16.02.07 – Quellon to Estero Pailad

Back across Golfo Corcovado. Motoring between distant pods of blue whales I have intermittent, end-of-journey flat feelings. Not nice, because with the end of the journey will come the end of the intense intimacies we have been sharing. CH is already foreshadowing difficulties on our return to Sydney – her need for own time, etc.

Half way across, a westerly breeze finally brought bright blue skies and we had a splendid broad reach up to the southern tip of Chiloe. Flirtacean cetacaens (blue whales) close enough this time for me to see their flukes.

Quellon is a modest, hard-working and unpretentious litle fishing port. Against the green hills and snowy peaks the bright orange fishing boats are a feast for the eyes. Captivating. I like it very much.

Provisioning at the big big supermercado, the dazzle of purchasables is overwhelming. The bright lights and noise stand in striking contrast with our little world, severe though it isn’t. After lunch ashore and canister refuelling in lightest drizzle, we took our earliest departure yet – 5.30 pm! Finally got the anticipated tidal help as we entered the pass at the W end of Isla Tranqui. And did it help! On a glassy sea, with 7.1 kts on the speedo, we clocked 10.9 knots over the ground.

We reached the entrance to Estero Pailad in the flat clam and the last molecule of useable light. Groped up to the church anchorage with radar, binoculars and depth sounder. Even then we touched gently at the head of the bay. someone ashore – a seaman, inevitably – turned on his light for us. One of those reflex actions which sailors share.   

Over an excellent spicy Hampshire vegetable soup and certain herbacious desserts we had a slightly edgy discussion about civility, forgiveness, tolerance and separateness. Then to bed with separateness but perhaps less of the others.

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