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Conquering Armies

Part Three of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Although we had zipped up the door in order to stay warm, the next morning when we awoke there was no condensation on the nylon walls of our roof-top tent. So arid is the air flowing over the Atacama Desert that the damp breath from four bodies was easily absorbed. We wriggled into our clothes, squirmed our way out of the door, and dropped down the ladder, one by…

Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea

Part Two of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Chile is a crazy country. Just look at the shape of it! If Britain is roughly triangular and France is a hexagon, Chile is a long thin squiggly thing. It clings to the western edge of the Andes, and sometimes it even tumbles into the sea, so that much of the lower half of the squiggle is only accessible by boat. Chile occupies an area no greater than France…

Amazing Grace – An Overland Adventure

One of the fundamental ideas behind our cruising lifestyle is that it’s environmentally sustainable – which is why, when Nick first mooted the idea of travelling overland in a campervan I was in two minds. On the one hand, having spent so many years hugging the coastline of this great continent of South America I was very eager to take a look at what goes on inland; but at the same time, I don’t like to do anything which pollutes…

A Cautionary Tale – and a rallying call to the Cruising Community

They left from Natal – three young Brazilians and a French delivery skipper, aboard a British-flagged schooner. The yacht was 72ft long and had once been beautiful, but she was no longer in tip-top condition. Throughout the previous week as they sailed north from Salvador the crew had experienced many problems with her – but what of that? For years the three Brazilian men had dreamed of making a passage across the Atlantic to Europe, and a few problems with…

What’s Happening?

People have been asking, “What’s happened?” It turns out that it’s been nine weeks since we posted anything new on the website and even longer since we said what-ho on our facebook page. Have we given up cruising? Have we swallowed the anchor and bought a small-holding in Portugal? The answer is, no; not yet. The answer is that a lot has been happening – so much that we haven’t had time to write about it.

Estero Dock

Now, according to the rule of Patagonian cruising – the rule diligently pursued by Edward Allcard – we ought not to have stayed in Estero Dock. “Never waste a fair wind,” said that wise man. But as I’ve said before, in this part of the world you have to choose between using the fair, sunny days for sailing or using them to explore terra firma; and having got 52 miles under our belt, when the sun rose on the following…

A Change in the Wind

The next stage in Mollymawk‘s journey north through the Chilean channels showed us the difference that a drop of sunshine makes – or rather, ’twas not just the sunshine but a change in the wind.

Arrived Valdivia!

After just over 13 months in the Chilean Channels, Mollymawk has finally arrived in Valdivia. The journey from Puerto Williams north to the city of Valdivia is one that can be done in a week, and very few people spend more than three months – but we like to take a close look at the places we visit. In the course of this year and a bit we’ve still barely scratched the surface of this unimaginably vast, largely untouched wilderness…

Mischief’s Misadventure (in the Upper Peel inlet)

When Bill Tilman set off across the South Patagonian ice cap his ship was left in the command of one W. A. Procter. Tilman never refers to him by any other name, and so Procter he shall be to us also (although I happen to know that his name was Bill). Of Mischief‘s entire crew this man was the only one besides the owner who had done any offshore sailing before they set out for South America, and he had…

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Tweedledum (Estero Calvo)

If you take another look at that satellite image of the Peel inlet and Estero Calvo you’ll see that in the corner of this little cove which we had now entered there is a motor vessel – and to our surprise we found that it was still there, four years after the photo was taken. It’s name was Capitan Constantino. It was obviously intended to take people to look at the glaciers – it was entirely filled with ranks of…