June 19, Estero Pindo (Isla Quehui)

We left at 9am. We switched off the engine almost immediately and enjoyed the light breeze in the bay. It was enough to take us out of the protected bay and into open waters where the wind picked up and we were able to sail beautifully. Throughout the day we maintained an average speed of 5.5kts making this a great day! I don’t even remember the last time we sailed that well. That day we burned less than a liter of diesel.

The day itself was nothing special. The weather was gloomy and rainy. And we spent most of our time inside. The boys played backgammon and I read for most of the day. We skipped lunch because the boat was healing too much and none of us could be bothered to through the trouble of cooking. We had a very relaxed day since there was not much to do. It was a smooth sail that only required the occasional check. I only had to change sofas one when the boat healed but apart from that not much happened. We were not even that cold having switched the heater off. We only felt it towards the end of the day when we were all tired and hungry.

We had various discussions as to what our anchorage should be. We were sailing well, the wind was favourable and we thought we might keep going. There were two options – a small island community that lay nearby as well as a marina with various services situated a bit further away. Ian and I wanted to see them both, Mario wanted to be ashore for the football (Brazil was playing) and at the end the wind decided it for us. It changed direction pretty much forcing us to go to the nearby island and search refuge there.

It was already dark when we made our way into the narrow channel but luckily there was a bit of a moon lighting our way through the dark waters. Mario and I had started cooking when we heard the engine roar. It didn’t sound right and we wondered what was happening. We later found out that we had nearly hit a salmon farm. For some reason it was situated in the middle of the canal with no light indicating its position. Go figure! Ian had turned the boat windward in order to take down the main sail easily while gently floating at reduced speed. Before he knew it we were twenty meters away from it. He quickly ran to the engine control and put it in reverse without bothering to go through the regular procedure. When we had stopped we were only two meters away from the thing. The only thing that stopped us from running into it was the little moon there was. Without it, in complete darkness Ian wouldn’t have seen it. The whole thing happened only because Ian had turned the boat windward to take the sail down thus letting the boat get too close to it. All is well when it ends well.

After this minor accident we made our way into the bay and tied our ropes to a floating buoy. Easy. No ropes, no anchor. Dinner was ready (spaghetti Bolognese and a lovely fresh salad with cucumbers (haven’t had any of those for a while)) and we sat at the table without waiting for Bob. We had no idea how long it would take. Meanwhile Ian was giving him tips on the radio. We didn’t want him bumping into anything just like we almost did. He soon joined us in one piece and we all finished dinner.

After dinner we played a couple of backgammon games before we all got really sleep and went to bed.

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