One month traveling on the sailing boat Esprit d’Equipe through the Beagle channel and Cap Horn
- Friday 4th of January 2019 : Meeting with the crew
- Saturday 5th of January 2019 : Hiking
- Sunday 6th of January 2019 :Boots
Departure from Buenos Aires in the middle of the afternoon to Ushuaia, known as the end of the world.
Ushuaia is a port city, not very pretty but still lively. There is a main street with lots of sports and hiking shops. There are many restaurants. Everything is done for tourists passing through. It’s dark until 11 pm so it gives us the time to see the city a little more clearly.
Thierry, the captain of the boat, proposes to come all to the boat to meet the crew when we wish and why not at the time of the aperitif. It gives a good idea of the kind of person we are going to be dealing with, and that suits us perfectly.
We finally get late with Mael, Erica and their friends, Augustina and Martin.
We all have big eyes because we expected to see a boat a little bit bigger. To access it, we will have to go through a staircase a little shaky and stretch our legs to access the boat.We pass in front of the driving wheel and we go downstairs. We meet Thierry, the captain, Marion his second and the Chef, Philippe, a traveler like us, and Catherine, also traveling. There is also another person I cannot remember his name, but who is very friendly. We all go in and we start to feel cramped. Thierry greets us with a big smile and starts the jokes. Philippe and Catherine look a little more reserved, and Marion very dynamic with a franc spoken, which makes us understand that we will have to respect the rules for everything to work well. We do not meet Hélène, the seventh person we will her in three days only.Erica and his friends decide to leave, Quentin talks, and Mael and I set out to discover the boat. We start to laugh discreetly because we wonder how I will survive in this small space.We come back to see the others and we join them to get to know each other. An hour later we leave the boat and we find Erica and his friends in a bar in the city. There are so many people, it’s hard to get along, and hear. The others wait to have a table for 40 minutes. We order stuff to eat a fugazza is like a pizza but with more ingredients than dough; it’s so good. Around midnight we finally have a table and we recommend a fugazza.Before returning to our airbnb we agree on the plan of the next day and the place and time of appointment.
This morning when I wake up I see a message from Marion: we forgot to pay part of the box. So before finding everyone we decide to go by the boat.It is much nicer today, it’s nice. We will not stay for too long because we have to find the others for the hike of the laguna colorada. We give the money, we talk a little and then we tell them we will come back tomorrow, as we are invited to put our stuff to the boat and tidy up.Today the plan is to go hiking in Ushuaia. Erica’s friend and his roommate work in a rental car company, so they will all come to pick us up.The hike starts 20min away from the city center, after river Olivia, if I understood properly. On the road we can see amazing landscapes; the mountains are colorful and beautiful!We reach the Laguna Esmeralda in about one hour and thirty minutes, walking through the forest in some parts. On the way we met a fox. It was not really scared so we could see it very well and take pictures. The hike is quite easy and the landscape is beautiful. The weather was also nice on the way.Once there, we all shout ‘’Whaouuu!!!’’ because it is amazing! This lake has a turquoise blue color and it faces a huge glacier.We will stay two hours there doing nothing (most of the time trying to hide from the rain) before we start going back. The rain made the path muddy but gave different colors to the landscape, and the mountains look even more beautiful now. On the way we will see two foxes walking around!This first hike was great, we cannot wait to discover other places from Patagonia!At night we are invited to eat local food: asado of sheep! This is a typical dish in Patagonia. We are gonna have dinner at Martin’s friend’s place (Martin is the roommate of Augustina). HE lives a bot outside the city center. He is very kind and seems a bit in another world. He knows a lot of things about his country and the fauna and flora of Patagonia; he knows how to entertain and so we are having a great evening.
After dinner we grab a taxi and go to bed as we are exhausted.
The alarm clock is a bit difficult this morning because we did not sleep much. We prepare our bags slowly to be on the boat around 10am. On the way we go buy croissants. The croissants here are not bad, a little heavy but good.
We arrive near the boat, we meet Thierry on the pontoon; he accompanies us and helps us load our big bags.
Marion explains what to do, we unpack everything and try to tidy up properly. Finally, it will take much less time than expected. The only problem is that by seeing our equipment they realize that we are not properly equipped for the trip. We thought our hiking shoes and gaiters would be enough, but in fact it is possible that on the continent it sinks to the hip in the fresh snow … so we are very annoyed. We decide to go in search of rain boots. It will take several hours. Quentin thinks he has found boots that could do the trick and I find in a small shop beige rain boots that I take without asking any questions.
The day was a little chaotic and long but after a good meal with Mael and Erica in a great restaurant we feel much more better.
I hope we will sleep well tonight because the adventure begins tomorrow!
- Monday 7th of January 2019 : On the way to Puerto Williams in Chile
- Tuesday 8th of January 2019 : Beagle channel
- Wednesday 9th of January 2019 : Back to Puerto Williams
Today is the big departure. The sky is clear and the mountains are perfectly unveiled. The snow covers some peaks whose reflections on the bay come to beautify the landscape.
It is 7:15. I did not sleep, at least not very well. I had nightmares of crossing the Drake Canal. The waves of 10 meters or more make me a little too overthinking. The night was short for me. Quentin seems to have had a better night and wakes up all right. We take a good hot shower and then finish folding our stuff.
8h. We start heading towards the nautical center. We warn Maël so that he can meet us with Erica for the goodbyes.
A few minutes later we arrive at the boat. The team is almost complete, Helen is still missing but we will see her a few minutes later on the pontoon.
9h. We go to the immigration office to stamp our passports for the exit of the country direction Port Williams in Chile. We meet Mael and Erica on the road who decide to wait for us at the boat in front of the sea until we finish the formalities. The customs officer makes jokes while keeping his serious look, so we do not really know if he’s joking or not. A Frenchman starts to talk with us at the door but is not very interesting. Quentin, who has a little pity talks with him while we ignore him. When we leave, the customs officer is all happy and begins to give us a kiss to all and wish us a good trip. I cannot imagine the European customs officers doing the same thing!
Catherine may have a solution for Quentin’s boots. She decides to take us to a shop that sells a bit of everything. Philippe is going to help Marion to bring the bread, while Helène goes to see her passing lover. As for Thierry, no idea! Marine things surely!
9:30, the shop opens only in 30min so I decide to go and get Mael and Erica. When we come back Quentin comes out empty-handed but with the name of another shop. So Catherine returns to the boat and Mael and Erica decide to go for breakfast in an old café along the harbor where we will find them later.
10:15. We arrive at the shop and miracle, they have boots! Quentin feels relieved; and I am happy for him too. We go to the cafe and say goodbye to Mael and Erica, in case we have to leave hurriedly. We decide to return to the boat because Marion must give us a briefing.
Once back Marion explains what we need to do but first and foremost do not do. She is funny. She warns us about it so we can never say we were not warned! We discover all the hiding places of the boat, where to find each food, each utensil, how to do the dishes, and especially, the most important: how to flush the toilet!
We will stay a moment on the boat. The sea is down so we have to wait for it to go up to leave. Thierry is an optimistic person: at noon we should leave. Mael and Erica have had time to come back and say goodbye. It made me feel weird, to tell myself that I will not see anyone else in my family again for a while. I’m sad.
12:30, the tide is still low; Thierry offers to have a drink and lunch on the boat. This afternoon it will be pasta, cabbage salad and fruit.
2pm. That’s it, we’re leaving! Just before leaving, I hear Thierry gossip about something, but I do not quite understand, something that seems like a problem ending with ” I’m not going to Antarctica like this ”. It is going to be interesting !
Everyone is helping to free the boat between the pontoon and another boat.
2:30 pm, we see the city go away in the distance, the mountains are still beautiful. We discover new ones along the way. It is a little cool but it’s nice.
Marion and Thierry drive the boat while we enjoy the view.
I ask Philippe to show us how to make knots of sailors. He explains to us how to knot “the chair”, “the capstan” and the “double key”. We listen carefully and reproduce.
We learn later that there is a concern at the wheel, the autopilot does not work properly. If it is not repaired it could jeopardize the start.
It’s cold and I’m tired so I decided to go lie down which will allow me to apprehend a little the waves because it moves a little up.
When I go back we are almost there and Quentin tells me that they saw a whale … I’m a little sad but not too much since I should see a lot soon.
There are a lot of boats already in Puerto Williams. We manage to slip at the end of the line. We will have to step over all the sailboats to go out and go on land. The weather has changed the sky has become cloudy and it is much colder here.
Marion urges us to go to the immigration office, which will be closed, and do some food shopping. Thierry in the meanwhile finds another sailor to try to repair the boat.
Puerto Williams is a military town. I do not find it very pretty, it’s sad, and even more with the greyness.
Catherine tells us that there is an old boat, very well known from sailors that we must absolutely visit because very original: the Micalvi. We’re lucky we just have to step over 3 sailboats to get there. We meet a beautiful blue and brown bird with a ridge. The boat is indeed very original, there are flags and pennants of all countries on all the walls and the ceiling. There is a library with many (all?) books in French. Some are very strange, by the way. This boat serves as a pontoon and was sunk on purpose.
Returning to the boat, we see Thierry, Catherine and Philippe talking with the military electronics engineer. We arrive, he leaves then nothing works anymore … do we carry bad luck? call him back, to show him that it does not work and he explains that he does not have time to take care of the boat before Thursday. So he suggests investigating on our side before we call him back.
So we keep our spirits up and we decide to have a drink and eat.
Marion prepared us a great meal: fried rice with Thai shrimp, a treat. We all eat together laughing and teasing each other, then everyone in bed.
Wake early because the boat that is attached to ours must leave very early. So, with the sounds of the engine and people working on deck, no choice, time to wake up!
The girls put the breakfast on the table and this long day can now start properly.
This morning we have to go to the immigration office, which was closed yesterday. So we follow Marion’s dynamic rhythm. Once there, there are a few people waiting and a dog lying on his back in the middle of our group with his feet in the air waiting for someone to devote himself to scratch him. Without much surprise, Quentin begins to make him a mess.
Passport stamped, we go to Micalvi to take a good hot shower. Everything is made available for the sailors of passage, there is even wifi!
We do some shopping with Marion and we put water (non salted one for shower, drinking and cooking) in the boat. Thierry wants to test the sail. So the boys and Helene sticks to deploy it and I help them with Catherine to fold it back. At one point I say that the fold is badly done then Thierry said something that made me laugh: “Rhooo! We’re not going to the boat show !! “.
Meanwhile Marion is in the kitchen, I’ll help her once they do not need me upstairs anymore. As always, she prepares us a great meal. This time it will be country style omelet with smoked beef!
Once the meal is over we set sail. We leave Port Williams with a beautiful view of the mountains and the hike we will not do (after I learned I quickly realized that physically it would not do after taking 5 kilos in Antarctica on the boat).
We all stay at the helm with the captain to admire the landscape enjoying the air more than fresh. Everything is fine until we hear the autopilot disconnection beeps! Panic on board, Thierry and Philippe do not understand because everything seemed to work for the better. The machine released for an unknown reason will have to stop again to investigate. The wind is against us and at 40 knots (it’s strong), the waves are intensifying and Thierry and Philippe try to stay the course somehow.
Thierry does not want to continue in these conditions and decides to find a place to anchor for the night. There is one on the way but with the conditions of current navigations it is risky to venture into the cove because in places there is little background. He believes in it, and tries it. We see on the board the depth decreasing: 20m, 15m, 10m, 5m, 4m … we tighten all the teeth but no one flinches … 3.8m … and finally it goes back up! What a stress! We anchor in a pretty cove in which we had passed a few minutes earlier; small islets prevent the wind from passing.
Marion drops the anchor, then Catherine and Philippe take the zodiac and will hang two ropes on each side of the boat on each of the islands on both sides, to tree trunks.
Once it is done, Thierry and Philippe take care of investigating to repair the boat, Marion starts to cook and with Quentin, Catherine and Helen we take the zodiac and we paddle to the island on left to go for a walk.
The island seems very wild. There is a farm further. With Quentin we decide to venture into the forest. We discover unknown plants and mushrooms that grow on trees and look like small hives. At one point we hear like blows, then Quentin sees a woodpecker banging his head against a tree trunk. It is too far for me to take a picture so we decide to approach but we lose sight of it. We will spend 20 minutes listening to the noises, finding it and getting closer to it. Our efforts will be rewarded by pretty photos. We find the girls and we go back to the boat.
Marion has finished cooking; the boys think they have solved the problem and the four of us are gorging a little in the sun.
We end up taking a drink; Marion made a meal of thunder tonight: as an aperitif super good guacamole with crackers and dish a couscous well relieved. We dine together while laughing. Catherine laughs at all our jokes and Thierry falls asleep on the table.
Another great day, everyone goes to bed and I do the dishes with Helen.
We wake up with a sweet smell of gas; Marion launches tea and coffee. Everyone starts to shake little by little in the common space to prepare breakfast. It does not rain but it is gray outside.
After a quiet breakfast everyone is on deck to prepare the boat.
At first, Quentin and Philippe embark on the zodiac to remove the ropes on each side while Thierry and I bring the ropes by winding them in the back of the boat. Quentin was a little frightened, he fell into the water but only half, thankfully! The girls take care of the anchor and the front. Once each task is completed one must empty, lift and fold the zodiac. We do it with Quentin, Philippe, Helen and Catherine. It’s quite funny, we had trouble deflating the boat so we lie on it and we put all our weight but nothing to do the boat does not want to deflate! after several attempts we decide to bend it as we can, we wind it in ropes and then we find Thierry and Marion at the helm who have already started navigation.
The weather looks good but unfortunately for us, the autopilot still does not work. So the program will be, to keep hope and smile, to return to Port Williams where two people will eventually help us repair the boat but the military is available only tomorrow. If the boat is not spotted it will return to Ushuaia but hey, we try not to think about it. It’s in a good mood that we return to Port Williams. On the road we will meet some penguins.
Marion proposes to leave the wheel to someone to learn so I start! For an hour or more I will be in charge and will stay on course. Small tourist boats passing by and making me small scares: their waves rocking the boat from right to left. The wind is strong and against us, between 30 and 40 knots, like yesterday, and some waves raise the boat forward, but all is well, and I’m not even sick! Meanwhile Marion prepares a great meal: pies and salad.
Thierry takes the wheel closer to the port to dock the boat and we find some sailors to whom we said goodbye yesterday.
We have lunch together in a good atmosphere and then everyone returns to his small occupations until dinner tonight.
As we are back at Micalvi we take the opportunity to shower and do laundry by hand. Then we relax at Micalvi and we take advantage of the internet connection and calm on the floor of the boat, while the others try to find the origin of the breakdown with another sailor. We also take this opportunity to call family and friends.
When I go back to the boat I can see Thierry’s sad face. He tells me that we unfortunately cannot go to Antarctica this time but we will go the Beagle Channel. I am very disappointed, but in the meantime, I tell myself that if I cannot do something there must have been a reason why, and I will do it later. Thierry tells me that we are invited to go to Antarctica next year or whenever we can, and that he will make a special price. For me it is fine; we will go to Antractica later and now we are gonna visit a place I would have never thought visiting in my life! So I tell him we are happy with this decision, even though I still have to tell Quentin.
I meet Quentin at the Micalvi and tell him what happened. He is disappointed also but thinks the same as me, so everything works fine.
Catherine tells us that there is a great museum in Puerto Williams that we must visit. It is related to the people of Patagonia and the colonization. As this sounds interesting we decide to go and have a wee look at it. We go through the “city center” and stop by the hiking office. I ask the guy if there is a hike we could do in one day and how to get to the museum. He tells us it is simple to get there, just to go straight and right, then straight, that we cannot miss it as it is the only bog blue house of the village. But of course, we do not find it so easily. We turn round and round, we ask our way, but keep missing it! Fifteen minutes after we finally find the museum but, unfortunately, it closed thirty minutes earlier…so we go back to the boat.
On the boat we discuss about what will happen next, not too into details because Hélène is not here yet. When she arrived, she is disappointed but seems to be in to go the Beagle channel. We take an apero outside, then we have dinner: an excellent chicken cary quite spicy.
I end up outside with Catherine and Marion. It is very nice. I get to know Marion a bit more. I really like her, she is a nice person and seems to trust me, and this makes me happy. She tells me more about her life. We make a deal: to be on the boat together for the next trip to Antarctica. We keep laughing till late, then she decide to go to bed as she is exhausted. Quentin and Philippe go up and we talk together. Time now to know more about Philippe, who has a family in France and works in building construction. He explains to us several things about the sailor’s life. He says somethings that makes me laugh a lot: “Sailing is like taking a cold shower throwing away 500 euros bills””. This means that having a sailing boat is time and money consuming, stressful for in the end, not a lot a fun time. But as most things, we get used to it.
I decide to go to bed, and leave Philippe and Quentin alone.
- What is the Beagle channel?
- Thursday 10th of January 2019: On the way the the Beagle!
- Friday 11th of January 2019 : Borracho
- Saturday 12th of January 2019 : Boracho again and again
- Sunday 13th of January 2019 : Stuck
- Monday 14th of January 2019 : The sponge
- Tuesday 15th of January 2019 : Merlin
- Wednesday 16th of January 2019 : Ice cold
- Thursday 17th of January 2019 : Caleta Cecilia
- Friday 18th of January 2019 : Coloane
This morning we have to go to the immigration office at 9am because we finally stay in Chile for the month. We have to get another stamp on our passports to leave and come back to the Chilean territory.
Quentin and I decide to wake up early to have a shower before and try to book our missing night at Torres del Paine. Hélène told us that we may have troubles getting into the park with missing nights. We get ready and go to the Micalvi but unfortunately, it is impossible to book anything on the CONAF website. We try to book on the Fantastico Sur website, even if prices will be really high, but unfortunately, all places are fully booked. We only have one choice left: pretending we did not realize we were missing a night in case they ask us.
We go back to the boat at lunch time. Thierry is smoking outside his first cigarette. It seems that we made a bit of noise when we left the boat this morning…Quentin hurt his head and woke them up.
We leave a bit later than expected today to go to the immigration center. On the way, Hélène tells us she does not want to do the Beagle channel trip. The trip is quite expensive and she has not a lot of money; she wanted to go to Antarctica, this is what she paid for. We think the same but we decide to stay. She seems very disappointed and upset because there is no boat going back to Ushuaia today; the ferry costs 150 euros one ways, which is quite expensive.
While going back to the boat, Quentin and I decide to go to the museum. This time we find it straight away, and it is open! It is very interesting, even though we do not understand everything. We go back to the boat and make a stop at the Micalvi to get some wifi to inform our parents about this new plan. Thierry arrives and Hélène ask him to give her the money back, and to find a solution for her to go back to Ushuaia. This is fair for her to ask this. I will leave as I do not need more internet.
I find others who are busy with the new schedule. She is very beautiful, military green and black. They try to mount it. I join them. It’s not easy, and we had the good idea to do that right in the middle. We start to inflate, it makes me do a little sport. After a good thirty minutes we get to put it up. Now you have to take it out of the boat to hang it on the back. Here too, it requires reflection. We end up getting there. Marion had to think for a moment about how to hang the appendix at the back since the fasteners are different from the previous one. Once at the top, Philippe comments that it is not solid enough and that it should be tied differently. So it’s gone for a manipulation. It will finally be put in place a few minutes later, making everyone happy. Helen returns by telling us that only the idiots do not change their mind, under the understanding that she will stay with us. She does not have the morale visibly but we will go back to him.
We must now leave. We all get together, except Helen who stays down to think certainly. It’s quite funny and chaotic since we are between two boats. It is therefore necessary to undo the ends of each side and moor the two other boats together. Thierry starts then everyone runs to make everything happen for the better. Quentin and Marion stayed on the last boat to hang on to the other. Once it’s done we go back to find them but we almost lost Marion in the water because Thierry went a little too fast! Once everyone is on the boat we start for good. I help Marion cook carbonara pasta. She told me that she was afraid that the atmosphere changed with the departure of Helen. Marion must take the bar of the coup I propose to make us two plates and eat with her upstairs. It’s cool outside but it’s really nice and we’re having a good time. I suggest she take the bar the time she eats. I’ll keep the bar a good hour eventually. Thierry and Catherine find us at the top when he has finished eating. Quentin takes care of the dishes and makes us tea and coffee.
In the distance you can see Ushuaia, and the Andean Cordillera. It’s beautiful. We meet some penguins that disappear immediately and a sea lion. The road is a bit monotonous. I give the bar and I try to sleep next to Quentin who reads. I’m cold. Everyone laughs and enjoys the scenery. The wind rises a little more stirring the boat. Thierry is at the helm. Thierry and Marion discuss the mooring area. I decide to go down to rest but I’m so cold that I feel my limbs tense. A good hour later we arrive in the new cove. It is far from the wind, sunny and green. We are unfortunately not alone: there is a boat that Catherine and Thierry criticized yesterday to cheer up who is there and moored a bit too wide which puts Thierry in a rage. Hélène and Philippe go in annex attach the boat to trees and we, we help them with the ends to return. Finally everything is fine. One begins to slap a delirium on a song that Catherine began to teach to Marion for the harmonica. The words being ” put your hand in the water, in the water of the stream ” we decide to turn into ” put your ass in the water in the creek water ”. Meanwhile, the Dutch sailboat arrives and moored in our and we go in a fabulous delirium to make a video clip of the song. We’ll laugh on the bridge, Quentin and Philippe filming us dancing and singing. Marion will be responsible for editing.
Marion offers me to help her cook tonight. She planned salmon in foil. We joke well, then she shows me her hideout of chocolate she shares with me. Too good! The papillotes are going to be delicious. We find the others at the top and we go to the table. Indeed it is good Thierry tells us his old stories and makes us laugh.After the meal Hélène sticks to the dishes, Catherine and Thierry go to bed then we decided to play Uno Philippe does not know his game but you still seem to like it, we’ll do three or four games before going to bed.
The cove in which we have wet is called Borracho (which means being drunk … is this a sign?). It’s pretty, there is a forest all along the cove. The rocks are of three colors: black, gray and yellow (due to algae). After breakfast we embark for the discovery of the creek. Two same groups are formed: the first composed of Catherine and Helen, and the second of Quentin and me. The girls start by the sea while Quentin and I go straight into the forest. There are plenty of small plants that sting, and in leggin it is not the best plan! we plunge into the forest, we cross the trees, we take branches in the face. We try to find birds but they are rare. We hear them this way. We meet the girls who advise us to go further west. It’s pretty there too, but very windy. We peel them! we can see that the crossing would not have been possible. The mountains that face us are very pretty. We try to return to the boat through the forest and along the creek at the edge of the water. One ventures a little more law to see if on the other side it is pretty, then one returns.
Marion has prepared us, once again, an excellent and hearty meal. I think we fell for the food! Canned food is out of the question on this boat. We eat then at the end of the meal she tells us that there is a surprise so we start to imagine that she made us a cake, we are all excited! then in fact she tells us that there is plenty of rotting fruit and cheese … and finally a chocolate cake and nuts! She is perfect! I do the dishes waiting for others to finish their cigarette because I really want to play Uno.
The parts of Uno are linked, we laugh well. Catherine is the only one who naps while we all scream and moan in all directions. After several parts I have a big nap and then I start making travel drawings. Hélène gives me motivation, she looks more in the same perspective as me for his travel book so I enjoy having the company to finally get started. Quentin reads next to us and Marion begins to prepare a small aperitif: sardine butter. It’s a mixture of sardines, butter and cheese. It’s not bad, me who does not like blue, it’s the second time she manages to make me eat!
Thierry prepares his strange aperitif with egg. It’s not for my taste but the others seem to like it. Then we go to table: tonight it’s lentils and beef sausages (bacon for Catherine). It’s still very rich. I do not this much, not being a big fan of sausage but it was very well prepared.
Catherine and Thierry go to bed and the rest of the band starts again parts of Uno. Unfortunately I lose the last, and everyone is surprised that I do not complain. But what they do not know is that tomorrow I will have my revenge !!
This morning the alarm clock is quite difficult, I do not want to go out under the quilt. I’m cold and tired. The boat pitched suddenly I think we’re still going to do a day here so what’s the point? I hear the others activate, the smell of gas back to my nose, suddenly I sink even more under the blanket.
After 20 minutes I decide to get up. Marion came to jump on me all over, with her hands frozen to make me rise. Hélène is continuing to draw her Beagle channel map. The three smokers are on the bridge and Quentin is finishing his breakfast.
I’m grilling bread, now that I know where the mysterious Chilean toaster is (it consists of a metal plate with a grill that is simply available on the gas).
Time does not seem to want to change suddenly Thierry tells us that if he stays and we will spend another night here but he looks optimistic all the same.
The morning passes gently, I go on the bridge with Catherine to discuss. She tells me that she has a satellite phone in case her mother goes bad; she told him the night before her departure that she was leaving for Ushuaia so as not to panic her. A few minutes later I hear the Uno call, and this time everyone is playing! Marion explains the rules to Catherine. We laugh a lot, we groan, we shout, for at least an hour the parts are linked. Then I help Marion to cook. On the menu this afternoon it will be cary shrimp and pineapple cake. It smells great, and I take this opportunity to taste pineapple more than once. Helen takes his courage in both hands and goes to wash in the sea while the others laugh.
We go to the table, we are pretty quiet this afternoon. Everyone goes back to work, smokers on the deck as usual, and I go to bed; I would like to finish this book by Bernard Minier because I have two others waiting for me and I would not like to triball them all along the trip. I fall asleep for two hours, the boat cradles me, I hear the wind.
Finally, we will not move, it is too bad in the Beagle. Quentin, Marion and Hélène start a game of scrabble and I start reading again. A little later Marion calls us to go all on earth to go for a walk. I did not want but then everyone goes, I motivate myself. We all climb on Charles (we called the appendix like that since it is written on it). Quentin and Thierry pull Charles to the ground then everyone goes down. There are plenty of swallows so I lose others. I prefer to watch the birds rather than go down into the forest and curse them to see that we are really stuck here. Catherine sinks alone in the forest and I go alone in the other direction, I go along the coast, spend a second cove and seat in front of the sea. I look in the distance, the mountains are unveiled, the waves are made bigger, and I appreciate the silence and be alone a long time. I wonder why destiny has brought us here and not in Antarctica.
I hope we will leave soon because I am getting tired of this place. I would like to see what I have been promised and not be disappointed with the trip. Quentin finally arrives with Helen, who will take my place. Quentin and I decide to go back to Charles and get into the forest and the others are not there yet. He laughs saying that yesterday I had laughed well by insisting on where Catherine was. He tells me it looks like Catherine shares the captain’s bunk, something I did not know. Helen had hinted to me but I did not know if that was true. We laugh, then we continue our journey, we sink, we take branches, crushes foam and then we go out to the sea where others are waiting for us … smoking! We sit down with them, but when Helen is wanted, Quentin goes back into the forest. I show Philippe the strange animals I spotted in the water, unknown fish larvae. H2ena arrives but not Quentin, I scream his name and Marion whistles but nothing to do, it will appear only 5 minutes later telling us he had heard nothing.
We all go back to Charles and the smokers stay on the deck while Helen, Quentin and I sit down around the table. Finally Marion goes down and they finish their game of scrabble all three while I start my second drawing. Quentin and Helene help Marion prepare the meal while I write my travelogue. The wind is strong outside and the boat is pitching from right to left. But through the porthole I see the blue sky at times. We dine, once again we finish the hack filled and we scream at Uno. Catherine made us die of laughter by taking a big patty to Philippe, nobody expected: ” Fucked by your mother! ”; and here is the drama, laughing for a good hour. We play until exhaustion then Thierry ends the evening with a beautiful quote: “A little pee, a slap on the balls, and in bed! “
The night was horrible for me. The wind was blowing strongly, the boat was pitching in all directions. With each movement I had the feeling that we were going to capsize on one side or the other. As soon as I closed my eyes I imagined the worst. I did not sleep, I saw the sun trying to go to bed to finally get up, through the porthole. To hear the wind and the boat moving, we suspected that this day would still happen in Borracho. We are getting tired of this creek. If still there were pretty ballads to do there.
Helen asks Catherine if we can watch a movie about the Patagonian Indians and their extinction. We look at it, we learn a lot of things. It’s really not gay, but very interesting.
Marion prepares lunch. I hope it will not be too heavy because I have not planned to do too much movement this afternoon. Today is Laura’s birthday, I have to think about making her a little video. I really would have liked to be somewhere else to make it to him but hey … fate decided otherwise!
The day will not be very productive, we will not go to earth, it is really ugly and cold. So the parts of Uno will be linked with more or less violence (especially in the evening before going to bed!). Everyone will take a long nap. We will take the aperitif, dine and play again and then sleep!
Quentin is vee for a while and reads. I decide to have breakfast with Philippe and Hélène. Helen has also slept badly, but she has dreams of tarantulas … Philippe laughs at us. I breakfast then I find Thierry and Catherine upstairs, just to get a little air, and feel the delicious smell of cigarette tickle nostrils … really, I do not understand smokers!
I start, I need to wash my hair. It’s a little chaos but I’m doing pretty well.
Already a week! I feel like I have not seen anything interesting for the moment but the best is yet to come as it seems.
We are eating breakfast. This morning, it’s calm, just a little breeze. Looking out, the Beagle Channel is very quiet !!! it’s great, we will finally leave this place!
Quentin and I go on Charles to get the tips. Everyone does their little task and then go. Philippe and Thierry try to recalibrate the geocompass in vain, we will make laps in the middle of the channel for at least 20 minutes then they will declare and we will start.
Along the canal we discover very beautiful glaciers. The mountains are superb. After an hour I go down to help Marion in the kitchen, then I’ll have lunch with her in front of the bar. We discuss and we laugh well. The meal is very good this afternoon: tuna cake with salad, and fruit cake. It’s crazy what you can eat on a sailboat!
After a few hours of navigation we will arrive at our anchorage area: Penhoat. It is a very pretty cove that faces a beautiful glacier that you hear crack. Once moored, we go with the girls and Quentin go on a hike. Quentin and I finish alone because the girls are going too fast and we like to admire the landscape and the flora. We begin to engage outside of Charles and there we say thank you again the boots! we sink into the ground every thirty seconds! Everything is soft, we walk on a big sponge. We start by passing in front of the end of the arm on which reflects the glacier, it is superb. Unfortunately it will rain well for two good hours intermittently. We start climbing in green moss, then pink! surprising! we had never seen this before. We continue to climb avoiding falling on this spongy soil. We discover some interesting little flowers. The colors of the landscape are pretty: brown, green, yellow, brown. After a while I start to get a little fed up, I feel that the landscape never changes. I wonder if I would be able to enjoy the stay, if I am going to take full view. I regret not being able to go to Antarctica, it was still a huge budget and a big project that I see moving away and it makes me sad.
After a while we continue to climb but to the west this time and there I find the smile. The sun begins to break, the rain has stopped and the mountains are unveiling. It’s like Scotland or the landscapes of Lord of the Rings. It is superb. We see the Beagle in the distance and lakes and multiple waterfalls. We almost fell every five minutes, Quentin almost lost his boots. We go up, we go down, then we go back and we cannot get back to the boat. An hour later we arrive. Philippe comes to pick us up with Charles, knees on the front, a cigarette in the mouth and a paddle in the hands. Quentin climbs first and sure, the magnifying glass the boat and falls into the water. Fortunately I only wet the top of my boots.
Later Helene will help Marion to cook: tonight, it is fish breaded sauce with blue and mashed butternut. After the meal, despite the fatigue, we play at least five parts of Uno and everyone in bed.
This morning it will be gland to the boat then departure for a new cove not too far but because of the wind we will put almost two hours.
It rains all along, it’s pretty depressing, nobody is very motivated to go out. We wait for the rain to calm down, we observe the birds.
Thierry finally wants us to go hang the tip at the bank because the wind makes the boat turn and we risk getting closer near land and block the boat.
It’s raining a lot so I’m leaving with Marion. We laugh well on the boat, the rain ends up stopping. We hear in the distance the captain screaming (to berate us of course) but we hear nothing (thankfully). We return, the water is calm, we embark Quentin, Thierry, Catherine and Helen to go for a walk.
Another spongy land! it’s funny. We walk trying to avoid getting into the water. This corner is famous for its beaver dams. We go to a forest of dead trees: the beaver is responsible for destroying the trees to make large dams and divert the river. We find this strange red foam. We would like to sink into the water but we would like to sink into the water. As usual I’m picking it up because I’m taking pictures. I can find Quentin. The landscape is beautiful: dead trees, the river is colored by minerals, and the mountains with their glaciers that surround the caleta, and all this dense vegetation of all colors! A pleasure for the eyes, and I think the rain adds an atmosphere that makes the landscape even more mystical.
We walk along the river and we decide to go into the forest with Quentin and let others who try to cross the river on a tree trunk. I think it’s by far the most beautiful forest I’ve seen in my life. We would have thought in Merlin the enchanter! Trees in all directions covered with moss, flowers, plants of all kinds, ground spongy plants that looked like mini salad leaves, beaver dams … We continue to sink and then we end up back to the center devoid of trees. We see others at the bottom, we try to catch up.
The ground is more yellow and we find the red foam in which we push our boots a few centimeters with each step. Around us the mountains rise, the water falls from the glaciers and form large waterfalls whose noise reason in our ears. We pass a huge dam and a big beaver house; we will see a huge one in the water by ironing in front of the return. This ride was superb, too bad we did not have more time in front of us because we could see the glacier a little further.
We go back on the boat and with Marion we go back with Charles to attach the blue end to a tree. We twist in with the black tip that we shoot to move forward, Carles changes direction and it’s hard to put it back in the right direction. Wanting to get out of Charles we almost lost Marion in the water; there was more water than expected so we paddle hard to get closer to the ground. Once the end hung we leave by pulling the black end and I nearly fall head first into the water! The rope got stuck in a part of the annex when I pulled it like hell. The presents on the boat had a good time, and so did we! we continue to shoot and finally arrive at the boat frozen fingers. On entering the boat it smells good, Catherine prepares mulled wine while waiting. Marion prepares a beef bourguignon, at first I thought it was a joke, I never thought to eat that right in the middle of the Beagle Channel. Everyone is calm, we are tired. We will eat around 11 pm and we will go to bed.
Today we are going to a place called Estero Fouqué. It will be a good hour and a half to get there. This is a place often forgotten sailors since people who go on a cruise with the sailboats are not really interested in stays in the Beagle and prefer to go see Cape Horn. Big mistake.
We all get up around 9am (always forced and forced with the smell of gas in our nostrils). We have lunch, young people downstairs on the deck smoking their first (sss) cigarette (sss). The wind was blowing well this morning from 8am, so it seems we are not in a hurry. Then all of a sudden, after an hour, everyone is active! we put the sails! I’ll help Marion with the anchor; I must make sure that the chain is properly coiled when it goes up. A few minutes later we left.
The ride is beautiful. We take our eyes full. The summit of glaciers and mountains is clear, it’s impressive. All of a sudden, I start shouting “dolphin !!!”, he came out from under the boat. This is a day that starts well!
For an hour and a half we admire this fabulous landscape. I go down to get Kir for Thierry, Catherine and Philippe when suddenly they tell me to go back because there is something to see. I hurry to prepare their glasses, I go back and there, wow! we are at the foot of a glacier !!! It’s just magic this moment! We get closer slowly, Thierry at the bar take care to let us enjoy the moment. In front of us brown mountains at the snowy summit are on our road, and on our right this wonderful glacier out of nowhere that flows into the sea. It is impressive, all these crevasses, these points at the top, this blue !!! a blue that I see only in the crevasses of glaciers. We admire, nobody speaks, then we continue our journey.
Other mountains are discovered then there at once the beginning of a huge glacier on the right, then another opposite! It’s beautiful ! The weather is a little gray but what is beautiful.
We drop anchor then we take Charles to the coast, and go for a great ride, even, Philippe comes with us. Unfortunately it’s raining, it looks like melted snow and it’s very cold, it’s ice-cold. We go down, the ground is muddy and there are plenty of mussels everywhere. This time it’s me who ties Charles with a chair knot. I’m happy with myself, then we go on an adventure. Once again the soil is spongy. We look for a way to climb, we pass in bushes and then leaving the ground becomes more practicable with its yellow plants soaked in water. We go forward, it goes up, it makes us do our sport, it’s cold and it’s raining well, but we keep fishing. Then suddenly, we see the end of the creek: three huge glaciers whose cast creates waterfalls, all overlooking the sea that seems to form a lake because it is a cul de sac. It’s impressive. We continue to walk, we would like to gain height to have a much better view on both sides. Two groups are formed, Catherine and Helen who draw without caring for others, then Marion, Quentin, Philippe and I who take our time, admire the landscape and take pictures at the slightest ray of sunshine. We laugh a lot ; it’s beautiful. We decide to go up but it’s a bit of a joke; Philippe suddenly lets us go and we continue the climb quietly with Marion and Quentin. We try not to slip, I galley (I’m a turtle climbing). We end up finding girls at the top and we will try to make a group photo with the Nikon Helen. We are too cold, the more we ice our bones. After the photo we decide to go back down. There is a little more galley. We do not see where we venture. The first ten minutes we run like gazelles and we see Philippe in the distance. He makes us understand that to the left is good but we do not see, we see the void. Marion launches but we are not too reassured so we go back everything down in at least thirty good minutes. We find the two down and then we return to the boat.
Thierry seems to be fine. His mission was to cook and we admit that he actually slept. Marion goes back to anchor and I will help her downstairs to lover the chain.
We take the same route, it’s still beautiful. Some read and others admire the landscape while Marion prepares the ingredients for the captain. We go back to the beautiful glacier and I take the opportunity to take some pictures. I go down to read and then 45 minutes later we arrive at the new anchorage. There is a small beach not far and we hang in a small green cul de sac where small waterfalls flow into the sea. We will eat the seafood lasagna of the captain, and we will make two parts of Uno to finish the evening.
This morning we take our time; the boys are tired of eating late so the goal is to try to find normal hours. So I had the time to finish my book by Bernard Minier, excellent book by the way; then I help Marion and Catherine to cook, the captain stays with us to discuss. We learn a lot about each one it’s quite funny; Catherine and Thierry have had many lives in their lives, especially Catherine. The others are up in full meditation or reading.
We will eat around 13h and we will go for a walk on earth an hour because we have the road to go. The place is pretty. On our way, along the beach, we meet pretty black birds with a red beak and we drive on the right through the bushes and high plants. Some plants are pungent and look like holly. After a good five minutes the path is a little more passable and we meet our first waterfall in the middle of green plants. The soil is a little less spongy here, at least it looks. We climb a little to see the top of the waterfall, it’s very pretty. On the other side there will be a nice panorama with a kind of forest and streams and waterfalls in the foreground, the sea with turquoise hues in places in the background, and the mountain under the mist in the background. We go down quietly and then return to the boat.
A few minutes later everyone will be active because tonight we will sleep in the most beautiful place of the channels according to Marion: Coloane (“it’s Reunion with glaciers” according to her). Coloane is the name of a writer. On the road we will see plenty of gigantic glaciers, it is to cut the breath, I have rarely seen so big. With Marion we will share my headphones and hum the tunes of Muse, Linkin Park and other good bands. Quentin seems to test the tightness of his clothes, he is completely soaked but does not seem bothered by the rain and the cold the moment.
We are approaching Coloane, and I understand right away why she insisted on going there. It is absolutely extraordinary! A glacier, which flows into the sea, huge, a blue! Then a second, and a third! And as if that was not enough, runners enjoy themselves on each side of the boat. It’s like paradise in Patagonia. We are all super happy, we also lost Marion she is excited. We enter a small cove sheltered from the wind and facing the glaciers. We stop the boat there. Two words: What else?
This morning it’s complicated: the captain wants us to fill the fresh water supply, and Marion wanted to go for a ride before. Finally we will do the ballad first. It will take a little time to start the day because you have to hang the engine on Charles. Once it’s done, we go to Beaver Earth and a glacier. We will do a few minutes of zodiac before arriving on land. There are tall grass cluttering the passage. It would be necessary to cross the river to reach the glacier. On our way we will find remains of trees, some of which have trunks that balance, and huge dams beavers, with their big house in the middle. We linger a little near a dam; Thierry tries to make a breach to wake the beavers but in vain. So we go towards the glacier. That’s wonderful. It falls in the river perpendicularly it is quite impressive. From time to time we hear avalanches. We will stay at least thirty minutes to observe and then we will return to the boat.
The second part of the day will consist of fetching fresh water in a waterfall that Thierry has spotted in front of the boat. Quentin and I go first with Thierry with two cans of 25L, then we will go back and forth with Helen and Quentin while others will cook. After the lunch break everyone goes to the glacier. We take the zodiac, the landscape is great. We arrive at the foot of the mountain. We begin to climb, the floor slips: the foam on the rock does not allow good adhesion with the boots. The view from above is impressive, we see a mountain range in front of plots of sea on one side, and on the other several glaciers of which one is really very close. The goal of the ride will be to climb the glacier. We venture higher then we arrive in an area between the glacier and the mountain. I find it very dangerous and irresponsible to bring us here in proper equipment and emergency equipment. Marion and Thierry are starting to climb, there are huge faults on each side, it slips, they are in boots, I really find that silly. I refuse to go. I do not want to have a stupid accident at the start of my world tour. Quentin is starting to go but I think his reason makes him follow me. We will let others go alone. I have a little balls because I really would have liked to go but good glaciers I’ve seen and reviewed and I’m going to see others, and I think it’s not worth taking risks . So we leave them, and we go to the other side. Quentin decides to take a nap in the sun and I continue a little way to see the end of the glacier jump into an arm of the sea. It’s very beautiful. At the top of a rock I see even better the mountains on the other side. There are many pretty flying birds that are not very shy. I find Quentin and we hang around waiting for others. We are getting cold so we hope they will hurry up.
An hour later we will be back to the boat. We will make new trips for fresh water between young people. We laugh well and the weather is nice. With Helen we decide to do our laundry and take a shower, what a shower! She is frozen !! but what happiness to feel clean! Quentin and Marion continue to go back and forth and we return to the boat together. Helen will stay with the others and we will continue to fetch fresh water for one hour.
When we come back we feel like a tension, Thierry is not in a good mood. We will have dinner without him, the meal he will have prepared elsewhere. Catherine and Philippe look uncomfortable, we try to laugh anyway. As soon as they finish their plate they will go find Thierry outside. It was a bit weird like atmosphere but hey, tomorrow will be another day!
- Saturday 19th of January 2019 : Strong Noise
- Sunday 20th of January 2019 : Silence
- Monday 21st of January: Nothing
- Tuesday 22nd of January 2019 : Sadness
- Wednesday 23rd of January 2019: Enough!!!
- Thursday 24th of January 2019 : Bahia Yendegaia
- Friday 25th of January 2019: Back to Puerto Williams
Today we go back to the north of the canal.
Everyone is active, Thierry still moaning on everyone, as each departure and each anchorage … then we leave.
The wind is strong, I have trouble helping Marion in the kitchen, I need to lie down a little. Finally I will stay down most of the time after the meal because I really need calm; community life in a small space is starting to get a little difficult despite the fun. For Quentin it’s the same; he speaks even less and reads even more.
The crossing will last a few hours. After a while Quentin comes to get me because we should see a beautiful glacier. I go up and there, it’s fabulous! Glaciers that flow into the canal, peaks of mountains that struggle to reveal themselves through the clouds, sounds of ice crackling that fall into the water. A magnificent show. We continue to sink into a creek with the end cherry on the cake: a wall of ice blue, gray and white hues that stands in front of us. Pieces of ice leave to drift and the shock with the boat makes us think that we are in another world. We will stay well thirty minutes to observe. This is, for the moment, what I preferred the trip. This blue! This height! These ice peaks! From time to time the ice cracks and splits the water with all its weight producing big waves accompanied by a thump. We are lucky, it rains gently during the observation and then starts to rain when we turn back to anchor.
We will return quietly back, we go back to gigantic glaciers and wet stop at the bottom of a small green island, the boat facing a majestic glacier.
Tonight Marion offers us pancakes. I take care of the dough and Hélène and Marion will take care of the filling. Marion is a little weak at the moment, it makes me a little moral blow; I hope it will be up very soon. So Hélène goes to cooking pancakes. Another good evening with a great meal in perspective!
After the meal I decide to go get some air, the sky seems clear. I get dressed, prepare the camera and that’s the show. The summits are cleared. It’s splendid. I will stay a good half hour to contemplate the mountains until the night finally falls.
This morning, on waking, we learn that Charles has run away! How did he manage to find himself on the other side of the bank, on the grass ?! The end is still attached but has disappeared. So someone has to sacrifice himself to get him. Thierry has a dry suit, gloves, a hood, and fins. At first they had named Helen as she showed her strong taste for frozen water but I said it did not bother me to go if she did not want to; I really need a mental break. I’m starting to saturate some behaviors. Marion learns what’s going on and suddenly she’s going to go, nobody talks. It exasperates me because I know she should not go. Mustard goes up. She wants to leave in free-style mode, I start to say a little what I think. Finally she will take the combination. I do not understand people who encourage her, without anything, without taking a last, without taking energy bar in case she has a concern on the other side. I’m starting to get excited. I hear that my comments have still been heard but some continue to scream in every way. I try to keep calm. She will go on the back, gallant to swim because of the cold, will move as once until exhausting his last strength, the others screaming in all directions. It annoys me more and more, I worry about her. She must row now. She will finally be able to do everything but on her return I see that she is exhausted. The people who proclaim me inflate to the highest point. Thierry and I help him out of her suit. I had prepared a banana for her to regain her strength but some decided that it was useless. She goes to the shower and I say that she should not cook to rest but the return I got was: ” she does what she wants ”; and that’s the tragedy, I’m farting a cable and I decide to leave isolating myself. I’m fed up with everyone, their irresponsible behavior. I need air and silence. I go to the end of the boat and there I burst into tears. I look at the landscape; it’s always so beautiful.
A little later Marion comes to find me, visibly touched by my attitude. I’m really sad for her and I tell her the bottom of my thoughts. Quentin comes later to console him. He is also tired of certain attitudes and tell me to try to take on me, but it is difficult.
We are going from the blow I blow a big blow and I will help everyone as if nothing had happened. I will stay on the deck, at the end, to sunbathe the three when from the crossing. Hélène will join me later with a little chocolate and will stay because the landscape becomes more and more magical. We go to a glacier, Pia, it’s just breathtaking. There are plenty of icebergs. We move closer and closer to the glacier, the colors and shapes are revealed, it’s impressive. Nobody talks so much it’s beautiful. Thierry slaloms between the icebergs. We only hear the sound of the sailboat crushing the pieces of ice in its path. The summit of the mountains is discovered, it is good, the sun warms. It’s just beautiful. The glacier is getting closer; a mountain encircled by ice flowing into the water. We hear the muffled sounds of ice cracking and falling into the water. We will spend well an hour to observe the ice, its colors, its forms, its sounds. A huge chunk of ice cracks and falls and there is ‘panic’, everyone goes to hang on because the wave is going to be big enough. More fear than harm but it was still impressive. Then again, no one speaks, everyone looks. Marion downstairs cooks. I asked her to do nothing to me but as she wanted to please me she still prepared a plate and in addition made a chocolate cake. I really like this girl, she has a heart of gold. We’ll all eat upstairs watching the glacier. It’s just amazing. Time will be with us until we leave. On the return Philippe takes the helm and avoids icebergs as best he can. The weather changes, it starts to show well and get cold. I’m going downstairs, Marion is down, we’ll talk. Helen will join us after. It’s nice. Now we go to caleta Cinco Estrellas. The weather may be bad tomorrow so we will surely stay there two nights.
We arrive at the caleta. We hang the boat with four ends because the wind should blow well. A dolphin greeted us promptly when we arrived. Charles is told to stand and laugh.
Thierry, Marion and Philippe make us understand that we must go for a long hike. So we leave with Quentin, Catherine and Helen. This time we will follow each other. After Pia, this caleta seems a little bland and uninteresting. There is not much to see. We will quickly return to the boat but the others pretend not to hear us not to pick us up immediately. Thierry and Philippe should be doing mechanics and Marion cooking (tonight is gigot but nothing for me, my stomach ache eating too much). Finally Marion comes to pick us up.
The leg meal was interesting. Marion warned us that she would not speak and would be focused on her bone. That’s exactly what she did, it was scary limit. The sound of the knife on the bone giving me chills I went off the table. I did not really want to stay anyway; I am more and more exhausted from life to seven. After the meal everyone will go to his corner.
Today I did absolutely nothing productive. I’m a little fed up and I’m slammed. The cold does not help either..
I spent all morning in bed working my spanish and sleeping; I went to lunch and go back to bed while the others (except Marion and Thierry) went on a hike.
In the evening it’s the storm, it’s raining and selling very hard. I hope we can leave this caleta, I do not like it too much. We dine, then I play cards with the girls a half hour before everyone goes to bed.
I hear others who are starting to go out for breakfast but I do not want to talk. I tell myself that it is early and that as usual they will smoke, eat, smoke, eat. In addition, the wind blows super strong, and it rains. So do not bother to hurry, and I’m not hungry (in fact I do not have the cereals that I like so I do not have anything that makes me really want, and lazy to do tea). I will hang out all morning in the bed to read. Quentin comes to tell me that in fact we all got up around 10am; so we will not leave in the morning to my great despair.
I tell Marion not to give me a huge portion for lunch; I’m a little tired of eating too much and especially eating fat (cheese and cream give me pimples); I must be able to control myself and reduce quantities otherwise I will become a ball! Especially that I know what she intends to do with the remains of broth (pasta with seafood). My head is heavy and my ears hurt. I’m starting to saturate I think. The noise of others reason in my head so I prefer to return to isolate myself in my corner.
Tonight Marion offers me to cook the fish in foil. I accept because I have to get out of my den and in addition there is Marion, Quentin and Helen so it will be nice. We talk and laugh, it gives me a little morale. The meal arrives, everyone seems to enjoy but I do not speak too much; I do not want to talk anymore. I will talk again when we are between us four to play kems.
In the evening before going to bed I think I make the mistake of putting a kleenex in the toilet. I do not know if it was part of the forbidden things to not clog the toilet. And there, bingo! the toilet so clogged … Of course, it was the drop for me, I think that’s it they will hate me even more. So I write two words on each toilet to warn people that I potentially blocked the toilet …
I burst into tears in the bed. I cannot take any more of this. I will not sleep because I will be interested in the comments of the next day.
The morning is hard … I have the ball in my stomach. I have not slept, I am tired, I have the cockroach. In short, nothing goes well.
I tell people that I may have blocked the toilet but Helen tells me that the Kleenex should have dissolved. In spite of my word, Catherine was still there and pumped a little more … Marion and Thierry are not there yet so I’m bubbling inside. I see Thierry with the word, then Marion and I tell him. I tell him that I will come out etc but no answer before his coffee and his cigarette (this is his rule). Nothing from Thierry. I blame myself, but I find it so stupid that a Kleenex was able to clog the toilet.
Finally Thierry and Marion go on an expedition to unclog and there, it was not my kleenex the wrong but a damn wipe !!!! I feel relieved but I know everyone thinks it’s me. Marion looks at me with a smile but I tell her that I am sincere. Thierry is angry. I feel so bad. That will teach me to be honest.
I stay a little up with the girls. Catherine looks at me as if I were guilty; Marion makes a reflection so I get angry and I tell them that if they want to see my bin dirty bin I can show them!
We start from the caleta. I really have the blues, I want to return to Ushuaia as soon as possible and leave this boat where I do not feel in my place.
I will stay down to read, and I will go back and forth to my cabin to cry discreetly. I’m fed up. I’ll go back when we get near the glaciers, but without a smile, red eyes, tired eyes.
Luckily we eat on the road; So I take the opportunity to eat outside with Marion who will hold the bar. There is a lot of wind: gusts at 50 knots. The road is super beautiful but seeing the boat leaning makes me dizzy … Marion makes me laugh suddenly it’s nice, I try to regain morale. When Thierry goes back I take the opportunity to go down (I learn later that no one spoke down, until Thierry is back).
We arrive at the new caleta, it’s super pretty. There are small beaches and a glacier in the distance. Thierry tells us that there is a nice hike to see the canal and a lake. So we go with Hélène and Quentin because we are tired of the atmosphere, and anyway we have that to do. So we will take our time. We will cross the undergrowth to arrive on a well soaked foam ground. We will find the course of the river that we will climb. The goal is to go as high as possible to see the canal and the emerald lake. It will galrerera well two hours to climb. There is more than 600m vertical drop, it is mud, moss, plants that bite etc. but we finally get to see this lake after two hours of climbing. Once in a while we are tired but happy. We hang out to admire the landscape. That’s wonderful. We can see the mountains on either side of the canal which has a turquoise color; and in front of us we see this beautiful lake with cascades falling. We sing, we shout, we even scream. An hour later down, we find a nice and quiet along the river. It will spend about twenty minutes listening to the sound of water. I want to cry. When I leave, I tell them that I really do not want to go back to the boat and here Helen understands that things are not going well.
We take our time, we have nothing better to do than to walk anyway. We decide to walk along the beach to go back. Here too it is superb. The light gives a bluish tint to the canal and the mountains. We will take our time to admire the landscape and to return to the boat. We wonder what atmosphere prevails and especially what a negative comment we will take.
It does not bother. Thierry picks us up, not very smiling. Once on the boat Thierry tells us that the girls went to pick us up because everyone was worried; we left for five hours etc … Quentin leaves to shower, I think he does not want to take the head at all, especially after the good after we passed away from all. Helen and I propose to return to look for girls; we hear them shout in the distance. Thierry and Philippe rattle; Philippe will finally leave with Helen to call the girls; I’ll stay upstairs with Thierry but not tell him anything; I decided not to say much anymore from today. After a quarter of an hour everyone comes back. Catherine had been really scared; I think more for Helen as they get along well. They come back and the atmosphere relaxes a bit. I discuss with girls, Marion to cook, Quentin I do not know too much and I do not know Thierry and Philippe.
The wind blows very hard outside, we never had such strong gusts! There are two other boats that have been park on the caleta.
Today we change place. We take our breakfast quietly with Helen and Quentin. The others smoke upstairs. Once everything is stored (by the same as every day), we position ourselves at different positions for departure.
It is beautiful outside, it warms my heart a little. We will leave under a beautiful sun. On each side the mountains are majestic, we see a great glacier flowing along the mountain. On the road we will cross fishing boats. I will stay up in my corner, in the sun, watching the sea and the mountains, listening to Muse.
Marion prepares the meal. I’m happy I’ll still enjoy the fact that we do not wet to eat with her while she holds the bar. A few minutes later, Philippe returns to the top to take the bar; I am a little disappointed I would have preferred that he take his time.
Everyone goes back after the dishes are finished. At the end of an hour Philippe perceives the breath of a whale! We are all excited and waiting for her to show up. We will see his back and his tail after about fifteen minutes. It was nice.
Finally we will not put the strings, we will only use the anchor for anchoring. The landscape is pretty but I really hate and the ball in the stomach. It’s been three days since I felt nauseated because of this evil that is eating away at me; I eat less for it to pass faster.
We will leave between young people still today. We are asked when we intend to return to avoid the trauma of the previous day; I say softly at midnight when everyone is in bed!
The water is superb, it’s like in the Indian Ocean: turquoise, with shades of blue. The mountains are pretty and it’s funny to see how they are formed: they are covered with vegetation to two-thirds then to the top, nothing, only rock.
On this part of the island there is an abandoned estancia (farm). There are three abandoned houses. We decide to venture in with Helen. It’s creepy but funny; there is a large skull of an animal (probably a horse) resting on a rest of the bar; empty bottles, salty mattresses on the floor … in short, a big squat!
Helen decides to stay alone on the beach with her book and I will hike with Quentin and Marion for several hours. It’s funny to walk on hard ground! no foam here! But there are still areas of slush and streams to cross. It is flat, flowery, the mountains are beautiful, the trees are very green; it’s beautiful and nice. I breathe. We’ll walk an hour with Marion, we’ll cross geese, cross bridges on the verge of collapse, then we’ll continue alone with Quentin. I tell him I’m not good, that I do not even want to go to Antarctica on this boat. But in the end we will never have a reduced price elsewhere so we will do it. If we have any money left we will do the rest of Argentina, the north looks beautiful. When we turn back, we see a wild horse. The former farmer had to abandon his estancia and therefore his animals because he did not receive enough subsidies from the government. We find Marion looking for fruit and then we slowly return to the boat taking paths full of brambles, trails a little chaotic but with magnificent views of the valley and the Beagle Channel. Four hours later we find Helen at the water’s edge and Philippe picks us up with Charles. I’m going to get my book, Helen, too, then we hang up in the sun. The wind picks up. Thierry, Catherine and Philippe descend and will be replaced by Quentin with his book. Thierry prepares cocktails.
The departure was quite fast because only the anchor had been thrown.
This day will not be very interesting: I will stay in the cabin, I was seasick and it was an excuse to isolate myself.
Helene took the helm, they took out the sail, I did not even want to go out. There is a lot of wind outside so the arrival to Puerto William was a bit chaotic. We had to make two anchorages before we could go to Micalvi.
The rest of the day will be fine, we will take a good hot shower (the foot), the meal also goes well (ouaouh). In the evening I will go watch a movie with Hélène at Micalvi and then sleep.
- Cap Horn
- Saturday 26th of January 2019: Puerto Toro, el fin del mundo
- Sunday 27th of January 2019 : Freak out
- Monday 28th of January 2019 : Stuck
- Tuesday 29th of January 2019 : Cap Horn
- Wednesday 30th of Ja 2019 : Waiting
- Thursday 31st of January 2019 : Back to Puerto Williams
- Friday 1st of February 2019 : Ushuaia
- Saturday 2nd of February 2019: Give us back our passports!
We have internet and showers !!!! suddenly we all go in the morning to enjoy. We should leave early in the afternoon, heading to Cape Horn (if we have a window) or to southern islands.
I take my time, not want to stay on this boat. Once I finish sorting my photos and chatting with everyone I’ll have breakfast (around 11am …).
We will leave a little hurriedly to avoid low tide. Thierry did not complain too much, it was surprising.
I had my little thought and my contemptuous glances on the part of Thierry and Philippe for a trifle but this time I answered a little because I’m getting big on the potato. I took my headphones and cried discreetly on the deck away from everyone. It was good outside, it made me feel good to see no one else. I’m really fed up. It may seem excessive but I feel persecuted. I have the ball in my stomach all the time now; I had trouble smiling for real.
At noon I managed not to eat downstairs with the others. I stayed alone for a moment with Philippe; so I avoided talking to him. He will tell me that there is a whale. It was nice, then I got back into my world. Marion came to join us; we were all three at the top, it relaxed the atmosphere (which must surely be tense for me actually). There was a big sea lion on a rock with lots of birds, it was quite surprising since the birds are his meal …
Quentin will come back later, Marion and I will listen to music on my walkman and the others I avoided any look towards them. I’m not even sure that Thierry is up.
We arrive in Puerto Toro, the southernmost city in the world. Big galley to dock at the pontoon because of the wind. As a result, Thierry shouts as usual. Nobody cares.
We will go for a walk between young people; would the old ones make their heads? in any case personally I think it’s better that way; the less I see them the better I feel.
Puerto Toro is … special. There are four houses fighting duels. It is a fishing village that died in summer because the fishing of “cebollas” is prohibited until winter. So people leave the village.
We cross the village laughing, passes in the heights, we cross the forest with Marion leading the way that is well marked (they put red marks on the trees, it looks like blood is creepy). We arrive at the end; there is a lighthouse. I would have liked to say that it was nice but no, it is not charming; in addition it is gray. We will spend a lot of time; I do not think anyone wants to get on the boat right now. We will lie down in the grass and Quentin will fall asleep. After twenty minutes of nap we will start again, always laughing. Quentin looks a little limp, not super fit.
Marion will return to the boat to start cooking, I guess, Helen will stay on the beach (full of pebbles and animal carcasses), and with Quentin we will continue a little walk to see trenches (they were put in place in case the Argentineans wish to invade the city … what an idea!). At the end of the path, the view is still blah, but there is a bench on which you sit and rest your mind. I do not want to go on this boat anymore. I’m counting the days.
We go back to the boat and there Quentin will read on the bridge, Thierry, Catherine and Philippe will stay smoking between them and I will be with Helen and Marion downstairs to cook. We laugh all three well. We help Marion, Helen seems to be farting a cable so it’s pretty funny.
Marion spends a lot of time trying to find out why my computer has bugs but without success.
This morning I do not want to get up. I slept badly; stomach ache, I still cried this night of fatigue and sadness.
It’s good and beautiful outside so I go out with the others but I do not talk to people; not want. We will sail at 11am. The tide is high and there is no wind so the maneuvers are quickly done.
The sea is calm much of the day. We slowed down near a islet with lots of birds. It stinks it’s an infection! We will cross a few sea lions on the road.
Quentin finds me on the bridge; it feels good to be next to him; he reads and I listen to my music. When he goes down I have a blues again; I want to cry, I curl up against the porthole and try to think of something else. I want to tell Marion not to count me for lunch but I have so little energy and not want to talk that I do not go there.
After twenty minutes I get cold, I go to bed and I will not move for a good two hours I think. Marion comes to see if I want to eat inside or outside but I think she understood that I wanted to be alone and that it will be without me for the meal. I am so bad that I feel my body tense all the time. I eat fat and sweet, I’m so stressed that I lose weight.
A long time later I hear others hoist the sail; Quentin is doing the dishes. We are so afraid of being disputed that we do not go out when we are down when a maneuver has begun.
Quentin goes up; I hesitate. I motivate myself and lean against him. We will not come back down for a while. We are in the Nassau Pass, the one that could pose a problem for the crossing. Finally it’s calm and it does not rain! In the distance we can see the islands. Nothing to do with everything we’ve seen in the last twenty days! I can not understand the people who pay so much for going to Cape Horn.
The wind is rising and the waves are getting higher and stronger. I’m concentrating so I do not get seasick. I’m so exhausted mentally and physically that my eyes close and nausea come. I curl up in my corner and Catherine immediately gives me homeopathic lozenges for seasickness. I do not know if it was seasickness or the stress of seeing all these huge waves and the boat rocking in all directions.
When we get closer to the anchorage I try to boost myself to help people despite the exhaustion. It’s pretty pretty where we are (Caleta Maxwell). There is already a fisherman’s boat moored. They watch us do our maneuvers and greet us. Their boat is hard to see; their life really must not be easy.
For the first time since the beginning Thierry compliments the team; I hear but I do not answer. I’m going down with Helen and Quentin. Philippe comes and congratulates us too because the captain congratulated us. There is a good atmosphere that seems to reign. The captain prepares Piscos, Catherine makes guacamole under the direction of Marion, Hélène draws, and the others I do not know.
Marion offers me to help him for the meal, which I do with pleasure while the others take the aperitif then leave to smoke. We will discuss everything and anything between young people.
A little later Catherine and Thierry join us, hunger is felt, while Philippe and Helen are on the bridge. Thierry makes us laugh with the email of a client who will make a cruise next year and who gets rid of it even before the start! I want to tell him … good luck!
The meal is going well. Wanting to help Marion I poured hot sauce on his hand … I had to make a dumpling! We dine, it goes well; I say as little as possible. I think Marion glances at me because I do not say anything; I’m not sure she noticed it’s not okay.
For the first time in a long time there will be no stories at the end of a meal; it feels good !
Tomorrow we’re going to Cape Horn … I’m scared, I hope I’ll be fine.
The bad weather is back. This will prevent us from going to Cape Horn today.
So the day will consist of card games, meals, snacks and siestas.
Once again we get up without really knowing what we are going to do.
I slept badly, I’m exhausted. The wind is still blowing but we can see the blue sky through the porthole.
We will have breakfast and take the time to read and rest until Thierry announces that we will soon start. I vaguely heard that the weather was not great and worse tomorrow; since we only have four days left we have to go.
The start will be fast enough as the anchorage was simple. This time I take a nausicalm to avoid seasickness. To my surprise and satisfaction, it works great! There is a lot of swell, the wind blows hard, the waves rock the boat on the right and on the left but I feel like I’m on another planet. I try to convince myself that everything is fine, that I have no reason to panic because everyone looks serene! Quentin and in the back, he seems to take pleasure in the hustle and bustle of the rings. I’m freaking out! At times the boat sways so much that one is almost perpendicular to the waves; I have trouble staying zen, let alone hiding my fears. It will be worth the jokes of others, but I have nothing to do with it.
Time is passing slowly! I’m fed up, I do not care about Cape Horn! It’s just a poor island that will only get around on a super rough sea! No interest for me. I feel like I lost a week of my world tour. I do not understand that average people pay a fortune to do that.
Arrived at Cape Horn, this is nothing exceptional. It is a large piece of rock that is bypassed and on which the rings crash suddenly. I look at the waves on which Philippe, at the helm since the beginning, surf in a prodigious way! There is no doubt about that, Philippe is a great skipper. He makes figures to take the waves properly, he controls the sailboat and knows how to tame the elements; all this while keeping his natural calm. In a sense it’s reassuring! The wind blows stronger and stronger until it reaches fifty knots! The boat is pitching badly on the right, I am almost standing but I try to keep my calm. Quentin is down with Marion (I think they try to cook …). On the bridge Thierry fidgets and moans. He thought the wind was going to go down, but on the contrary, he was blowing harder. We must pass a somewhat difficult area because taken between several rocks, and with little background in places if I understand correctly. After a while, Thierry resigns himself to put the sail back, which will allow the boat to recover. So I take the opportunity to go down to lie down. I am very cold, I have no blood circulation in my hands and feet and I can not warm them up. I will curl up in bed. Quentin will try to make me better but to no avail. It will not be until mid-afternoon that I feel a little better but always with cold feet. I feel even weaker; I have not drunk or eaten for a long time; and as I do not want to get up (I’m too exhausted), it does not work out.
I will find the motivation around 19h and I will propose to people to do a scrabble. I will only play with Quentin and Philippe.
I do not dare to ask where we got wet and what we are going to do tomorrow; I am always afraid of unpleasant comments. Tomorrow we should go back to Nassau Bay. I hope it will be like going: the flat calm!
Because of the weather we will stay at anchor all day, and departure early tomorrow morning to Puerto Williams.
The day will be made of food, nap and games!
Tonight the captain has prepared a fish moussaka (Catherine does not eat meat). It was super good. It’s in a great atmosphere that the evening will end.
The awakening a little bit this morning. We are all up between 5am and 6am because we have a lot of road to do.
The sea is calm, there is no wind, suddenly we will advance to the engine.
On the way you can see many fairly flat islands that the sun tries to warm with its rays. This gives beautiful colors to the mountains.
In the distance we can see islands but their outline is not very clear because of the fog.
After an hour the dolphins will accompany us a little. Some penguins and sea lions will also cross our path.
We find ourselves among girls upstairs to remember old songs whose lyrics we have half forgotten. We laugh a lot.
After two hours I go back to Quentin for a big nap.
I said that I will make a pineapple cake for dessert so I motivate myself!
After the meal we return to the bridge with Quentin. It’s good and beautiful. We see the boat Ebe: it’s a big boat that sank because of lack of background. According to Marion there would be a library inside and sea lions would use shelter with the many birds. Thierry takes the time to pass close, so close that we get to see a little inside. It’s impressive. There are hundreds of birds on the bridge chirping and starting to fly on hearing the engine and our noises. It’s super pretty. The water is calm and the sun is reflected on the wavelets. We turn around twice and then we leave.
On the way we will cross in the distance two whales (we will see only their jets and a little of their head), sea lions, many penguins and cormorants.
One hour from Puerto Williams, Argentinean side, there is a small island known for the presence of hundreds of penguins. The Argentineans charge the tourists a good sum of money to go there (and not to disembark!); As a result, Philippe removed the Chilean flag from the boat so as not to show them that we came from Chile (the Argentineans seem not to laugh with the penguin business). We are very close to the small island and we see indeed hundreds of penguins! They are really fun! Their way of walking is pretty funny. We will see emperor penguins in particular. Once left, we put the flag of Chile away from the eyes of Argentina and then we go back to Puerto Williams which is an hour away.
One of the Italian sailboat is not correctly positioned (it is diagonally); so we can not get wet at Micalvi. We will go a little further in the middle of the water to anchor on another boat that serves to accommodate the “no pontoon”.
We meet another captain who had many problems with his boat and had to cancel all season. He is really nice. He and his wife will dine with us in the evening; it will change a little atmosphere.
Hélène and I want to go to Micalvi with Charles to take a shower and make the internet. Guillaume, the captain of the other sailboat, will pull us in part with his engine annex. We put Charles on the beach.
When we return to the boat we have to paddle. Arriving Guillaume and his wife are there and everyone takes a drink in the square. The captain goes to bed. Tonight is gigot … for me eggs and soup; I still have a stomach ache.
The evening will be fine. Once the other parties we will remain to discuss between young and with Philippe, then we will end the evening in our cabin with Helen and Quentin watching Asterix mission Cleopatra trying not to laugh too loudly.
Today is the return to the mainland.
Yesterday Thierry could not go to deposit the documents for the exit of Chile of the blow he tries to go there this morning. Unfortunately the customs officer is on the move. We are therefore blocked until 15h minimum on the boat.
When Thierry decides to go I’ll go with him and Marion and we will both stay in the sun on the Micalvi. I will meet lots of sailors and very nice people with whom I will discuss a moment.
Around 17:30 we finally leave! The wind is unfortunately against us, Thierry is not at all delighted but we continue to move forward. It will calm down from time to time. After four hours we will finally arrive in Ushuaia!
Helen is excited to find her boyfriend, and with Quentin we go with our bags to get the keys to the apartment. Marion gives us her little sad head; It’s the end of your stay and it’s not easy to tell yourself that you’re going to leave after all you’ve been through for a month. Thierry shouts to go and steal the keys to Ouca to drop us in the car and come back. Great idea because outside it is very ugly and in addition we are tired. We make our round trip all three then we find everyone at the restaurant. He is great, the captain and Marion are loyal customers so everyone laughs well. We will eat and drink a little too much. There is a couple in the background that makes us laugh, we wonder if they are breaking or not (said like that it’s not very funny …).
On the return Thierry, Philippe and Catherine go up and with Helen and Marion we take our time (Marion is a bit pompous). We leave at the corner and we say to tomorrow, since we all have appointments at 10am to immigration.
This morning Quentin will leave before me to find Marion, Catherine, Thierry and Philippe on the boat to have breakfast. I prefer to take my time; the appointment is at 10am to immigration.
I will arrive first followed by Helen. This will give us time to make a small debriefing on the trip and what we plan to do for Antarctica.
The others, much to our astonishment, will arrive half an hour later. We find the customs officer for passports; this time he will not give us a kiss; Helen is disappointed because she did not want to do it the first time. We look at our passports, we have all full of buffers of entry and exit of Chile and Argentina because of the worries of boat!
The others return to the boat and then with Marion and Quentin we go to do our laundry and look for shops in the hope of getting my camera repaired (but unfortunately there will be nothing …). After that we leave Marion and we meet him at the end of the afternoon for a snack with us and Helen. We’ll hang out with Quentin for a few hours and then we’ll go back to a big nap.
Around 18h we will find Hélène then we will wait Marion at the cafe with cakes and drinks. Marion will be more than an hour and a half late … but we suspected she had a lot to do on the boat. We laugh a lot. She came with a girl who did like her on another sailboat and was lucky enough to come back from Antarctica …
An hour later Helen leaves us and we go to eat all three in a bar. We’ll be back around one in the morning. This is the second last goodbye with Marion, it’s a bit strange but we keep smiling, we had a great day together.