15.05.2013 0 °C
Across the South Atlantic in winter aboard 'Pelagic'
15.05.2013 0 °C
After a fantastic nights sleep (cold room and warm blankets) we walked into the day room to find a fabulous breakfast of homemade cake and cheese rolls - which was a complete surprise as we thought we would have to make do with whatever the corner shop had to offer.
Met up with Tom early to head off along the coast for a walk as the weather (sleet and a driving wind) want suitable for anything high. Did spend some considerable time in the town museum in an attempt to delay the walk and allow the rather to improve - didn't work so we set off regardless, hey the next 6 weeks are going to be cold and wet, might as well get used to it.
Having walked around Puerto Williams quite a bit now you really do come to realise this is truly the back of beyond, with just 2000 navy personnel and a few civilians it is really the southern most base for the Armada de
Chile, in fact as you enter the town the sign says you are now entering a military base, rather then 'welcome to Puerto Williams - please drive carefully'
Finished the day off with a fab chicken stew at Patty's hostel and enjoyed the company of the crews from Adventurer and Endurance who were both moored up alongside Pelagic Australis.
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Not much sleep last night as squalls kept rattling the windows, up sharpish to have breakfast and head off for the airport.
Place was empty on arrival, check in guy who spoke no English laughed when he caught sight of our three large bags, total overweight - 39kg, after parting with $60,000 Chilean we got our boarding tags.
Plane was a 10 seater, good job that it was mainly folk travelling without luggage others wise our bags would have been following later!
Flight was a pleasant 30 min affair bouncing along above the cloud, dropping down to a few hundred feet for final approach down the Beagle Channel into Puerto Williams, first approach was a hard turn and aggressive approach but too high, second attempt was straight in without drama.
Picked up from airport by Pablo in the most knackerd vehicle I have been in for sometime, passages seat didn't appear to be fastened in at all, but much better than walking the km or so through a snow shower.
Hostel is a wooden bungalow, homely with a toasty wood burning stove to keep the dank cold outside.
Went for mid afternoon walk to locate the boat, found it with ease rafted up next to a very nice ocean gouging motor yacht which was in turn moored up against a part submerged freighter no serving as the local bar/club (the Micalvi), found Tom on board who was keen to set off up the nearest hill.
After enjoyable climb up through the beech forest we emerged out onto a wind swept and snowy peak of around 2000ft, quite barren and not unlike some of the higher peaks in the UK. Not many places in the UK could compare to the view however with clearing skies after the odd snow flurry we were presented with fantastic views East and West along the Beagle Channel.
Struggled to locate something edible for tea, ended up with a huge plate of chips topped with sausage, beef and two fried eggs between us, Claire sliding the eggs away from the meat and having egg and chips leaving me with a pile of meat and a few chips.