Fri 06/01-2012 Day 130

My watch dog for the crossing back to Isla Navarino, 1603 again

Pos: here
Loc: Puerto Toro
Acc: Navy Station
Dist: 64,7 km
Start: 6:50 End: 18:50

Last night, Wollaston’s Navy officer Cristian and I spent a few hours in the office with formalities for the required boat tomorrow…I went to bed only at 0.30 am. Accordingly tired I was on my launch this morning, but eventually I was allowed to go at 6.50 am, meeting the Navy boat coming from Puerto Williams in about 1- 1 1/2 hr. I was supposed to keep on my VHF radio until they found me. Cristian and Jessica waved me good bye – thanks a lot for your hospitality and warm welcome in your house!

I saw the Navy boat approaching in the east at about 8.10 am, and I heard them calling me. I gave my position, and saw them passing me with high speed only about 100 m to me south, and driving almost to Isla Hoste …where were they going? Hey, I was launching from Wollaston, going directly to Punta Guanaco! I gave them a brief call – “You are way too much west now!” – “Please give me your position again!” – one of us must have been blind reading figures…I read my position again, and added the flash thought: “Those are decimal degrees!” They may have not copied… “Your position is wrong!” I read the figures the third time – and added clearly the note about the position being *decimal* degrees as I’m used to…they may still use the old minutes and seconds system. Now they seemed to have got it – and came up to me.

It was actually quite choppy in the morning, so a small white kayak may be tough to see in the white caps, but the sea and wind was supposed to calm down during the day. Which it did. It was a millpond soon, and I paddled across to Isla Navarino with no problem, my compulsory Navy “guide dog” always close in in sight behind or besides me! Thanks…!

Reaching the shores of the Island, I soon disappeared inside the safety of the kelp bed, paddling very close to the rocks. The Navy boat probably got bored offshore, as they had to stay many miles out, sometimes driving, sometimes just floating…but they obviously had orders to stay with me until I safely reached Puerto Toro.

With now a good following wind, I soon reached the entrance of the small Port, and got again greeted by the two daughters of the local Navy officer Gaston Lopéz. This time, I happily agreed staying in his house, and he and Jessica, his lovely wife, were busy looking after me all night. Shower, laundry, dinner, office work…the complete service! Thanks very much for the warm welcome and hospitality from you and your family!

Before dinner, one single yacht arrived at the port from Puerto Williams, and the people, Frenchmen, were strolling through the houses, and we had some small talk. They were heading to Antarctica! All other yachts from last night’s stay here, including my friends from the “Polarwind”, were sailing today south to Cape Horn. I saw their sails in the distance passing me!

Again, I went to bed way too late for me, but the office work took some time…Gaston saw me falling asleep next to his desk, and said we will finish the rest tomorrow…thanks for your help!

14 comments on “Fri 06/01-2012 Day 130

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Don Hebel

Imagine the big Chilean Navy ship destroyed your paddling solitude, but you know they’re just keeping a valuable world treasure safe, Freya…That would be you, little German girl 🙂

Frances Price

Glad to know that you are away from the storms of Cape Horn, after having successfully rounded it! Welcome back to civilization, Freya!

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