Discovering Patagonia!

After spending the summer in France, the crew rejoined their catamaran in Valdivia, ready to continue their discovery of Patagonia.

Who: Fanch & Cathy, Isabelle & Arnaud
Where : Patagonia, from Puerto Montt to Puerto Aguirre
Multihull : Katalu 42
Blog : www.ystafell.fr 
October is drawing to a close. We set sail late morning for the small island of Mechuque, aiming to arrive before nightfall. Arnaud and Isabelle set off to explore this charming and peaceful stopover, but the dinghy’s engine started to misbehave and eventually stalled! Another addition to the list of work to be done... We set off at midday for Estero Huildad, some fifty miles away: the northerly wind was light, so we powered up the engine.
The next day, it was raining, and the outside temperature was 6°C (43°F), with a fresh breeze. We skimmed the coast to benefit from its protection and in the middle of the day Ystafell arrived at Quellón, a port of 13,000 inhabitants whose bay provided good shelter. We still managed to drag nearly a quarter mile before the anchor held firm in the mud! In the early hours of the morning, we set sail. The weather was fine, but when we contacted the Armada, as we do every day, they refused to authorize us to leave because the port was closed... due to bad weather! Clearly, they had stuck to the previous day’s forecast. I had a little chat and fifteen minutes later, everything was settled: we could set off. The breeze was manageable, just over twenty knots, with lots of squalls. We sailed a long leg of over 70 miles to Mulchey Island, which we reached at the very end of the afternoon.
The next day, in Puyuhuapi, we took a stroll through the village to rediscover its special atmosphere. The restaurant so praised by our guide was open, and we enjoyed a Pisco Sour and grilled hake! The next day was another fine day, with temperatures rising to around fifteen degrees (60°F) in the afternoon. I transferred my diesel reserves to the main tank before a short trip to the gas station with our empty cans. The manager even took the time to take us back to the landing stage with our full tanks! Muchas gracias caballero! We did some major shopping in the various grocery stores in the village and, back on board, we prepared a delicious barbecue with the lomo vetado bought in Puerto Montt. We know that in Puerto Aguirre we’ll find lamb and beef.
We leave this charming stopover for a moment of relaxation at the Puyuhuapi thermal baths. We spent two delightful hours soaking in 39°C (102°F) water against a backdrop of eternal snow, until the wind picked up and swept Ystafell back to the coast. The wind was following us, but very gently, and we rushed aboard to get our catamaran away from the rocky coast! The rudders remained free, as did the propellers. The keels will surely have a few scratches from their brush with the coastal rocks though: now it’s back to the Atlantic!

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