Sunday, 1 February 2009

Puerto Natales!!

¨It looks like a real city! And a big one.¨
The time was about 1700 on Friday evening, wind at our back, about 5 more hours of days light. Plenty of time to paddle the next 5 Miles to Pto. Natales.
We turned left to pitch our tent on a great, leveled, dry platform. ¨Stealing¨another night out before getting back to the real(???) world.
An hour and a half away from hot shower, choclate, ice cream, meat and people, we did ¨kabalat ¨shabat¨ next to the tent.
Eating beans instead of lentils. As soup this time! Celebrating with as much LARABAR as we
wanted (AKA ¨Larabar party¨, unlike the limited snack breaks every hour along the way.)
and thinking of the past few days.
This night was 2 days ago.
2 weeks ago we left Puerto Eden.

Heading south, with winds that got stronger and stronger at our back. Tidal currents that were almost all the time in our favor and alot of rain.
The first few days after leaving a worm room are a bit more dificult, and it take some time to get back to the life outside. That`s why we were extremly happy to see a yacht from far away down the channel.
The ¨Traversay III¨ stopped next to us. The 2 great Cnadian couple are sailing for 4 years now, and now they are back from Argentina, heading north for the summer. The choclate browny that was hand in over the railing was something to remember. Also speaking English felt good.
(though it looks like it, they ae not trying to run away)
finished the day next to an amazing waterall.

As we paddled further south, we began to see some of the weather fenomena people were telling us about. Starting a day with pretty strong winds, later on flat water, and when we decided to have a late landing, we found ourselves looking for landing spot, pushed by about 40 knt wind, about 1 Meter wind waves, and white caps that swept south horizontally, and some of the great vertical rain that goes with it. Strong winds are hard to estimate, but the GPS showed about 5 knt speed with ¨no hands¨.
We landed in a protected bay, analysed what happened, the risks and what to do better next time.
The good thing about strong tail winds, is that u cover much more milage every day. We took the ¨spare time¨and, as Hadas wrote, payed a visit to Amalya Glacier.
The Glacier does look smaler then in our maps, but after spending a day in the tent waiting for good weather, we woke up to an amazing icy bay. The strong winds that stopped during the night, ¨reliesed¨ the ice that was pushed to the glacier. We left the bay, breaking our way threw the icy water. The southern ice cap above us, and breathing what seems like the cleanest air we ever had in our lungs.
Shatz, our weather expert, signed a verry good contract with the weather before we left, so we had back wind in and out of Amalia Fjord.
The days went by, and without us noticing, we got to Canal Kirke. The narrow pasage is one of two very narrow channels, the onley way for tide to get in and out of a huge lagoon. At the east of that lagoon, Puerto Natales. On the west of the 5 miles channel, 2 meter of tidal difrences. On the other side of the channel about 30 cm. We timed our paddling threw Kirke for the slack and flood water.
Surprisingly, the currents were not as impressive as the jumping seals, the Condores, and many REAL Albatros (sorry, no pictures) and the feeling of getting into a diferent world on the other side.
Sun, no currents, and no winds. Perfect gray gravel beach. Dinner next to the fire.
Amazing how much energy 2 hours of sun can give. (not just to the solar pannels).

When we arrived to Natales, we went looking for a place were we can store the gear.
A white kayak hanging over a house (as a sign), met us with German.
German is running ¨Tutravesia¨, taking sea kayak trips to the Torres Del Paine lakes, to the glaciers around it and also jet ski tours at the nearby fjords.
German is also the first Chilean guy to paddle to Cape Horn. Alone. (in 2005)
He offered us to store the kayaks at his yard, to pitch a tent (thogh we took a room this time), and after great lunch and a few beers, helped us with thinking of our next steps.
So, we found a great hotel to saty in, ate, drank, and decided to do another thing before the shower.
Since we got some bad comments as for the birds. we went to a women barber in town.

I shortened mine a bit, and we are proude to introduce the new look of 2/3 of the Patagonia 08-09 team---

(Dedicated to papa Itzik and papa Yerachmiel.)
So, resting here for a few days. Taking many hot showers, not just because we can, stuff still comes out.
Any tips of mustash handdeling will be welcome.
Yos, on and ¨the one with the mustash¨.

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.