After so much time in Williams, and after much work on Space Oddity, we started the year by taking the boat on what was (for us) her first long sailing journey. The famous Canal Beagle or Beagle Channel cuts through Patagonia slightly above South America’s most southern cape (the Horn of course). In fact it consists of two forking channels which have a landmass of reasonable size, Isla Gordon, in the middle. In the course of a month we ascended one arm and descended the other arm and went round Isla Gordon in this way.Continue reading “Sailing in the glaciers: Space Oddity’s first journey”
Another year’s start, soon to be followed, on the 6th of January, by a second anniversary of our coming to Williams to buy Space Oddity. It looks like by chance this may also be the date, tomorrow or the day after anyway, of our leaving the world’s southernmost city. We’ll be spending a month or two sailing in the Beagle nearby initially. We’ll be back to Williams before we leave wholly.Continue reading “On the move (finally!)”
Our boat, in fact, has masts, in spite of the impression some might have been getting lately. It has two wooden masts (but it’s a yawl, so that’s one and a half, really). We lowered them to varnish them, six months back, and hold-ups happened and snows came. This was a problem in that varnish doesn’t set in such low temperatures. So we were mastless through the wintertime (we’d likely have been stuck here anyway). Did reduce the wind-in-the-rigging noise.Continue reading “About our masts: it’s varnishing time”
Winter in the south ended outside work for a while, so I finished a less structural boat project lately, one started last winter but discontinued since. This was to draw a chart of the world onto our central wooden table, admittedly not the most essential project aboard Space Oddity. But it’s something which can be done while the snow’s blowing by, if made harder by the short hours of light in the day. And here’s the result finally.Continue reading “Our new chart on our not-so-new table”
It’s been over a year since we installed our boat’s wood-burning stove, and since I wrote about that whole slightly-eventful procedure, so let’s report after months of running the thing continually. First a little of what’s involved in fuelling our wood stove (in case anybody wondered what we do with our time). Then I’ll talk about how it’s been as a boat stove.
When we bought Space Oddity we had plans to sail to Brazil and then haul the boat there, somewhere better equipped than here in the remote south of Chile; but it became clear we’d have to do something about the weeds on the bottom anyway, or we wouldn’t be travelling too speedily. We decided to haul in Puerto Williams eventually; then the start of lockdown shut down such ideas for a while. We were able to haul in late April, once restrictions had relaxed partially. This left the last of the early-autumn sunny days, after which the weather turned wintry. Continue reading “Boatwork in quarantine”
Autumn’s my favourite of the seasons of Patagonia, the nothofagus trees creating incredible colours here, and the weather less wet than in summer (and warmer than winter, of course). Quarantine’s meant we’ve been a bit less busy, so I shot some pictures this time, mostly while walking the doggy. These leaves are falling as we enter May.
The news of the Covid-19 disease, and then the first cases of the disease, seemed to reach South America somewhat behind Europe or North America. UK friends were filling Facebook with coronavirus memes before we could appreciate these fully, and Brazil’s president’s supporters still suspect the communists of inventing the whole story, even after the US president has reluctantly started to advise that everybody stay inside. Here in Chile, as perhaps in other places, the news and the first cases formed a start from which the rest escalated rapidly. One day the neighbour’s saying it sounds like it’s only some sort of a cold really, the next he’s shouting through a mask from two metres away.
Last Monday (9th of March) Puerto Williams had a dramatic day, by the standards of this little isolated city: a number of orcas chased two whales onto the shores, and went on to kill them eventually. Orcas are seen in the area rather occasionally, and while whales are common in the channels of Chile, they don’t often enter the bay. They tend also not to be sei whales as these ones were, being the smaller humpbacks normally.