We set sail at the start of June, a couple days later then planned- but this was a blessing, as soon as we left the port the sun shone. Since everyone had been working so hard for the past week in preparation and with such a gruelling trip ahead of us, Captain Clem took us down the coast of Chile to the start of the Patagonian fjords, where they had recently visited and found the most amazing natural hot springs.
Although arriving late in the evening, most of us decide to take a midnight trip to the hotsprings – luckily it was a full moon and a clear night so we managed to navigate our way there easily. From the air temperature being a cool 8*c, the pools were incredibly warm and welcoming – crew and captain managed to polish of a fair few bottles of wine too. This was one of the first really magical evenings on the boat when you have the ‘wow’ moments. Waking up with thick heads it was amazing to see in full day light we were anchored in the most beautiful location, between snow topped mountains an forests. We spent a couple of days here preparing food (vaseline on eggs, chopping garlic to go in oil and more enough guacamole to feed an army) along with taking a couple more trips to the hotsprings and wanders in the forests.
Making the most of the calm anchorage I even made a lemon drizzle cake, which was well received! We set off after a hearty breakfast and sailed close under an amazing waterfall – the power of the water being insanely immense. My first helming shift wasn’t until that night – starting at 2am after a few hours of broken sleep, along with Nathan (from New Zealand). We were fortunate to have a steady breeze and calm seas, with a clear starry night to gaze upon. However we were put slightly on edge by the Chilean navy boat who seemed to follow us out until we hit international waters.
After a calm first day of sailing, we woke up to pretty rough seas – after another four hours sleep it was all hands on deck for the first of many sail changes. Everyone was still finding their sea legs – so the couple days worth of meals were pretty basic. My second helming shift was a little more dramatic with the wind dying completely, with the engines being fired up to take us over the rolling sea.