Our first sign that there was “weather” out there were some small waves breaking on the beach near our mooring. It wasn’t until we got out into the channel that we realized how protected we had been overnight. There were whitecaps a plenty and a few of our dedicated landlubbers were starting to look a little green. Whilst the view was spectacular, a few of us decided to retire for a few hours, possibly catching up on some sleep stolen by the Pisco Sours.
As the day went on we motored through most forms of weather available during the Autumn in southern Chile. We had some lovely clear blue skies, calmer seas, very shortly followed by waves, wind and rain. The rain fell with great enthusiasm, adding to the feeling of being in a washing machine when we looked out the portholes. For a few of the crew on board the waves brought their first experiences with the serious thumping which can occur with the bigger waves - the feeling of floating followed by being thumped into the floor was too much for some stomachs sadly.
For those who were willing to brave the elements and the motion of the Ocean there were some pretty awesome treats to be spotted. Fantastic bird life, albatross dancing with the waves, delighting in the very weather that made us so uncomfortable. We also saw some whale blows (I’m not sure what species*, but there were a few little tale flips and lots of breaching going on, so it was a little pod out for some fun) and then, as we heading into anchor some seals having an awesome seal party. They were all about showing off, jumping, flipping and tempting us to come join them. It’s a privilege to see wild creatures out and about, living their lives for the joy of it, not just to create a spectacle for us. Despite the generous size of the Ocean Tramp we are still aware of how small we are in this vast wilderness, an old wild landscape. It is thrilling to be able to make our way to such places in the world, and see nature in full.
We were also greeted with some spectacular scenery along the way, from the lower rounder mountains in the morning, to the soaring peaks we are surrounded by now. As we came into our little calm inlet we were greeted with fantastic sky scraping mountains, some dusted in snow, whilst the ones further in are well and truly snow covered. It was even possible to see the deep glimmer of the blue ice under the snow layer in the crevasses.
Now we are at anchor. There are a few other yachts around, and some abandoned buildings on the shore where one of the yacht parties is having a bon fire. Most notably, we are surrounded by birds – as the sun went down they were living the high life, discussing the gossip of the day and filling this inlet with their chatter. In contrast to the sounds of a city, this is fantastically peaceful.
It’s about 3 degrees C outside, and we’re sheltered from the wind. So it should be a great night to catch up on some sleep, share some salty sea dog stories and enjoy the majesty of our surrounds. Our international crew, with Argentinian, American, French and Australian members, have an entertaining and diverse collection of experiences and knowledge to share. Whilst the language is most certainly English at the dinner table, everyone’s Spanish (and French) is rapidly improving, which is a great bonus of the trip. No doubt some of our dedicated photographers will be up bright and early to catch the sunrise. It should be an awe-inspiring backdrop with the fresh clean air.
* ed. Note: The whales were humpbacks.