Tuesday, November 24, 2015


It was our first passage since we arrived in Valdivia, Chile, nearly a year ago.

I took most of the night watch, with Alisa giving me a break between midnight and three. When I took over again at three it was already light on the horizon. She was glad at my seeming selflessness at taking so much of the night, but I explained that I was happy to do the lion's share of daytime sleeping and let her ride herd on our over-rested, antsy kids.

All day, two days ago, we watched a small low pressure system moving from west to east across our path, just as predicted by the weather model.

We were well at sea. Out of sight of land and enjoying steady southeasterly winds on the south side of the low. The sun did its best impression of shining - quite a good effort for these latitudes. We were visited by a steady parade of swooping tubenoses: Cape petrels, black-browed albatross, giant petrels, the occasional storm petrels, the truly massive royal and wandering albatross.

After the low passed we found ourselves in the southwesterlies in its wake, driving us strait towards East Falkland. We had stumbled on the completely perfect weather pattern for the passage. We couldn't have planned it better.

Elias was the first to sight land. He got to choose which packet of cookies we would open for our landfall celebration.

We notified Stanley harbour control of our intention to anchor for the night. A drive through impressive kelp beds brought us to the head of a sandy cove with all the wind you could want. Alisa spotted our first-ever gentoo penguin before the pick was down.

Alisa and I were up again at four to make the 80 miles to Stanley. We had a fast sail, and got to fly the spinnaker in the lull before a front caught us up and had us down to three reefs. We had to remind ourselves of how the weather changes arrive in the South - suddenly and hard.

And just like that, there we were, tying up at the jetty in Stanley next to our mates on Lille d'Elle, who had come out from Ushuaia on the same weather window as us. The customs officer was extremely helpful and cleared us in quickly. We all had a meal and Alisa and I knocked back a celebratory bottle of Chilean wine. Outside, the landscape was so different from the grandeur of continental South America. The town, Alisa noticed, was so neat and litter-free. And now, we have it all to discover.


  1. Congratulations again !!! Each journey is a new galactic conquest of a piece of sea ... we will we miss you. Greetings from Puerto Williams (crazy boats come and go) Johan and Silvia from Alea

    1. hola Silvia! Thanks! It was a great passage...enjoy your time moving north!

  2. You heading to Africa for a safari next? Finally do some warm weather cruising. Totem Sailing is another blog I follow and they just loved Madagascar.
    Cheers Drew

    1. hey Drew...yeah, we've crossed paths with those Totem characters...Africa just *might* be on the agenda, though Madagascar might be an ocean too far. Best, Mike