Mon 20/02-2012 Day 175

The grassy area in the back of the inlet where I got afloat...

Pos: here
Loc: a beautiful deep inlet!
Acc: tent
Dist: 57,9 km
Start: 7:00 End: 18:00

I had a peaceful night – no water noise apart from a few light raindrops, no wind noise, sleeping on a horizontal, soft bed on thick grass. And I fell asleep at 9.30 pm, waking now at 6 am, half an hour later as the sun raises later here than further south.

Last night, I heard again that humming noise around my tent which I have heard already on other nights – I was always assuming the wind makes such a noise on my guy lines, but last night there was no wind…what was it? A dragonfly? A huge bumble bee? A grasshopper? I managed to catch sight of that noise outside and saw a – humming bird! He may have been sucking the water drops off my tent walls…? Nice small little guy.

It kept on going with wildlife today! Yesterday I thought I already saw a whale spout in the distance, but today i saw whales on two clear spots with their spouts showing up. One was eventually swimming very close by me, the other one was on the other side of the channel. Once “my” whale came out of the water a little bit, he actually rather looked like a very much over sized dolphin, the same fin shape on the back, the same movement…last time in the channels I saw the whales I thought they where much smaller than those I saw outside in Argentine, but it was still an about 10 meters long animal!

Also today, a very common usual shy gray duck family with the bright orange beaks behaved very strange – two adults and three kids, were crossing in front of my bow to the open water as usual instead of hiding on the side. But then they spread out their tails, made threatening noises, and eventually all dived down for about half a minute, and came up, one after the other, about 30 meters into the channel instead of running over the water with feet and wings as usual! Btw., the kids were diving the longest! But the mom made some new noises before they came up, probably saying “The threatening is over, I’m here! Come up!”

A fishing boat's tow

Five small fishing boats were passing me today, one was even towing another smaller boat! Their crew was the only ones coming on deck and waving at me…i think those guys were the first people taking notice of me since Punta Arenas! not that I don’t feel all right by myself, but if there are people meeting each other in the wilderness it doesn’t hurt to wave! Amazingly your eye always wants to catch a sign of civilization in the wild, but when you see it, you’d rather think I’d rather don’t want to see it!

200 km left to Puerto Eden! I’ll be paddling to the east via Canal Pitt and Canal Andres, as it is a bit shorter and much more sheltered for a kayak than the main route to the west via Canal Inocentes and Canal Conception . I’m just hoping it exists like marked on my charts 🙂

The way into this inlet was "upstream", the tidal flow was running out vey fast like a white water river

I’m camping tonight in a bigger inlet than yesterday, this means as well the entrance was a bit wider, about 10 meters, but two hours before low tide a lot of water was still running out and downhill so strongly with three big boulders blocking the gap, that I didn’t manage to paddle upstream! I tried, for sure, but I was very fast very worried to get drifted against one of those big boulders and getting pinned in the heavy current! It was worse than a white water river!

I tried once more in the non existing eddy on the side, but the same…I rather climbed out on the wide bed of mussels, and dragged my kayak upstream while I was walking nicely and cracked thousands of mussels…but at some point I was in! I jumped in again, and paddled probably another km to the river at the end, to find a beautiful meadow with hip high grass which I haven’t seen in such size any where before! But a big inlet and a big river has a big flat dry meadow…

At the highest point in the middle some one or some animals already had flattened out the high grass, and my bed was already made! Actually, as I’m on the mainland tonight and not on an island, I even found a trace in the mud looking like a deer or guanaco…maybe they also like this place? It’s a beautiful quiet spot…and eventually, as it has no wind and is reasonable warmish, the most dreaded Fjordland animals started to became nasty and numerous – the sand flies!

I learned to hate the sand flies already in New Zealand’s Fjordland – there I learned to land my boat, donning the bug net, to quickly make camp and to jump into my tent, starting to scrape the hundreds of sand flies off the tent walls inside…and only then to change, clean yourself and to live all night inside the tent. No going out again any more for cooking, for brushing my teeth or for a pee…all is done inside in and onto one and the same pot! Please note – in this order…and in the morning, the sometimes sticky or even burnt food rests are nicely soaked and simply washed out in the sea! Not any tiny bit of a smelly rest…believe it or try it yourself. Shocking? No, very, very practical…

Even in the morning No.2 needs to be done inside! You simply don’t like to display your naked butt to thousands of blood sucking animals! But for that I’m having enough garbage bags ready…and in heavy rain, freezing cold and wet weather or on camping on a public beach it is also quite practical to have them 🙂

5 comments on “Mon 20/02-2012 Day 175


A peaceful nights rest, humming bird, whales, diving ducks, tidal white water, 20-02-2021 a day to remember. Sharing all this in real time half a world away is a precious gift. Muchos gracias Freya.

Jörg Hofferbert

Freya, you feel up – that´s very good. To see humming bird´s in the free nature is a great luck. It makes fun to read your letters every day, also at the bad day´s, because you are positive in your mind.


Hey Freya! Good luck for the next part in Canal Pitt. Hopefully you find a gap between Isla Peel and Isla Chatham.
In Google Earth I found some kind of fisherboat meeting point or so in the northern part of Canal Pitt.


That pot probably deserves the title of best multi-tool ever! 😉 The “over sized dolphin” may have been a pilot whale, their heads are roundish and their skin smooth, with the dorsal fin resembling a dolphin’s. Glad to read you are on friendlier environments now. I can certainly appreciate how a good night’s sleep after a long paddle will make quite a difference. You deserve it.

Frances Price

Thank you for being so candid, Freya. As a child, I often wondered about how adventurers dealt with matters of personal hygiene, whether half-way up Everest, or in a small boat on the ocean.
I so look forward to these daily blogs. Your descriptive language and highly enjoyable wit allow a reader to “paddle” vicariously alongside you. Again I thank you for being a bright spot in my day!

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