Tuesday, 13 January 2009

arrived in puerto eden

Hey all.
As usual, amazing to read Hadas´s posts. As she wrote, we arrived to the village of Puerto Eden.
First an apology: the internet here is in the school´s liberary, it´s via satellite, it´s free, but there are 2 computers and time is limited. + Pictures will have to wait to Puerto Natales, in about 4 weeks….
So, just for giving an idea, our last hot shower was a day before our last post (about a month, ago, In Cisnes). Without getting into details, we didn´t have many cold one´s either).
After getting out of Cisnes, we had the first series storm. We found ourselves sheltered and hosted by a great guy, a land guard that hosted us. We spent 2 days at the farm, eating cheese he made, catching fish for the 4 of us for breakfast, helping the guy around and so on.
As we got closer and closer to San Rafael, the views became more impressive. Paddling by a wall rising out of the water to over 1000 meter high is amazing.
Around here, tides are not as high as it was at the beginning, but in the narrow channels, we found ourselves “eddy jumping”, against the current in some places.
At the evening before the glacier, we ended the day against strong had wind and found smoke coming out of a chimney of a small wooden hut. Knocking the door met us with Ronilio. Another land guard. The kind man invited us to worm ourselves and sleep in his kitchen. We were happy to share our food with him after he told us that he didn´t get food supply for a while…
As Hadas mentioned, San Rafael was empty the day we arrived. Glacial valleys create a heavenly silence. Other then the occasional collapsing ice, it feels as silent as it was millions of years ago. A perfect camp site convinced us to appreciate the beauty of the place for an extra day. The idea of pulling the kayaks threw Istmo the Ofqui helped with the decision…
The day of rest was spent exploring tomorrow’s portage trying to guess how long it will be.
The day after was a 7 hours of dragging the kayaks, one at the time (about a 100 kg each). The legs are not used to the hard work and the marsh land didn´t make it easier. BUT, it wasn´t 2 bad. Actually, much better then we though it will be. 1.2 miles later, we arrived In Rio Negro. The black water river flowing to the pacific.
The next day we were at the mouth of Golfo De Penas.
In everything we do, (driving, at work, kayaking…) there is one thing which is the most troubling. Something we are not in perfect control when we do it. Something that makes us feel a bit (or very) uncomfortable. Usually by recognizing what is troubling u can deal with it. Practicing a roll, perfect your reveres parking …For us it was that bay that made us un ease... Everywhere we talked about our plans here, people had something to say about Golfo De Penas.
So, we gave it the respect it deserves. We took Karel´s forecast very seriously and waited for the best weather.
Actually, it was about 4 days paddling. The first was about 9 hours 40 km in mostly wind waves and some swells.
The second was quiet and beautiful, small swells with no wind, next to” Irish” coast line.
The third was 9 hours of 3 meters swell with changing side winds and no landing options in the middle. I got a bit sea sick and had a long day. We were very glad to find a perfect landing spot in a beautiful bay. The 4th day was cut in the middle due to strong head wind and the last one was great again.
The Messier canal welcomed us with great weather. It seems like the views re invented themselves. After San Rafael channels, we thought “what can be different”. Well, we found out in the last 3 days. We chose the narrow “side” route and found it amazing. Great paddling weather with no wind and even 2 sunny days before Pto. Eden. (just to remind us it´s there).
Puerto Eden is an amazing place. The 120 resident’s village is located around 2 small bays. A wooden bridge above tide line and next to the hill is the main street.
About 10 old people are the last original inhabitants of the island and most of the people here find their living in fishing and shells collecting.
After spending the first evening as guests of the new pier work manager, his team, the had of police and one of the national park mangers, we feel like we know almost everyone, at list by the face…
The Armada guys here were great and very helpful, and the small wooden village, surrounded by snow caped mountains is amazing.
Now we are waiting for supply to arrive to town, so we can buy all the chocolate we can find, rice, lentils and porridge…
In a week kayaking trip, u get used to the conditions, the views and the partners in about 3 days. For us it´s much longer process, but definitely more intense. Conversation with each other goes to other levels (not just the dirty ones), and so does the ones inside our heads.…
Since a storm is coming, we will probably head of a bit later, and maybe be able to get some more internet later on.
Your comments are very exciting to read, even in a month delay… THANKS!

About Us

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.