The days fly by. Sometimes we are lucky and catch some southerly wind, leading Floris to cry “no tacking today!” in jubilation. To get the most out of days with good wind, we rise before dawn. It is freezing cold in the cabin, so getting out of bed takes some serious will power. We quickly put on our thermal underwear, have breakfast, and prepare the boat for departure inside and out. With the first daylight, Floris rows the dinghy to shore to untie the long shore lines, which we attached to trees or rocks the night before to keep Luci firmly in place. As he rows from one line to the next, Ivar puts them away in bags, which we keep on deck. Doing it tidily takes a lot of time, but saves a lot of hassle in the evening. When we need to tie the boat at our next anchorage, we don’t want the lines tangled up like spaghetti!
As soon as the dinghy is stored on deck, it’s time to lift the anchor. With the anchor winch control in one hand and a bread knife in the other, Floris retrieves the anchor chain metre by metre. He frequently interrupts the flow to cut off kelp that is wrapped around the chain and anchor. With the anchor back in its place, we carefully manoeuvre out of the bay and set the sails. We take turns hand steering, as the charts aren’t very reliable, necessitating us to keep a sharp lookout for rocks and other obstacles at all times.
Towards the end of the day, we pick a bay (“caleta”) that we can still reach in daylight and which gives protection from the prevailing winds. Thanks to the “Patagonia Bible”, the pilot book of an Italian couple that describes anchorages along the entire route, we can always find one in the labyrinth of islands. Upon arrival, we perform the morning ritual in reverse: we drop the anchor, row the dinghy to shore and tie long lines to trees or around rocks. After the last line is tied, we can relax. Ivar gets the wood stove going to heat the cabin, us, and our clothes.