Today is our last full day at sea!
The end of this voyage is close enough that the weather forecasts can hold no more surprises. An on-again off-again area of low pressure has come and gone and proved to be a non-event. The wind shifts involved no sail changes or jibes and the breeze barely exceeded 30 knots. At this point, the 4 meter waves have become de-rigeur.
The sun is out again lighting the wave crests a brilliant white running across the ruffled deep blue of the sea. Flitting about this panorama are hundreds of seabirds of all different sizes and species. In our experience, none of these birds fear being far far from the shore. Their presence is less a result of our being near the land - after all, it is still 170 miles away - and more because of a rich marine environment just off the South American coast. We are beginning to find ourselves in that area of up-welling ocean currents as shown by a falling sea temperature.
The winds which have been our steady companion and have been driving us along for weeks will fade away tonight as we get ever closer to the coast. It is likely we will be motoring the last fifty miles or so. More patience than we possess would avoid this bit of powering; the winds will be back along the coast in a day or so.
Our arrival will be too late in the day tomorrow for us to navigate up the river to Valdivia in daylight with a rising tide (safety considerations) so we will anchor for the night in a sheltered place just inside the river entrance at Corral, moving the last few miles up the river the following day. On Sunday as we enter the Bay at Corral the incessant motion will finally stop.
We are certainly looking forward to anchoring!
At 2017-03-11 15:06 (utc) our position was 39°40.41'S 077°06.86'W