Day 11, Passage to Puerto Montt

2000Z 02OCT19, Day 11, Easter Island to Puerto Montt, Chile. We continue to make good progress in, mostly, the right direction. Things kicked up a bit around sunset yesterday, and we made really good speed and course throughout the night due to the calmer seas and good wind. By dawn the winds became shifty and then died, so on went the engine for 30 minutes. The winds soon returned and we were back to sailing on a decent, if not direct course. As the day continued the course shifted back and forth and the winds came up and down, but so far we are still sailing.

Current Position: 38 10S / 086 15W
24 hour progress: 136nm, 5.7kts avg SOG
Overall progress for the passage is 1425nm with approximately 610nm to the entrance canal to get to Puerto Montt. Another partially sunny and partially gray day with cloud cover. We are sailing close hauled with full main and genoa. Winds are currently about 10-15kts and the seas are calm with a long, easy swell.

The current weather suggests we will likely motor for 24-48 hours starting soon and then we should get wind again. This is typical for this passage route as we cross the established high pressure system, and it isn't all bad as we need to use up our warm weather diesel to replace it with cold weather diesel. It also allows us to stay flat and do some house keeping, cooking and baking. Though the drone of the engine gets old, it does also heat water and the cabin so that is another bonus.

We saw our first ships since leaving Easter Island. A large tanker passed about 4nm away this morning. It was nice to see another vessel. Today continued with radio chatter and another 2 vessels passing at 0.5nm and 1.5nm respectively. All signs that we are crossing a shipping route or getting closer to land. Our only other contact for this passage was detected on AIS with a closest point of 26nm away (well outside visual range) on one of the first days of the passage.

The crew are all doing well. Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary!!! A lot has happened in 15 years and we are so happy and grateful that we are living and sharing this wonderful life together. We have lived in (London, San Diego, Newport, Germany, DC, Greece, Seattle) and traveled to so many amazing places (national Parks road trip, 2+ years sailing almost 19k nm, visiting 21 countries and territories). What a great and fitting way to celebrate 15 years of marriage as we head towards Jon's dream visit to Patagonia together, as a family, on our dream boat. We are thankful for what we have shared and hope for many more adventuresome years together!

If conditions continue to be mild, we plan to celebrate with a steak and potato dinner and a glass of red wine. We only drink on passage on very rare occasions like splitting a halfway-there-beer or an equator crossing rum. This halfway point was far too busy and chaotic so we have not had any alcohol this passage, but a 15 year anniversary seems like a good reason for a special treat.

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