May 22, Night sail and Caleta Colibri

…continued from previous post
As previously mentioned we unanimously decided on a night sail since the weather conditions were favourable. Ian and Mario have gone to bed and it is me and Liam taking over the first watch. Not much is happening. We are just sitting around, reading, checking our surroundings from time to time but mostly it is rather boring.
The wind is on the nose, making it impossible to sail. The main sail was up for a while but then we decided to put it down as it was only slowing us down. Then 10min later the wind came from a favorable direction and we ran out putting the main sail up again. The genoa had been put away long time ago. All our interventions were in vain though. The wind changed every few minutes and it was best to just put all the sails down and motor through the night. And this is what we did.
Apart from that, we enjoyed a beautiful, mild night and a sky full of stars. At 9.30pm a passing cargo ship called us on the radio and we had a little chat with the captain who turned out to be awfully friendly. We talked a bit, letting him know that we had already reported our position earlier today and there was no need for him to do it. He agreed and we took our goodbyes. A couple of minutes later he called us again telling us that he would have to make a full report on us afterall. We reported the name of the boat, registration number and flag, as well as the number of people on board, our next port and estimated arrival time. Liam spoke to him, and the captain asked what we were doing at Puerto Eden (next port) and Liam not knowing how to reply just told him we would be getting provisions (in fact Liam will be disembarking there). The captain laughed, meaning ‘Good luck with that!’ (Puerto Eden has about 20 houses). He then asked whether we ate any sea food, and found it necessary to inform us about the dangers of Red Tide (a fatal poison found in Chilean mussels). I’d say that was a conversation fully complying with naval communication rules. We laughed and thanked him for the lovely chat. I was a bit conscious about all the chatting because Ian was trying to sleep only a meter away from us and the radio woke him up. He urged us to ask the captain whether he’d seen any other sailing yachts and he replied he hadn’t. We were wondering what was happening to our Aussie sailor friend Bob. We were concerned about him.
At 11pm or so Ian woke up, had a quick check, and after making sure everything was alright he went to bed again and didn’t get up until about 2am when a narrow passage was close ahead of us. Mario also woke up at about 2.30am ready for their shift. I didn’t feel all that sleepy and was kind of enjoying the peace and quiet of the night and decided to stay up a bit longer. By 3am though I felt it was time for me to retire, I washed up and went to bed.
Mario woke me up at 10am on the next morning. It was time to take over them for the daily shift. Apparently, Mario had gone to bed at 5am because Liam had woken up and woken up shortly before me. Ian again had gone through most of it. We sent both Ian and Liam to bed and took over for the next few hours. Things had changed much since I went to bed. We were still motoring, hoping to sail when the winds picked up. I made us some eggs and we settled for the watch.
Luckily, soon after we took over the wind picked up from a favourable direction and we were able to sail. It was a narrow channel so we had to tack a lot in short time intervals but we did it smoothly and efficiently. At some point Ian woke up and congratulated us on the good tacking. Mario I am sure was pleased. He did a great job.
Liam woke up after a couple of hours, but since we had everything under control we sent him back to bed. Ian couldn’t stay still for too long and after a while he got out of bed for the day. The three of us motored and sailed for most of the remaining day until we reached our desired anchorage and it was time to settle for a day and half, waiting for the bad weather system to pass over. This was our first successful night sail since the beginning of our trip. We had sailed for 34h straight. Made a progress of about 140 nautical miles. But unfortunately motored through most of it due to unfavorable winds or nonexistent ones.
It was weird to stop, we felt like we had been on the go for a really long time and I felt funny having stopped. I was just getting used to it.
Caleta Colibri was small and narrow but that didn’t stop the boat from rocking. Uncomfortable but it bothers us a lot less now that we have gotten used to it. The strong winds predicted in the weather forecast started picking up only 10min before we got to the safety of our anchorage. The winds blew hard that night and didn’t stop for a whole day.
We didn’t do anything constructive that day. Everybody lounged around and we turned it into a movie festival. Since there was wind our batteries were fully charged and we used it to watch as many movies as we could. Nobody even mentioned hiking. We only stopped for food and basic cleaning chores. We saw ‘Babel’ the night before and then ‘Shakespeare in love’ in the morning, ‘The Professional’ in the afternoon and ‘The party’ after dinner.
It was after 11pm when we started getting ready for bed and the guys decided to shower. Which reminds me I should probably do the same.

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