Saturday, 17 November 2018

Castro, 17th of November 2018

Leaving Puerto Montt

We left Club Nautico Reloncavi on the 11th of November after we had acquired our zarpe (permission to sail) from the Chilean Armada and they had inspected our boat. We had assumed that the Armada wanted to check our boat and her safety equipment in particular, but the inspection turned out to be extremely superficial. When Pekka had answered a few simple questions like How much water do you have? What about fuel?, we were free to leave the marina. 

 Collecting mussels at low tide

While motor-sailing to Estero Chope, our first anchorage about 25 nmiles from Puerto Montt, the Raymarin depth sounder ceased to operate. Our reserve depth sounder, Hummingbird, had ceased to function properly already a few years ago. After dropping anchor, it became apparent that the inverter purchased in Puerto Montt and used for a maximum of five hours, was not working either.

In addition, the generator V-belt kept coming off the wheel. So we spent the evening as usual, Pekka repairing the malfunctioning equipment and Riitta watching the local wildlife: Flightless Steamer-Ducks, Black-necked Swans, Imperial Cormorants, Chileo Wigeons etc. 

As we were getting ready to leave the next morning the autopilot compass refused to perform. At this point we saw no other option but to stay at anchor until at least some of our technical problems had been solved. We remained in Estero Chope for two additional days during which Pekka successfully managed to reinstall the generator V-belt, revive our old American inverter, and after he had opened the autopilot compass casing and dried the compass properly, it too came back to life. It is quite probable that all three of them, the inverter, the compass, and the Raymarin depth sounder, were casualties of the freak wave that had crashed down on to our boat while sailing from Gambier to Chile. Now the only thing we still need is a functioning depth sounder and this we hope to find in Castro, Isla Chiloe.