12.12.07 – poor Capitan Leonides

With falling barometer and freshening NW winds we made for a little cove on the southern side of Isla Vittorio. Ahead through the mizzle loomed the ghostly apparition of MV Capitan Leonides, a freighter wrecked on Banco Cotopaxi in 1968 while carrying sugar to Valparaiso. The captain was on the bridge when she hit but the pilot was resting below after the Angostura Inglese transit. Fuel for legal argument there, hey? The ship’s graceful lines are still apparent and we were both touched by this lifeless, rusted thing. A lonely reminder of human frailty in these unforgiving waters.Leonides016x

As light failed, our approach to Isla Vittorio was brightened by a school of frolicsome dolphins who showed us the way into the anchorage. Another picturesque, secure, all-weather spot surrounded by mogotes – those tiny forested islets which look like champagne corks. Tied in among the trees we huddled below for 2 days while wind and rain tried unsuccessfully to trouble us.

I have been enjoined by Chris not to write travelogues. So I won’t wax lyrical about that ghostly wreck on Banco Cotopaxi. I won’t mention our communion with the 9 big dolphins who accompanied us into this lovely little cove. I’ll avoid any talk of the exquisite litte mogotes dotting the bay. My hair washing adventure will be kept from you in its entirety. And I will simply forget to make reference to the splendid potato curry bubbling on the stove.


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