Estero Reloncavi and other concepts

Yesterday , Wednesday , we tore ourselves away from the fleshpots of Puerto Montt after an 8 day stay. A good 20 mile sail across Reloncavi Sound in mostly sunshine , then 10 miles motoring up the inlet. Mostly cloudy but we could get glimpses of high snowy mountains as we went along. We are now anchored in a lagoon in an island (Isla Marimelli) in the inlet. Very similar to some hidey hole on the central coast of BC, except in this part of Chile there are several residents. The fellow that gave us a king crab a few minutes ago has lived in this lagoon all his life. The area is really busy with aquaculture. There are still lots of anchorages but there are many , many fishfarms and musselfarms. This morning we were paddling by 0830 and went 3 miles farther up the inlet to las Termas Sotomo – hotsprings. I went in , but it was not HOT. Lukewarm , but symbolic. A little cabin there , but no other bathers.

On the way back I diverted into a little tidal channel , and saw an animal on a rock. It was a Pudu , the smallest deer in the world (I think). It was standing on a rock in about 4 inches of water. As I approached to within a metre in my kayak it finally swam off back to the mainland shore , about 100 m away. Then as it walked up the beach and shook off the water , I saw a big shaggy fox run along the beach towards it. I let out an exclamation. The fox heard me , then saw me, then ran off into the forest. I guess that the little deer was on the rock as an escape from the fox. More penguins (Magellanic) ,Whimbrels, And a Peruvian Booby. Seems weird seeing a Booby up an inlet, if you know what I mean. We saw 2 types of dolphin.

Then we had hot soup , and it has been raining all afternoon.

In Puerto Montt there were 3 cruising boats with teens aboard. I gotta say , that this did not look like fun for any of the involved parties. Having cruised with an infant , and with barely teens , I am unconvinced that life on a cruising boat is the greatest fun for kids. I am sure that there are lots of exceptions. Mostly, one hears what a wonderful life it is for kids. There may be an alternate viewpoint.

The word “Patagonia” has taken on a very cliched meaning in the western world. However , here it is simply used to refer to a geographic area , as in BC – the Cariboo. Like, there is the Law Society of Patagonia, I think. And the Patagonian Daycare Association. Actually I don’t know if this is true, but it could be. So far I haven’t heard of the Epic Adventurers Club of Patagonia

I kind of had it in my mind to try to have a look at the Monte Verde archeological dig site, which is only about 20 miles from Puerto Montt. It is where the oldest evidence of human habitation in the Americas has been found. Something around 14,000 years old. How did they get down this far south so soon after the end of the last ice age ? Boats , right? Anyways ,the site is not really open to the public and it looks like a boggy hole in the ground ,so I didn’t see it.

Tomorrow we will head back down the inlet and out into the sound. If the wind is there and fair , we will head over towards Quemchi on Isla Chiloe , or to the next inlet south on the mainland , towards Pumalin. Either way it is not open ocean, more like the Strait of Georgia in a bad mood. Cheers.

Puerto Montt boat selection

We began the paperwork today , to attempt to leave Puerto Montt tomorrow.

These photos show a part of the collection of cruising boats hauled out here. There are about 10 boats in the water , including Thelem , a 38′ aluminum boat with internal ballast and two centreboards. Richard has been cruising full time since 1982 , with Michelle since 1992.

Next door to us on the dock is Objectif Lune a French Jeanneau 44 with a family of 4 aboard. They are heading for BC , hopefully to live for a few years. They came around the bottom.

There is another French family aboard a Jeanneau 47. They wrapped a line around the prop in their first anchorage in the Antarctic and bent the strut , broke the shaft, and lost the prop. A small leak occurred where the strut was strained. They have repaired it temporarlily , until ? New Caledonia 6500 miles away.

Yorricke is a Slocum 43 with Hans aboard who lived in Vancouver for 20 years. He might be staying in Chile for a long time.

That’s enough of boat stuff.

Next post will hopefully be by radio email from some anchorage , maybe on Chiloe Island.