We hopped out of Panama and Shelter Bay Marina and set off. Not too bad at 1st but as you get in towards the middle of the passage between Panama and Jamaica and Haiti the winds and sea are just relentless. 25-30 kts constant up wind gusts higher in a 3.5m sea with a period of 1 sea every 8 seconds. Speed is down around 6-7 kts and the going is slow and very uncomfortable. We have quite a few more days of this before we reach Antigua. hopefully early next week the conditions will moderate somewhat.
Funny We always seem to go through at night..
A quick stop in Shelter Bay on the Atlantic side before braving the Easterly Trade winds in the Caribbean. always strong at this time of year..
It is always a marvel to come through the canal. Usually the experience is enhanced by the Pilot..However eventually you get someone who just does not understand the boat they are on. But Capt Markus and Brian got Rosehearty through safely even if the pilot was not sure of the bridge clearances at the tide height we were transiting and always better to be in the middle of the bridge span!. Clearance was about 3m but looks so much less. Now Out to the Caribbean. Not going to be as much fun for sure..
As is the custom We found some Pollywogs on board. (those that have not crossed the equator by Sea) and the Shellbacks ( those that can prove they have) were rubbing there hands with glee. In the past this was a very rough initiation and it did not matter who you were, Captain or Cabin boy everyone got treated the same. 1st a summons and the crimes against you read out to the assembled court.. Then the court meets to deliberate, about 1 minute. Finally King Neptune and his Royal court arrive to dispense the sentences. Mostly unpleasant. Raw eggs, very old slops buckets of slime and a final shaving with a blunt wooden stick in this case. Oh Yes and you need to kiss the Royal Baby’s Belly…
We arrived in to Valparaiso and said goodby to Magnus our Ice Pilot and the Marcello our Chilean Pilot. Also Hugo and Catherine got off on leave. Sad to see the team disperse. It has been some Journey. We welcomed on board however a few new faces to help get Rosehearty back to the Eastern Caribbean. Back with us Chef Artur.. Juggy and Nikki. A midnight refuel on the dock and We were off again. The photo does not do the town justice..
Well it took us weeks to get South in December and that was with the prevailing winds but Rosehearty has made it back North nice . As our Pilot puts it "is in the Open sea area" so it is a "Very good Idea" to get to Valparaiso as soon as possible as no one likes the "Open Sea Area"....Well we do! ETA To Valparaiso Tomorrow the 6th at 0800. Up next a crew change over and on to Panama!
Nice Photo Jumby One
This ship ran aground on top of yet another vessel that had run aground. OH Dear What was going on. Story was supposed to be..The Captain had sold his cargo and was trying to wreck the ship. It is deep all around this rock and Wreck. But he miscalculated and planted it on the top of the rock and the previous wreck!. Where it remains 50 years later. Wonder what the insurance guy thought when he came on board…Captain where is the cargo!
20:30 - Rosehearty going through English Narrows.
It was an absolutely stunning evening... The crew were scattered all around the boat to get their perfect shot of the magnificent reflection in the glass like waters. The temperature has started warming up, and the deck crew quickly realised that there was no need to arrive ‘on watch’ layered up... thermals... under layers... no sir-eee. As they say “suns out. guns out.” 😉
We dropped our guests in Williams and in Ushuaia. Just like that the trip was over…Years of planning. Done.
We certainly got everything we hoped for and more and are left with fantastic memories of anther trip of a lifetime. Thank you Joey…..We switched out some crew, the lucky ones, and brought in our regular delivery guys to help us get North back through the Patagonian Canals..as we are on a tight time line we have added our Chilean Pilot Friend Marcello Sanchez. He allows us to use Canals that are forbidden to foreign flag vessels as the charts and GPS are un reliable and a strong local knowledge is required. So after some delay with beaurocracy back to Williams for fuel. And More Beurocracy…Finally from there it is full speed ahead for Valparaiso where hopefully the crew can get a few days to unwind before heading on to the Panama Canal..
On down the Beagle Channel early the next Day. The weather worse than it was the day before.. Very little vis, snow squalls and winds in the 30’ and 40’s oh joy…However as we approached the very narrow navigable entrance..(it is wide looking, However we only float in 100m of it) With Radar ranging We could see how we needed to approach. and in right before the weather shut down again transiting in on the old reliable radar index line. Once inside the weather cleared and we headed 6nm up the West Arm of the Pia Glacier.. It was stunning and we got quite close. Camera time. great Colours..
We dropped our Crab pot over the side and waited all night with Baited (ha) breath for the results.. Next morning brought a fine Haul of Centolon or Ice Crabs. Whatever they were they were Delicious.. Steamed for exactly 6 minutes..Not 7 nor 5 but 6...4 was right out...
So 45nm further West down the Patagonian Canals than Pt Williams is a Fjord Called Yendigaia. It was Quite windy as we headed West down the Beagle Channel. In fact Quite Raw.. But after we proceeded up the Fjord a few miles we found a nice flatwater, if not a completely quiet wind anchorage. All Guests piled ashore for one of the famous 2 hour walks that turned into a 3 hour marathon.! .but it was enjoyed by all and it did Whet the appetite for Dinner..
Ashore was an Abandoned Estancia or farm. Subsistence here must have been tough. In the old days.
So this is the 2nd or 3rd of the lighthouses. built over the Years.. They moved this one closer to the landing point and to give it more protection. It used to be out on the point where it could be seen from all directions. The Authorities felt it was to high to be seen through the bad weather prevailing. The staff felt it was too far from the Station to maintain properly.. However in the new location it can not be seen when approaching from the West!!
We all have heard of the Cape Horn..It is the stuff of legend, at least in my family..We arrived in a stiff wind and strong Swell but right, and I mean right under the lighthouse We found a nice lee and water flat enough to anchor. We got our little Tender ashore with some guests and crew. The walk was steep up the stairs to the Lighthouse, the Monument and the Chilean Naval station. There is a Chilean family of 5 that live out here all the time. Nice place to go to school but very remote…
Cape Horn did not disappoint. And an hour later the wind filled again and we had to move on up to Puerto Williams.
Photo by Mark Colville
So the trip across..What to say. It was certainly as rough as our trip down, more wind and bigger seas but on the beam. So 2 reefs in the Main and the Staysail and we averaged 11kts. Winds to the mid 40’s made it seem all too real.. The 7.0m and 25’ seas were fairly daunting but the Albatross flying around kept our attention. The trip over took about 60 hours as we were trying to time our arrival at the Horn between two lows. Somehow We made the target.
A gift from Catherine’s Father..(one of our Stewardess’s) for a special occasion. and this was it. 3 Birthdays all on the 20th January and a crossing of the Antarctic Circle. Happy Birthday, Catherine, Richard and Dr Paul..
The cake was a Panetone with Passion Fruit Icecream inside and a Dark Chocolate Glaze…Awsome..
Photos by Raya
Before Departure ..The crew went mad and all decided to jump in the water before we left Antarctica. It was midnight, the water temp was -5c or 32.5f.. but they went in, Twice!! Not me though. I just watched.
South 200nm to the Antarctic Circle 66.30.666 s and 68.00.00w
We departed at Midnight and into a fair sea state. A bit rolly and swoopy due to no wind to offset the sea state but we cruised south through the night and the next day and arrived finally at the Antarctic Circle timed at 1900. Just in time for a celebration with some Shackleton Whisky (google it) Champagne and a toast for a great achievement.. Dinner South of the Antarctic circle followed.. before we High tailed it Northward towards Cape Horn 680nm away.
We left Paradise Bay for the Melchoirs where we wanted to prep the boat for the trip 200nm South to the Antarctic Circle. The trip over to the Melchoirs was not bad for ice but as we approached the entrance we found this most beautiful Ice berg stuck in the channel. We had to creep around it in the shallows to get in. The spire was much taller than out 60m , 200’ masts.. and without the masts Rosehearty would have fit through the hole..
We moved Rosehearty from Port Lockroy to cruise over in Paradise Bay. Only 20nm away but with ice all around and heavy snow the going was tough. Eventually the sky cleared and we entered the Bay and what a wonderland. Ice floes, big and small. Dramatic scenery as a back drop, and just us ohh yes.. and some other inhabitants
We found a group of seals and Penguins hanging out on a floe and nudged Rosehearty up to it and they, the inhabitants could not have cared less..