We were now officially on Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego "Land of Fire" and, upon entering Seno Occasion for the 2 mile trip to reach Caleta Brecknock one of the most famous anchorages of Tierra del Fuego, we realised just how stunning Patagonia is. As our American friends would say… "Awesome".
The cove is a wide circular basin surrounded by high peaks and vertical granite walls. A sparkling emerald lake is within easy walking distance and this creates a beautiful waterfall providing fresh drinking water. Unfortunately, williwaws and squalls hit us while anchoring making it rather a challenge with a solid rock wall just off to Starboard thrown in for good measure.
Finally, after 2 1/2 hours and much shouting (or should we say swearing?), we were happily secured and ready to take to the shore for Monty’s walk.
We were determined to get to the Estero Coloane Glacier in the Southern arm of the Beagle Channel for Vicki’s birthday so had a long sail of 65 miles on the 17th to arrive at our most spectacular anchorage so far.
We awoke on the 18th in very calm weather, sheltered in the most beautiful spot and enjoyed ourselves pottering around in the dinghy, collecting drinking water from the waterfall and just looking around us at the amazing scenery.
The view over the Beagle Channel...
At last, on the 21st December, we were sailing up the Beagle Channel to Puerto Williams (the southernmost Town in the World) – our target Port for the last 47 days having covered 1,291 miles and stopped at 32 anchorages along the way. We had a lively sail under Staysail and Vicki had a 58 knot reading on the helm awarding her with "Gust of the Trip". (NB A charter Boat just behind us recorded 62 knots on their "State of the Art" Anemometer). Funnily enough, when we arrived at PW we found that the Port had been closed all day due to adverse weather conditions !!!
We tied up on the Micalvi alongside "Lady of the Lowlands" who we had not seen since leaving to cross the Golfo de Penas and then set off to deal with the copious Armada formalities. The Club and berthing (run by the Armada) are provided by the ship ‘Micalvi’, an ex Navy supply Ship, which was run aground (on purpose) at the entrance of a small inlet to create a perfectly sheltered basin and yachts can raft up alongside to 6 or 7 deep which caused Monty some angst when yachts were on the outside of us!!!
We finally had our first drink in the Micalvi Yacht Club – the World’s Southernmost Yacht Club at about 10pm… we were getting into this "southernmost" thing !!!
The next day saw us visiting the local Supermarkets (all 3 of them) trying to locate food for our Christmas Lunch. Not a turkey in sight let alone any Brussel Sprouts… However, we did manage to find a lovely big Chicken and some other bits and bobs so Vicki was happy that the meal would be ok. Now we just had to start making those Christmas crackers…
Puerto Williams was founded as a military outpost and is officially the capital of Chilean Antarctica. The best description really is that it is a bit like a "One-Horse Town" that has misplaced it’s Horse… The centre of the Town is tiny with only 1 Restaurant that was closed over Christmas. However, we did enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve Dinner at the "Southernmost Lodge on Earth" – a small Hotel about 2 miles out of the Town.
Christmas was a nice quiet affair with us just enjoying being stationary and sheltered from the wind for a few days before we headed over to Ushuaia in Argentina to meet Malcolm on New Year’s Eve. Sadly, PK had to cancel his trip so it was just the three of us (plus Monty) aiming to round the Horn.