Guanaco (Lama) watch at Caleta Horno

Continuing the beautiful sailing in Patagonia we arrived here in Caleta Horno at 8am local time. The nightshift was a bit rough for Marcus, he found us in a cross sea where the current flowed against the wind wave, making the waves 50% higher and very steep. So he did not only do his shift but also stayed up with Hanno in his shift. I woke up from the sudden rocking&rolling, that went on for a while. When it was my turn for the shift, the waves had gone back to normal so I had an easy shift. When I took over the wind was at 3-4 Bft and then speeded up to 5-6 Bft, nothing unusual. I reefed the Genua (front sail) when I had to tack anyways. Marcus slept like a baby, he was so tired of course. So was Hanno, who was up the whole time as well. He helped me with the tack and then went to sleep. When Marcus came up it was sunrise time (I love these shifts, my shift before was the sunset shift) and we were 1 hr before arriving in the bay of Caleta Horno. I love arriving in places early in the monring, when life on land starts, the birds start flying over us. Once we had the sails down and started the motor, Hanno also woke up and came on deck to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The place where we're at anchor is now incredibly beautiful, maybe the most distinct and beautiful of this whole trip. Not green, but beautiful. For a long time we did not see where the entrance to the backpart of the bay was, but then we found a canyon and knew that must be it. Once I am able to upload the pictures you'll see what I mean. The landscape here is a desert, a little green in some parts, just enough to feed the sheep, rabbits and guanacos (Lamas)who live here. Besides these animals there is nothing here. Well, fish of course and mussels. No street, no traffic, no people. Just all quiet.

We hiked a bit yesterday and I hiked for quite a nice time today, going up the highest hills here to get a better overview, sat there for about an hour and enjoyed this increbible quiet, peaceful and beautiful place on earth. The animals here have picked the right place to live. There are endless islands and bays here. The desert looks as if you would place some of the desert from Nevada, cut it up into pieces and place it in front of the ocean. Only Yoshua trees and the gigantic cactee are missing. Beautiful yellow bushes who maltreat your feet if you come too close and some small cactee can be found here. Such a peacuful place here.

And the most fun are the guanacos on watch. There is always one guanaco at the highest point on the hills close to where the little herd is, to watch out. If they see you, they start yelling to the others. On the photos to come you'll be able to see them on watch. Very cute. Today I had some guanacos and sheep very close to me. I love how they stare at you, watching avery step to see if they have to run or if they can stay.

This morning, when Marcus brought me to land with the Dinghi, he saw a seal. I took picutes of it from the top of the canyon here. So cute this guy, lazy, lying in the water, doing nothing but catching some air to breathe.

So, the trip this year, starting here in Patagonia, starts out really amazingly peaceful and beautiful. I know I keep repeating myself, but that's just how it is. Patagonia, a land with many different landscapes, from desert to green, ocean with beaches to mountains (the Andes) and many flowers. Huge and peacful, very few inhabitans, no tourists in distant places like this here. Just marvelous.

Have a great day everyone.

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Beginning of sailing season 2013

We could not have hoped for better conditions to start our sailing season in 2013. After a wonderful new years eve watching the fireworks we had a calm sleep and got up early on this January 1st, 2013, to start our journey south. Due to weather reports we decided to just move to the end of the Bay of Puerto Madryn and throw the anchor there for the night. The wind was supposed to calm down and then change direction from south to north. During that transition period you have changing, low winds and the swell still high from the old wind. That makes an uncomfortable ride, where in the worst case you have to motor and your sails get stressed out by the waves, cause you don't have enough wind in the sails to keep them on one side.

Sailing to that anchorage two dolphins came to swim with us, checked Alita out and then left again. We thought "nice of them to stop by, well, that's it". But, no, they went to get the rest of the school and there we found us in the middle of maybe 20 dolphins playing with Alita. So peaceful, so cute. And such beautiful dolphins. They are a different kind here, very unique, very short nose, grey bodies on the top, white on the bottom. And this cute big smile on their faces. Those guys caught our hearts immediately. One guy was a jumper, so sweet. He gave me the picture of the day. As soon as I can I will post pictures. I am VERY happy with those I got yesterday.
During that trip yesteday we also tried the storm main sail (Trysegel) and prepared everything and the floating storm anchor (Treibanker). So now we're prepared for stronger winds and we familiarized Hanno with the boat. Now we can all relax. We did by eating all the Vanillekipferl in our afternoon coffe break. Nothing left.

Every move we make we have to report to the prefectura naval (coast guard)of Argentina. They even contacted us during the day yesterday and asked for the position. I have to admit I enjoy it. At least once a day I get to have a conversation with the coast guards in spanish, giving them current position, speed, direction, where we come from and where we are heading to nd when we plan to arrive (ETA). They are very friendly. We could also send E-mails from now on, but I think we'll stick to radio. It's more fun for me.

This morning at 2am local time we woke up from high waves at our anchorage. The wind had changed its direction earlier than forecasted and blowing over the whole bay of Puerto Madryn built up quite a wave. So Marcus and I decided to lift the anchor and leave (and let Hanno sleep, but who woke up anyway). Under a beautiful star sky and cold winds we did so. Once the anchor was up and we had set the sails of course I radioed to the Prefectura to let them know we did so and that we're heading out starting our trip with direction of Puerto Deseado. They wished us good navigation and off we were. I went back to bed, Marcus took the first shift and sailed us out of the bay and into the northerly winds, that we still enjoy, with 20-25 knots (we're expecting up to 30 knots). None of us could sleep though because in that first 3 hours Marcus had to work on the sails a lot. Then Hanno took over the second shift. So the shift plan is set. All works great, everybody is happy. Right now I am on my favourite shift: the evening sun and sunset shift. The men are in their beds, Alita is mine ;-) Sailing wise nothing to do today. Just watch out for traffic (which has not appeared so far) and make sure, we're following the right course. We all enjoy the beautiful ocean and weather, we know it won't always be this way. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful start we all love. I wish the same for all of you!

P.S. Danke liebe Gross-Cousine Baerbel, für Deine Delphin-Wuensche. Sind doch glatt am ersten Tag schon in Erfuellung gegangen!
P.P.S. Alles Gute nachtraeglich zum Geburtstag, liebe Silvi! Hoffe, Du liest das. Liebe Gruess an Euch alle, v.a. Moritz.

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New Year

What a wonderful start into the new year. Blue skies, sunshine, wind,
cold, calm seas today. We enjoyed a great dinner yesterday, chatted and
welcomed the new year outside with Vanillekipferl and Gluehwein watching
the fireworks over the town of Puerto Madryn from our anchorage. Clear
skies with millions of stars and almost full moon added to the beautiful
nightscene. I hope you all had a similar experience.
Today we'll head towards the end of the bay of Puerto Madryn. Since the
wind from south is calming down but we expect the wave to stil be there
coming from the direction we want go to we will anchor there and leave
tomorrow morning heading to Puerto Deseado.
The crew is great, we're having lots of fun together and Marcus finally
has a chess partner and we have a partner for Skat. Great.
Have a great day everyone.

P.S. Hab lieben Dank für Deine Grüße, Astrid. Dir auch alles Gute. Es
freut uns, dass Du bei uns bist. Alles Liebe


Happy New Year everyone

We want to wish all our blog followers a great evening and a wonderful,
happy and healthy New Year!
I just made "Vanillegipferl" (cookies) for late christmas and
celebrating the upcoming new year. We're still at anchor near Puerto
Madryn and will leave tomorrow morning.

All the best to all of you
Michaela and Marcus


Puerto Madryn

> I safely arrived in Puerto Madryn yesterday where Marcus and Hanno picked me up from the bus. Oh my god I had so much luggage because of all the stuff and spare parts I brought for the boat. Bags on board, back to land for a walk and for the first grocery shopping. 2days trip to here, wow. But all went well.
Now we're sticking up more food and then back on board. Last night I slept very well on the boat. Just a knock out, although I slept all the way on the plane and the bus.
> Tomorrow night a strong wind is predicted. We'll move the boat to the southern part of the bay and head off afterwards. We already checked out at the prefectura naval (coast guard). So far for now. Happy new year to everyone!