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Arrival to Valdivia

Captain's log. In Valdivia, March 21, 2024.


The first stage, as recommended by the manuals, consisted of trying to sail south, in order to quickly find the winds coming from the west that would supposedly take us towards the coast. Realizing that few things were as they were supposed to be or as the literature said they would be, I began to "properly" distrust the information we had and to strategize my own. This turned out to be quite a bit better as, somehow, I immediately felt like I was more in control.


Although we knew it would be like this, the following stages of the navigation between Rapa Nui and Valdivia still surprised us because of how complex they were and, of course, they were not as simple as we would have liked. The wind rarely blew from where the forecasts said, showing the same level of predictive inaccuracy that we had already seen. Fortunately, we were able to make the most of the days when we had very good winds, which allowed us to move away from the areas where, according to our estimates, adverse conditions would occur.  We had to endure at least two major fronts, but we successfully slipped away from two more.


The watchword was to move as fast as we could in order to get out of the areas where we suspected there would be a desperate calm or a pressing front. To do this, we had to risk more of the sails. Thus, we got to 7 knots, which is an excellent ride for "Beau", our little warrior.


One by one, the days went by, always focused on the day to day and constantly striving to put up a good fight. The wet clothes, the lack of comforts, the continuous movement, the uncertainty, the fear that something would happen or some equipment would fail, made it more difficult and we had to cope with them with special temper. Pathy and Hoko were decisive and extremely valuable crew members.


When we found ourselves in the "first stage" of this section, in which, as we said, the objective was to advance as far south as possible, we decided to set a southeasterly course, in such a way as to reduce at the same time the distance that separated us from the continent. This objective was met, but at the same time, it put us in a particularly dynamic and changing area where high pressure interacted with cold southerly wind masses and fronts trying to sneak east.


Finally, and not without effort, we managed to reach Corral without major news. We were very, very tired, but equally happy to reach safe harbor after 28 days of sailing as full of satisfactions as challenges and difficult moments. Once on the river, we had a very pleasant motor navigation in demand of the marina. A group of friends went out to meet us at the Valdivia River and escorted us home.


A larger group was waiting for us at the pier who gave us a warm and very pleasant welcome. This stage of the adventure was behind us and at the moment, we only focused on enjoying our return. Personally, after five months, for the first time I could relax knowing that both the crew and the boat were completely safe.


It's been several days since our arrival. My fantastic crew and fellow adventurers, Hoko and Pathy, have already returned home to the island, and are now safe and happy with their loved ones... Thank you very much for your tremendous contribution my dear friend Hoko and dear Pathy... Very well done!.


Special thanks to ASIMAR S.A. de Quintero and the Joaquín Bernales Medina foundation, institutions that together with our beloved Chilean Navy believed in us and supported us permanently. For me it was a privilege and a tremendous pride to sail together.


From my side, I've enjoyed being home again. Some of you will remember what that first shower feels like and how you enjoy something as simple as sitting down to have a coffee without worrying that the cup is going to tip over or that the pan of eggs is going to cross the table to end up on the floor, of course inverted. The first few nights my mind missed the noises and movements, now I'm used to it and enjoying the rest.


We are not yet completely clear about how we will continue this project, the practical or navigational part of which we consider prudent to postpone for at least two years until, once El Niño weakens and all the weather anomalies that accompany it disappear, the weather becomes more predictable and less extreme.


In the meantime, as soon as things settle down and the defeat to follow is clearly appreciated, there is nevertheless an interest in duly capitalizing on this valuable experience... We must move on!


Thank you very much to all of you for joining us on this adventure.

A big hug,

Raul

 

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