Wed 22/02-2012 Day 177

One of those ancient mussel beaches

Pos: here
Loc: an ancient landing bay with piles of empty mussel shells in So. Tres Cerros
Acc: tent
Dist: 34,5 km
Start: 7:40 End: 15:00

I was hoping to find an early rest last night, after the evening breeze already calmed fully down at 7.30 pm. I had my dinner, potato mash soup – always yummy! I closed my eyes after all chores were done at 9.30 pm, but soon heard the noise of an engine! A boat that late, and in this channel? It looked to me like the ferry from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt! But sure I may be wrong…it was a reasonable sized ferry boat, red and white, with a lot of lit cabins – how long does the boat actually take for that distance? And it had quite a noisy engine, sounding as if it has already worked a lot on this route…I doubt a modern cruise boat would have been that noisy…

I took two pictures, but in the fading light my flash went of – it looked like the ferry was stopping across my tent site? My bright red tent on top of my rock couldn’t have been overlooked, and I was hoping the captain didn’t take the two flashings as an emergency signal…but he kept on driving, and in the soon darkness I could only follow the brightly lit floating hotel. My hotel was better! Well, apart from the sand flies…even while taking the pics they found their way inside, and I had to work hard to scrape them off the walls again.

It seems like the way through Canal Pitt is not that unpopular, as last day at 7 am I heard already an engine outside my inlet camp site, and today I met a small, heavily loaded fishing boat. The guys even stopped to try a chat, but as my Spanish is still limited, the conversation was short! It looked like they had loaded bags full of mussels?

Landing on a beach which consists only of empty mussel shells...

Today, I stopped already for lunch on one of those bays where for years people must have dumped the empty shells of the mussels, and I’m even camping tonight in such a bay! I think I read about the history of those bays in some blog comment? Maybe some one can write with a bit more knowledge about those places?

The first “mussel bay” had a beautiful level small dry meadow on top of the beach to camp on, but first it was way too early in the day to fully stop, and second the meadow was littered with those sticky round pointy plants seeds (“Kletten” in German) which are hard to peel off your clothes again…they were sticking even to my dry suit! So I would have had an urgent need to put up camp on that spot…

The pile of mussel shells shows some signs of work - the bar in th egreen belonged to an old hut

The second bay of the same style I spotted around 2.30 pm – they are looking very white and very inviting from the distance! It was still quite early to stop, but as I had pulled off quite some long paddling days, distance and time wise, I was quite ready to have an early stop today. Plus after all those spoiling days with no or low , and even following! winds, today was headwind again, and quite some ugly 15 knots in the unsheltered areas. I was not up to fight hard today, so I followed the temptation of this beautiful looking white bay, and landed.

It was the perfect camp site! Obviously, for years it had been used for the shell littering purpose, and as a camp for the people working or even living there. The remainders of a hut were to be found, overgrown with a beautiful blooming bush. This bush seemed to be causing a lot of attraction for bees and humming birds, as the noise outside is quite a bit!

The bay had an easy landing with a friendly dolphin greeting me! It also had some old logs where you could drag your boat up without scratching it too much, and a small, high and dry and almost even meadow with no “Kletten” was just inviting to camp without cutting your tent floor on the shells. But there would have been even an old tarp to camp on, and an old shovel, a leftover frying pan, a lot of empty tins and barrels and quite some other litter showed the continuous presence of man.

But I rather camp comfortably with a few signs of civilization, than marginally regarding the threatening annoyance of wind, water and noise! I quite had enough of it… 🙂

Here the only noise is from some new strange birds, and from the sand flies popping on my tent tarp like rain – luckily from outside! I will have a great sleep! And very soon…hope no more boats will be passing tonight!

It will be again dead calm the next days, and with a light following southerly wind. I may, I may not reach Puerto Eden in two days. If it may be three days, it can’t be helped!

6 comments on “Wed 22/02-2012 Day 177


Apropos of the kawescar or alacalufes of Puerto Eden. When sailing on the ship stopped to let people and foodstuffs was with us a child kawescar. Quice I take a picture and the child cover my face with his little hands and told me .. BEFORE YOU GET THE PICTURE YOU HAVE TO PAY TO MY MOM …..


Hi Freya, accumulations of remains of crustaceans or molluscs perhaps due to the existence of so-called shell middens are the remains of aboriginal settlements in the area called Alakalufes who were great eaters of mussels. Were aboriginal, canoe nomads who roamed the area from the Gulf of Penas to the Strait of Magellan. I have understood that currently exist in Puerto Eden direct descendants of Aboriginal people or Kawésqar Alakaluf.
They are very closed and private, with whom I could converse in a chance on a voyage through the area.
channels are still surtidero food as you can see now long huts scattered cemeteries places of passage, bone harpoons camouflaged in the sand, canoe hollowed trunks that so far seem dispensed and niches for castaways. No doubt all very interesting
are defined as business savvy and the surrounding sea, primeval inhabitants of the frontier of South America.

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