Saturday, January 14, 2012

What's out there?

After the required port departure clearance (zarpe) and route description posted with Armada de Chile, we provisioned and fuelled up. There are too many Chilean islands and sights to see out there. But on January 14th, we finally left at 18:00 to see what we could discover during the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Our first stop was after 23 nautical miles where we tied up to a mooring ball 4 hours later at Isla Puluqui (S41°49.688' W073°05.439'). The water was glassy calm and about 4 other boats were also moored. The next morning, we went to a homemade breakfast by Juanita and family at their Bed & Breakfast that included fresh out-of-the-oven buns cooked in an old-fashioned wood heated stove.

Judy and Juanita - love those old stoves

We left on January 15th at 10:30 to head for somewhere not yet decided - we'd decide as we travelled south consulting the guidebook and charts. We ended up dropping anchor 54 nautical miles later at Isla Apiao at 20:45 (S42°36.635' W073°13.087') with 3 other sailboats present. We had to be careful of 2 large flat rocks upon entering the channel. A few countryside homes, very quiet, but we did hear a rooster - the first in a long time! We spoke on the VHF with a New Zealand boater who gave us their contact info for when we are in New Zealand next year.

A conspicuous tranquility

At this latitude and time of year, it is still light out until around 22:00. It's also odd to realize how far east Chile is. We are further east than Miami, Florida of USA. Check it out on a globe.

The first day out, we saw lots of rural homes on the shores and lots of marine traffic, but soon after then, it became very remote and we felt pleasantly alone in the serenity.

Then on January 16th, we left our Isla Apiao anchorage on a bright sunny morning at 07:15, but not before Jordan took several photos of the sun glistening on other boats and the countryside.

We motored most of the day and sailed for a bit to Bahia Tictoc where we set anchor at Isla Huepan (S43°38.399' W073°00.762') at 20:00 after 67 nautical miles.

What an amazing place! Several dolphins escorted us in as they jumped and swam all around our bow. There they are...on my right, no there they go...on my left, swimming and jumping so fast it was impossible to catch them in a photo.

We were tucked nicely in an anchorage and were surrounded by islands and mountains and the cacophony of penguins! Yes, penguins! At first, we could only hear them but then we saw 8 of them marching along the slope of the rocky shore. How totally cute!

What a thrill is was to watch them from Sea Turtle as they pranced around on shore, stretching their necks as they made their penguin cry not unlike a donkey bray.

Then a lone otter was spotted on the opposite shore. But it was too late in the evening so exploring was left for the next day.

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