After a grand fast reach down Canal Errazuriz. we stopped over for the night at a secure little spot, stern tied in to the trees. The usual mossy rocks and sodden rain forest 10 feet away on either side, plus a noisy waterfall to douche the boat. One’s own bottom deserves said douche, but will have to wait for the sun. Very shallow, with a soft muddy bottom (the anchorage, not me), so Tainui took a planned grounding at the end of the ebb. Sedate and still she sat. You wouldn’t have known it happened of you hadn’t of needed to get up for a pee and found yourself leaning.
And now we’re anchored in a snug, tiny bay off Bahia Anna Pink. In bleak weather we winched the boat into a deep crevice into dense rainforest. You could almost touch the mossy shores on each side. It is getting much colder now, but the saloon is snug and dry with the heater on. I topped up the water tanks from an icy stream and bravely managed one of those minimum douches.
With streams of 3-7 knots in this area, it is quite essential to play the tides, which we’re trying to do. It can be difficult, because fresh breezes may delay the change against them by 2 hours or so. In Canal Costa, there seemed to be no measurable ebb against the strong northerlies blowing at the time. Can anyone tell me how the water got out of that long narrow waterway? We thought the only explanation was stratified flow, all the favourable stuff taking place deep beneath our hull while we had surface flow against us.
[Later] At the moment Patagonia is very bleak, misty, lonely and very beautiful. Awe-inspiring even. We’re now at 45,49S/74,32W motoring on the tide into a light westerly across Boca Wickham. We’re headed for Puerto Refugio, where we’ll wait for good weather to go south across Golfo Penas (as in penass, not penyass, I’m told) into the southern canals. It’ll be our first bit of ocean for a while. In the meantime we’ll eat, read, sleep and write.
[Later again] With strong headwinds outside, we’re having a lay day. Last night I was in despair about Dave with his post-infectious blues (so was he, I suppose), but he’s turned a corner of sorts – he woke at noon, fixed and fired up the little heater in the aft cabin, scrubbed the cockpit, cooked us some lunch, chatted in an inconsequential way. Now, at dusk, we’ve just finished an excellent risotto he threw together. I plan to reward him with a movie show – the start of Jasper’s “Band of Brothers”. This pneumonia really knocked him for a six and it is such a relief that he’s over it.
I have been pottering about doing all those little boat jobs barely worth describing. And feeling sad. Thinking of all the things I would have loved to say to my dear sister Kath before she died, if only she’d warned me of her imminent demise. I can’t imagine how Dave must have felt when Theresa died while they were cruising in Vanuatu.
I’ve been wondering what in the world I’m doing here. Or anywhere, for that matter. Journeying further and further toward ultima thule and complete meaninglessness. Then I put on the Brendel version of Beethoven’s late sonatas. I found myself in tears, but suddenly everything was alright. That must be what makes great art great – its ability to bring clarity and purpose to a meaningless universe. Chris would say any art can do that with a receptive audience. I don’t agree.
Anyway, after a few odd jobs this morning we undid the knitting and set out into swirling mists and tidal eddies across the bay.