Good evening from Puerto Williams! Where we’ve spent the day visiting all the highlights of the town, including the prefectura, the department of agriculture, the customs, the port captain, a café where we were told what to eat, and the lighthouse board. We’ve now more stamps than you can shake a stick at, and we only need to go back tomorrow to do the opposite so we can leave. Except as Antarctica is technically in Chile we don’t need to check out of the country which makes life easier.
So yesterday we left, and proceeded under staysail alone at 7 knots along the Beagle to get here. We had 30 knots from behind so it didn’t take us very long at all.
We arrived yesterday evening and were invited ashore for a drink at the famous Micalvi club (a yacht club on a beached ship similar to the lightship in Gosport) where we proceeded to dance the night away with the bar staff and Dave and Skip from Pelagic. We had such a good time that Andy Royse (who’d said he’d buy us a beer) couldn’t afford the bar bill and we had to cough up nearly a quarter of a million pesos this morning!
And so onwards. Our plan is to leave as soon as we have our lost crew member onboard tomorrow afternoon, and head south past Cape Horn and out into the Drake Passage. This part of the trip is quite interesting: first we’ll drop off the continental plate into really deep water where the waves should get bigger but further apart so that makes the ride gentler; then we’ll cross the Antarctic convergence zone where the colder, nutrient rich waters of the Southern Ocean mix with the warmer waters from the Pacific and fog will become a big feature of our view, along with a staggering variety of wildlife and icebergs! Here the water temperature drops to -2 as well so the boat will get substantially colder, and more blankets and thermals will come out. Then we should get close to the South Shetlands and depending on the weather we’ll either choose to visit the South Shetlands or go straight to DeceptionIsland.
For those of you interested in the weather and our planning I like to use www.passageweather.com when online as it gives a good picture of the gribs with wave height below, and to see some cool pictures of the ice and see how far we’ll be able to get you can check out www.polarview.aq This has current photos of whats going on, and I’m sure you’ll work it out! Remember and check the dates for the most up to date images. PS we can’t get this on the boat so you’ll know more about where we can and cannot go than us!