Wednesday, 31 December 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Got a message from the gang that they have carried/ dragged their gear up a hill, and thru a swamp for 7 long hours across 2 KM. , camped on the river bank and are now paddling down the RIO NEGRO for about 25-30 KM. back to the Pacific Ocean. There they will be paddling the open waters of the "Golfo De Penas"
(???? Are you sure, Yosale', that this is the correct name of that bay??)
Anyway, they will be exposed to the big Ocean swell and braking waves.
Happy surfing guys. (got your helments?)
With a big smile they wish a HAPPY NEW YEAR to their friends and families.

Monday, 29 December 2008

I'M PUSHING AN ELEPHANT UP THE STAIRS…

One month exactly since the start, today after 54 km. the boys arrived at San Rafael Glacier, so as you can imagine it is very cold. They are surrounded by ice caped mountains, a big glacier and lots of ice burgs floating around them. They are experiencing much more rain lately so spending more time paddling. They said the REED clothing are doing a fantastic job keeping them worm.
They were invited one night to stay at a small farm owned by a local indigenous and learned about the Mapuche culture.
now its time to get out of the kayaks, get a good rest and prepare to portage their kayaks and gear for 2 long Km. Up, Up, Up, and then Down Down Down thru a forest into a river so they can keep paddling south.
Watch your back guys.
Best regards to their families from beautiful Lagoona san Rafael:
Yemima and Erez, Naama and Yerachmiel, Avigail and Ehud……
and Yosale's Sharon.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

(but you definitely need Karel to know what it will be like tomorrow. )

Its been 4 days now since the boys have left Cisnes Town and On has recovered from his stomachache.
But the wind isn’t in their favor much; they are struggling into head winds and getting off the water early or not getting on it at all.
Well they are paddling in the area of the Roaring Forties
Yosale' wrote:
Roy and On bought me "rabbit underwear" for my birthday. They found it in a shop in Valdivia. Its G string underwear for men, shaped like a rabbit. It even has a tail at the back... haven't tried it yet, maybe when it's colder.
On`s Spanish is getting better, he asks for goat cheese
(queso de me… me…) or cow cheese (queso de moo… moo…)
Shatz had to shave his mustache after it started getting into his teeth.
(Ask Steve what can be done about it.)
Since they are spending more time on shore they are eating lots and lots of fish.
Yesterday they used their strong Carbon Werner Paddles to shovel lodes of shells into a bucket for dinner and today On got 10 fish.
Wow!!!!
All we can wish them from our worm seat at home is:
NOTHING IS BETTER THEN THE WIND IN YOUR BACK, THE SUN IN YOUR FRONT AND YOUR FRIENDS BY YOUR SIDES.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

I AM FINE MOM! REALY!

Woke up this morning, and found out that On´s stomach is still not in perfect shape…
So we decided to delay our departure, since we will be out of any major city for more then a month, it´s prefered to start when all systems are well.
We decided to go to the (new) local hospital to get their opinion.
The paramedic and doctor that examined On were really helpful. And after letting him trying to read thit sign,("lack of sex causes vision problems") they said it´s nothing series and gave On some intervene treatment, just in case…(we didn´t understand why, but were cooperative).
As you can see in the pictures, he is “joking with his doctors”.

Or maybe it´s because shatz just offered a “HOKEN” (sorry, don´t know the English word).
The diagnosis is that it´s not series and he should be fine in no time.
Since On is feeling well, after the hospital we decided to hitch hike to Puyhupy, the nearby town. Just to see some more places if we arn´t paddling. The town is about 2 hours drive from Cisnes. 30 km up to the Caratera Austral, and then it´s on the main road.
3 hours later, we understood that no cars are getting all the way up the main road and gave up. Maybe hitch hiking with sandals and birds next to a cemetery is not such a good idea.
Meanwhile, we are getting to know the town a bit better. I think that we didn´t leave one person here un asked “how do we get to….”
Last night On and Roy spent an evening eating lamb with the family we are staying at, and we already know where is fastest computer at the internet center.
Weather got much better, and we hope to be on the water again tomorrow.
If not, there will be another post telling nothing about the dangers of the sea, wildlife (a few Orcas were seen in the canal next to the town 2 days ago. So maybe), Indians, cold weather and tent gossip…
One more from the hitch hiking for the horses lovers.


Us.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

An extra dry day

Well, I assume that stop eating rice and lentils in one day isn´t that good for the stomach. We decided to stay another day in Cisnes to get our stomach back in order.
Tomorrow we will set of, if the weather allows.
It´s a good oportunaty to thank u all for the comments, it´s great to read! And to share some of our daily routine. And I apologize, this time with no spell check…
Our mornings starts at 6 or 7 am (actualy it was 6 twice and 7 in all the rest).
After 5 minutes of recovery, we start our day with big mug of quaker poridge, mixed with milk pouder, raisins, sugar and 6 spoons of Chia seeds. We found the seeds that we didn´t know before, very useful, since it grow bigger in touch with water and adds `volume` to the breakfast.
Then we open the satellite phone, get weather report from Karel and send our position by SMS to Hadas. Hadas sends it to the Chilean navy. When we arrived in Cisnes, we were glad to know they knew who we were and where we come from.
Later on, we pack the kayaks and carry them (usualy dragging…) down to the water.
This morning episode, takes about 3 hours. We aren´t morning people.

Then starts the paddling day. Every hour and a half, we stop for a few minutes for a LARABAR

break.
At the night before each of us put a few in his PFD and it´s a great energy solution for us. It saves us the need of carying dried fruits, it´s water sealed, and it has became a ritual. Compairing what flavor each of us pulled out.

At noon we stop, usualy on a beach, for lunch. We eat half of what Roy coocked the night before. We also have some tea.

Durring the time on the water each of us has a map (some more detailed then others) and a GPS on, on one of the kayaks.
Around 18:00 we start looking for a landing spot for the night. usually after 35-40 km. When we paddle alot we send hadas the distance in km and when it´s a short day, in NM.
The souther we go, camping ground will become rear. The best beaches has a good platform for our 3 person huge tent and a sweet water stream nearby.

Usualy, at that time On goes fishing and charging the batteries from the solar pannels larger batteries., I arrange the tent and make the beds and Roy starts coocking rice (just in case there will be no fish).
In this one, you can see the first fish dance, by On.


We add smoked Salmon to the rice and lentils, which are made with diferent spices every day (On says that they all taste the same).
Half of the pot goes to plastic boxes for tomorrow`s lunch.
So, after having dinner by the fire (usualy), some streches and yoga, we write a little and of to bed.

Paddling days are spent thinking, singing, meditating, arguing, navigating and seeing.
Seeing the amazing nature around. Mountains, seals, dolphins,and millions of sea birds.
After checking out the maps today, we felt like this is the place we would like to paddle in.
The next 10 days looks amazing, and the great thing is, that this is where we want to go, and all we have to do is take the kayaks down to the water. (long 20 meters of fully loaded kayaks..nothing is perfect)
Cant`t wait to setting of for another month of that tomorrow.
Untiill next time,
On Shatz and yosale.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Hello from Cisnes!

Arrived yesterday in a little town called Cisnes. After paddling for 17 days, it was the first landing we had in a town. We took advantage of today to do some shopping and reading the blog. Well, it looks like our team manager is doing a great job, and it looks like it´s better without us…
BUT, pictures are missing….
So here are a few, and since many people only look at the pictures (like we would), the pictures are first, and the stories below.
seals finding Roy interesting














Albatros:











some pinguins











lunch:










our chef coocks with sea weeds









they are easy to fish...

those are more dificult:
much better:













and one for Ehud:











since we started 18 days ago in Puerto Montt, we had sun over our heads, some head winds (not to much) and a lot of flat, amazing water.
As the map shows, we crossed to Chiloe. This was the first time we met the tidal currents. We knew they were out there, but the phenomena is amazing. As we got closer and closer to canal Chacao, that separates Chiloe from the main land, the water started to act more like a river and less like an ocean. We planned the crossing for the slack time the next morning (the exact time when the tide stop rising/dropping and start going the opposite way).
That gave us a chance to scout the channel as it would look in 12 hours time. And it didn´t look good. In 15 knots wind and some waves, it really did look like a rapid in a class 3 river.
The next morning, karel arranged perfect weather for us. Got up early, to be ready to cross the 2 miles channel exactly at the slack. With no wind, it was very easy. But even at the slack, around the had land, u could notice `boiles` of moving water. Great experience.
We continued south along Chiloe, and then started crossing back to the main land. Skipping between the islands, timing the bigger crossing with the tidal currents. Ahead of us, the smoking volcano above Chaiten got closer and closer.
With each day, we got used to the klayaks and to leaving so close to each other (Barak, that`s not funny, Asaf, that`s not wiered). As the days passes by, we found ourselves not dealing with where to go now and what to do next, and more and more enjoying the views. And it´s amazing After buying food for 30 days at the beginning, we had all we need in the kayak. So u wake up in the morning and paddle to lunch. As the evening comes (sun set at 2100), u start looking for a nice landing beach. Preferred with not to much carrying the kayaks up (because of the tide) and a river near by is a major bonus. For water, shower and fishing.
Fishing was a major issue. On dragged the Rapala dummy for almost 2 week, and as Hadas mentioned, almost nothing. One night, on a beautiful sandy beach in the middle of Corcovado bay, Shatz asked On to show him how to use the rod. In the third throw, Shatz felt something pulling and threw the rod back to On that pulled out the first 1.5 kg (mas o menos) fish. A few nights later, On brought 4 fish for dinner and gave up the towing fishing to a more traditional bate fishing from the shore.
So, after crossing the Corcovado bay, and visiting the ash covered Chaiten, we went into the channels towards Cisnes. The mountains grew higher and higher as we went south, and in the past 5 days, we have been paddling next to more then 1 km mountains, rising up from the water. The winds in the channels are a bit stronger also, but nothing series so far. Surrounded by islands, it feels like real freedom. Take your kayak and paddle where ever u want. Just make sure u find a enough space for the tent above high tide level (after moving it one meter higher once, at 00:50, we try to keep that one)
Over here in Cisnes, we bought supply for the next 30 days, hoping to get the next supply much further south, in Torttel or Puerto Eden.
Some conclusions…
U can eat rice and lentils every day. (lunch and dinner)
U can eat smoked salmon every day (lunch and dinner)
There is sun in Chile
If there is no sun, you should be in a guest house (rainy today and we are writing the blog…)
Fishing is all about beginners luck.
Sometimes a shell fish is more usefull then a 15$ green Rapala.
Where ever u go, tidal currents are against u. (maybe it´s the southern hemisphere)
Wind too.
When it´s with u, u don´t remember it.
Always leave the tent window open.
Never close the tent`s window.
Make sure that with all that windows open, u are high enough above high tide level…

So, next update will probably be after Golfo the Pennas (´bay of pain´, and not what u think). Starting to paddle to San Rafael glacier tomorrow, probably get there in about 10 days, and then a big portage across Istmo de Ofqui, and down south to Golfo de Pennas.
Hope things are going well at home, and that all of you have a good winter.
Good luck in the sea of Galilee paddling,
On Roy and Yosale.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I C THE FISH AND THE FISH SEAS ME...

There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on shore like an idiot.


Just got a phone call from Yosale', he said it is so hot where they are that they are walking around in their shorts on the beach.
Anyway, this morning they were woken by 3 dolphins swimming by their tent at the beach and as they set off, found themselves in the middle of a huge seal colony feeding on jumping fish with many Albatross birds circling from above. wow!!!
After 2 weeks that On is towing the fishing gear and not catching anything,,, Shatski picked it up on the beach , through it in the water and got a fish immediately. mmm???
So the next evening On did the same from the beach and got 4 nice fish for dinner. YUM YUM!!!
Tey got a small BBQ stove with them that is finally getting some use.
Their longest paddling day so far was 45 km and most of the days they are paddling into a southern head wind….mmm
From this side of the expedition (at the computer), I got a few emails from the Chilean cost guard whom I send the expedition position to every day. They were saying they want positions twice a day…oooo….
Thing is, the boys must same battery energy so,,, the cost guard are suppose to give me a call to sort this out. I will up date if there is anything interesting to tell.
'till then…..
Hasta La Vista Muchachos.
HF

Monday, 8 December 2008

Good night, sleep tight and don’t lets the bed bugs bite.


The beaches in the area are covered with volcanic ash as is their camping equipment lately.

They have passed by a huge colony of seals today jumping and playing around their kayaks.
Also, Patagonia has many annoying bugs: mosquitoes, sand flies and horse flies so besides eating lots of Larabar they can be geting some of their protein from the mosquitoes unless the mosquitoes are getting them first. mmm...

Friday, 5 December 2008

one tiny squid



A week has gone since the boys set off. A week in which they got use to the heavy kayaks, finding they must plan their day well du to the strong tides in the area. At times it gets up to 8 knots of tide, which is twice average paddler's e speed.
They have crossed back to main land and are loving all the seals dolphins and birds that escort them along the way.
The weather so far is sunny and beautiful so they are not wearing the dry suits…. YET…
Shatski is surprising with gourmet dinners and they manege to find sweet water streams to wash every day. So… the tent is still in decent smelling condition.
Tonight thy put up camp on a beach facing the Chaiten volcano overlooking Chaiten town.
The town was evacuated in May 2008 when the Chaitén volcano erupted for the first time in more than 9,000 years. The eruption, , became more, throwing up a high plume of ash and sulfurous steam that rose to 19 miles, from which ash fall drifted across Patagonia, and over the Atlantic Ocean. The town was completely flooded on May 12 2008 after a mud flood caused the banks of the Blanco River to overflow about 200 m on each side.
Ido, they are embarrassed to say they have only caught one tiny squid so far…. Cant please the king with that. can you?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

leaving chiloe island



The three mosceteers have spent 2 days on th Chiloe island and are now getting ready to cross back thru the small islands in the inner sea, to the mainland to keep paddling south. they had some great paddling weather.


Chiloe is the second largest island in Patagonia after Tierra del fuego.
People there still live in the traditional ways building their homes on stilts right on the water front.
In the inner sea, between the island and the continent, there are a number of small islands separated by channels, some are so close together that, in the ebb tide it's possible to walk from one island to another.
Chiloe has a rich mythology - populated by strange trolls, sea monsters, and ghost ships

Monday, 1 December 2008

Earth ,wind and fire


The boys have been paddling now for 3 days with the volcano's Yate (2187 m.) and Hornopiren (1572 m/) over looking them from the east.
Struggling into 25 knots of head winds and escorted by dolphins they managed to reach the crossing point to the island of Chiloe, camping tonight near the villages of Bahia Pargua.

About Us

israel
Roy Shatzki-(27) an air force officer, traveler and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Regavim. On Arnon-(32) an engineer, outdoor instructor, and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Gaaton in the north of Israel. Yosale Dror- (28)- sea kayak instructor at Optimist kayak club in Sdot Yam, student of Psychology, lives in kibutz Nahsholim.