Beagle Channel

Beagle early morning

As the Beagle Channel widens we leave the wilderness behind us. Ushuaia enjoys the a rare spell of on spoiled sun shine. The white topped mountains are the last we see of Cordillera Darwin. We left Punta Arenas 3 days ago and have been anchored and sailing in some of the best scenery this world has to offer. On the first evening we passed in the shadow of Monte Sarmiento and slipped out of Estracho De Magallanes into Canal Magdalena. Winds were light but our progress good.

Monte Sarmiento

First anchorage was planned for Calletta Brecknock, 125 nml from Punta. To get there we have to cross an exposed stretch of water in Canal Cockburn. When there is any west in the wind it can be rather rough… Not this night. This night our passage was a smooth one when we entered Brecknock via Canal Occasion. We dropped 3 lengths of chain in amongst steep granite walls, towering hundreds of meters over head. When the watery sun appeared it was magic. Brecknock is one of the safest anchorages along this stretch of coast and Islands. fishermen use it during the King Crab season in the winter. They thigh up along one of the steep walls with some car tires between them and the granite. After breakfast we started our assent of one of the peaks. The weather was miserable but the views splendid. We decided to push on a little further to shorten the mileage for the next day. A nice breeze had sprung up so we tacked up to I. Basket, named after the little girl brought back to England by Fitzroy. An open bay proved to be a good spot to drop the peg. After a short excursion ashore we all got some well deserved sleep.

Caldera Darwin

Next morning the allarm went at 0330. Anchore up and out in to Canal the Balereno. Canal is an indication in Spanish for a safe passage between the many islands. It is by no means a dug out fair way! The depth is mostly more than 200mtrs all tough not always very wide. The scenery is of the best! High mountains with snow on the tops. Green forest at the foot. And many, many possible anchorages… After Balenero comes Canal O’Brian. To bad we have to make the miles otherwise we could have spent a week exploring the waters between Polux and O’Brian Island. We call in at Alcomar Timbales, the first sign of civilisation. There are many Alcomar’s along our route. They are call in points with the armada. One family is stationed at these lighthouses for one year and is responsible for its care and the traffic that passes. We are in Glacier ally now. Brazo Noroeste is a deep and clear fjord. High mountains, dark evergreen forest and snowy peaks dominate both shores. The Caldera Darwin towers to the north with summits of over 2000 mtr. Plenty to see!!! Glacier after glacier pass by. Steamer ducks passing infront at to the scale, it is gigantic! We drop anchor in Calleta Olla and set two stern lines ashore. A party is quickly dispatched for a hike before the light fades. In the mean time a BBQ is organized ashore, the perfect end to a perfect day. This morning we were of early again to make the best of the time we have. Destination Puerto Williams on Isla Navarino. Here we hope to take in the last diesel and stores before we set of into the Drake again, in search of the lost continent.

all is well Gijs Sluik

Comments are closed.