Looking back: Patagonia trip

17 april 2018

Impression Patagonia trip!

For 3,5 weeks we sailed the channels in Patagonia. This uninhabitated wilderness was fascinating. Patagonian winds showed us their power and taught us to wait for a good weatherwindow. We started in Ushuaia (Argentina) and via a stop over in Puerto Williams (Chile) we sailed West through the Beagle channel. Via the Patagonian Canals, Magellan Strait, over Golfo de Penas we sailed all the way to Puerto Montt.

Impenetrable forests
On our first stop (Caleta Olla) we already experienced the thick, impenetrable forests of Patagonia. Typical for the region, the forest begins immediately at the shoreline where heaps of rotten branches hang over the water while above them twisted trees covered with the most beautiful mosses create a fairy tale-like forest. Sometimes we hang on to these branches to be able to climb up the steep hills. Further up the mountain you come upon fields of soft carpets of thick moss and little pools.

Glaciers- wilderness- mountains- strong headwinds…
The highlights of our journey were the two glaciers; Pia glacier (Corderilla Darwin) and Amalia Glacier (Corderilla Hielo Sud) both coming down from the mountain reaching into the channels, our bathing session at the hot springs nearby seno Aysen and our visit to the little fishing village Puerto Eden after two weeks of no mans land. In between all this were many miles that we had to cover to get to Puerto Montt most of which were made with a strong headwind. Sometimes the wind was so strong we had to hide in one of the many caletas (a small bay) this region has to offer to await better winds but which gave us the possibility to discover even more land, hike through the wilderness and make little dinghy tours watching kingfishers, steamer ducks, and playing with the dolphins. We try to climb almost every mountain in the Caletas (max 200 m high but steep and slippery) and we enjoy the beautiful views of the area, often with the rain pouring down and every now and then on a bright sunny day.

Deserted Patagonia
The nature in this region is incredible. Patagonia is deserted, lonely and besides the few fishermen, some freight ships and a couple of sailing yachts we are all alone. Totally depended on ourselves we brought everything we need on board. The weather decides where and when we make an anchorage, and when we leave again. The Patagonian winds are always unpredictable and strong and can make you feel vulnerable in this immense mountainous world. Plans are made to be changed by the weather and some ideas have to make way for safety reasons. But all this is forgotten with all the beautiful caletas we discover, the wildlife we see (whales, dolphins, sea lions, beavers and many birds) and the nature that surrounds us.
To reach Puerto Montt we need another 40 hours tacking. Again northerly winds, it´s raining and we have to cancel a stopover at Chiloe. Nobody complains, finally everybody is happy as we arrive just in time.

Astrid E

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