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Old 19-08-2013, 17:52   #1
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Straits of Magellan

Does anyone have advice or good stories to tell of either rounding cape Horn or the passage though the straits? Im considering a west to east route.
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:02   #2
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Re: Straits of Magellan

Check with Captain Bligh! I believe that he successfully negotiated that route, a while ago.

Mauritz
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:12   #3
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Re: Straits of Magellan

That is my planned path as well, in 2017. I don't like canals
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:15   #4
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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Does anyone have advice or good stories to tell of either rounding cape Horn or the passage though the straits? Im considering a west to east route.
mmmm . . . . we spent 3 years down there. What do you want to know?

IMHO the Beagle is the best route.
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:25   #5
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Re: Straits of Magellan

Are you planning to go directo through Magellan into the Atlantic or via the Beagle?

There is a bit of stuff here www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Chile

When its good its very very good but when its bad its horrible.........

PM me if you want any more info.
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Old 27-08-2013, 16:25   #6
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Re: Straits of Magellan

I was in that area with a 30' sloop in 1995-96 and then sailed up to Chiloe. The Beagle is a better route, less tidal, less fetch and more scenic than Magellan. This being said, unless you venture outside after reaching the end of the Beagle, you will end up transiting some of Magellan anyway, but the western portion of it is more appealing. Occasionally, you get an easterly in Magellan.

I would recommend strong sails, slab reefing in the main, the ability to carry a proper storm jib and a serious ground tackle. I was carrying 80m (260') of 10mm chain and a mid-size CQR on a 4.5-tonne boat. Unless you can anchor in front of a stream with shallow water and sand, I usually found best holding in 18-25m (60-80')of water throughout Patagonia. Anything shallower and you risk anchoring on rocks and kelp, even if not visible on the surface. Watch your depth sounder, you want a smooth bottom.
Unlike the usual trend of tying to trees and mucking around close to the rocky shores, I kept some swinging room and just anchored very seriously. Short-handed, messing with dinghy, lines and anchors is asking for trouble and there was no need for that. Also I wouldn't trust the holding of the anchor unless it is set in a good bottom and that was a good reason for not going in shallow water, unless there was an alluvial bottom at hand.

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Old 27-08-2013, 17:38   #7
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Re: Straits of Magellan

If you can make it to the Annapolis SSCA gam in late Sept. do.

Beth and Evans are featured speakers. Last time Beth did a bit on the Chilean channels including Horn and got a standing ovation.

Really good stuff.
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Old 27-08-2013, 22:28   #8
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Re: Straits of Magellan

The O.P. seems to have left the building........ however just in case he passes by this way again....

If heading west to east a passage straight through Magellan and out into the Atlantic at Cabo Virgenes is quite 'do-able' . We went that way ( just because we could ) having come up from Williams via Canal Magdalena in April 2009. From Bahía Mansa to Virgenes took about 40 hours including a 4 hours stop at P Arenas to clear out and a 6 hour stop at Delgado waiting for a fair tide. We were arsee enough to have run both angosturas on a single tide in glassy calm conditions. That said I would not recommend anyone to try entering from the east unless they have a very high pain threshold. The prevailing wind is from the west and there is quite a bit of tide so working to windward over a foul tide will get you nowhere and when the tide turns you are going to have a very nasty wind over tide situation.... and there are no handy anchorages in this part of the Strait.... and this is before you start thinking about getting through the two narrows where the tide can run at up to 8 knots. I will leave it to your imagination what that would look like with 30knots of wind over tide....

To the west of Cabo Froward life is far easier with plenty of good overnight stops. In May 2007 it took us 3 weeks to cover the 100 miles from the vicinity of Froward to Faro Fairway with a lot of 'waiting on weather'. That said in late April/early May last year we daysailed the same stretch of water over four days in glassy calm conditions ( see the first pic ).

Swing at anchor or shore lines? I have one friend who will go the whole way from Pto Montt to Pto Williams without once running a shore line, I have another friend who insists you can do the whole way south from Golfo de Penas without using your anchor once, using 4 line tie offs instead. I prefer lines... the more the merrier... if you choose wisely there is no load on the anchor as the wind is blowing 'out' of the caleta and should in fact be going clean over the top of your head. You certainly get a far greater choice of stopping places.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:56   #9
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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Swing at anchor or shore lines? I have one friend who will go the whole way from Pto Montt to Pto Williams without once running a shore line, I have another friend who insists you can do the whole way south from Golfo de Penas without using your anchor once, using 4 line tie offs instead. I prefer lines... the more the merrier... if you choose wisely there is no load on the anchor as the wind is blowing 'out' of the caleta and should in fact be going clean over the top of your head. You certainly get a far greater choice of stopping places.
Yes, there is no point being dogmatic here, as long as you can choose, you follow your preferences. You just need to remember that there can be days and areas when there is simply no way you could possibly sneak into some tight little nook and hold the boat there while running shore lines if you get caught out.
I remember quite a few stories of boats that turned up down there with mooring arrangements so inadequate that it wasn't even funny. "We don't need more because we will tying to the shore" was the excuse. Next thing there was drama and the reference to the friend claiming you won't need your anchor once reminded be of that.

Use your ground tackle or don't, but make sure that what you have is bloody good. It is your best insurance in the high latitudes. A few times over the years I have been forced to anchor where I didn't really want to be and hang on there.
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