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Setting sail from Valdivia

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Captain's log. In Valdivia, The Roaring Forties Marina, Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

The departure was scheduled for 1300 hours. Friends, authorities, teammates and family began to gather at the pier. Several vessels docked at our marina in order to set sail with us.

The day could not be more appropriate, it was a holiday, sunny and mild. Three of the four crew members; Marcos Coronado, Alfredo Silva and I would set sail aboard the "Beau Geste" down the river while Felipe Araya, who had the mission of documenting our sailing to Quintero, would do so on the "Challanco", my friend Mauricio Scheuch's sailboat.

The moment was getting closer and the tension was growing, the uncomfortable feeling that some things were still missing, grew as the minutes passed. Many thoughts orbited through my mind cancelling each other out. I was only trying hardly to attend to those that had to do with saying goodbye and setting sail. It was too late to pretend to deal properly with critical issues such as security and anything pending, the dice were already cast.

The time came and after many hugs to very dear people, it was my turn to undock the boat and to untie the last line. Suddenly, the answer of an old sailor came to my mind when he was asked what was required to start such an adventure. After smiling and thinking for a couple of seconds, the old man replied... just to untie the last line! How true and profound such a short answer can be. After dreaming all my life and preparing for the journey for so many years, here I was untying the line to the dock and thus beginning our own journey. No matter what dream you have in your heart, if you've really decided to make it come true, you've already reached the hardest point to achieve.

One of the aspects that I am most pleased about is that, thanks to the technology available, we have hundreds and I hope then thousands of virtual crew members with whom we will share the ups and downs of this fantastic journey, we can take them on board, live the experience together and together, achieve the objectives we have set ourselves to achieve.

The dock was left behind. The figures of friends and loved ones began to blur in the distance and blend in with the beautiful Valdivian forest. The image of my noble and beloved dogs Haka and Anay was engraved in my retina. In my heart, in a very special way, Charlotte's.

We were accompanied down the river by my friends from the marina, always cheerful and enthusiastic, we were escorted by other sailboats and a boat from our beloved Navy, always present.

The motor navigation down the river was relaxed and very enjoyable. In the bay of Corral, we recovered Felipe and finally, we met the Port Master of Corral who boarded the Beau Geste to give us a very nice souvenir and wish us fair winds and following seas.

The watches were organized, and the ocean sailing began at the moment of catching the sails on a course of 340°.

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