghied over and strolled around. Very tranquil and rural feel for being so close to a city.

Isla Tenglo residences and countryside viewed from Puerto Montt

How cold is the water here? Well after we saw kids regularly swimming next to us, Jordan donned mask fins and snorkel and dove to retrieve a dropped pole on the bottom, but he found it unbearably cold. (The pole is still down there and the kids still swim.)

We think the air temperature is comfortable, but not in the water!

Shopping stops included the modern supermarkets and stores but we particularly liked the fabulous fish and veggie market where we got great smoked salmon and wholesome produce. So many clams, mussels, fish, and other mysterious items to choose from...

...and so much fresh produce...

Before our departure tomorrow to explore southern sites, we spent some time with a few friends including Sam and David (a sailing Brit who has made Puerto Montt his home) who recommended some worthy stops and sights to see on our charts.

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