Meredith’s Inside Passage Paddling Trip (Quadra Island to Alaska)

Hello all! Meredith here…

It has been about a month since I left the boat in Puerto Williams. Although spent in the comfort and luxury of my parents’ beautiful house in Victoria, BC, the in between time was not passed idly. Instead, there was a lot of food dehyrated, new gear bought and new charts photocopied and printed – in preparation for the new undertaking.

Tomorrow, two friends and I will set off in kayaks (I’ve downsized considerably from Silas Crosby). We’re northbound this time – ¬†another considerable change. We start from the beach in Heriot Bay on Quadra Island and will finish somewhere much farther north in two months’ time. It’s a different sort of trip, to be sure.

While I won’t be able to do any blog updating while we’re underway, we will be updating our position via a SPOT gps unit, when possible.*

If you need some more armchair adventuring (never enough) to fill the long empty space until Steve heads back to the boat in August, you can follow along on our SPOT page.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0bNNfoFYhFZhMdu0KfSIV4XvQ7qFZHqZV

We’ll be back in July!

*To make this VERY CLEAR: If we cease to check in…DO NOTHING. We have an extensive communication plan in place.

Photos of Silas Crosby sailing in Seno Ultima Esperanza and the Strait of Magellan

Here are many more photos. The bunch that are labelled ‘ Ultima Esperanza’ were taken by Jill Fredston or Doug Federer of the boat Companera. The photos from the Strait of Magellan are by Sandy or Max Risely of the yacht Volo. Thanks!

I haven’t discarded very many so there is a lot of redundancy.

There ar a few photos by Doug Federer of one morning in Puerto Consuelo when the williwaws were really blowing. They flipped the dinghy and smoked the surface water.

Photos from Puerto Williams , Ushuaia , and Punta Arenas

Silas Crosby is secured to the ship Micalvi in Puerto Williams. Seacocks closed, one solar panel disconnected, perishable food gone, and a reliable fellow looking after the yacht. When I left Puerto Williams about one week ago , the action among the yachts was settling down for the winter. Several cruising boats had departed for the Falklands or direct up the Argentina coast. A few boats were still just leaving to head up the Chilean channels. The more people I speak with , the more it becomes clear that it doesn’t really matter what time of year one sails in the area. In the winter the days are shorter and a little colder but there seems to be less wind generally. Fifty miles west of Puerto Williams the weather always takes a nosedive with lots more rain and lots more wind.

The larger charter boats were finishing up their last trips around Cape Horn and around Isla Obrien to visit the glaciers. The last Antarctic trip had left aboutb 3 weeks ago.

Reportedly , by mid April things are very quiet around the Micalvi, and one cannot even get a Pisco Sour at the bar. Desperate times for sure.

So I took 5 airplane flights from Puerto Williams, Chile to Comox BC over 48 hours and after 1.5 years I’m home. To return in August and continue.

Meantime here are some photos from the last couple of weeks around the Beagle channel and Punta Arenas. I didn’t sail to Punta Arenas. There is no harbour at PA and very few yachts visit.

It is worth noting that the two weeks I spent in Puerto Williams was really interesting. Beautiful mountain country with easy access. A constant flow of adventurers with really great stories about past exploits and upcoming plans , either for mountaineering or high latitude sailing. A perfect setting for stories and conversation , especially when people are forced to wait for the gale to abate

And the boats. For a boat-freak it doesn’t get any better. These are some of the ultimate bad-weather small boats. By ‘small’ I mean not a ship. Some of these boats have been crossing the Drake Passage in all conditions for 20 years. The big charter boats basically undergo a re-fit every year , often in Uruguay.