Finally back in the Atlantic!

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If rounding the horn is the accepted "cool dude" turning point, I feel
much better now that we are finally sailing in the Atlantic. After Cape
Horn we headed north towards the Strait of Le Maire, between the Tierra
del Fuego and the Isla De Los Estatos which marks the gate that opens
into the Atlantic leaving the Southern Ocean behind. The strait has a bit
of a reputation for its strong currents and overfalls so much so that most
yachts racing up this way tend to pass to the outside and east of the Isla
De Los Estatos. We figured we had good weather and could do with some
sightseeing after so many days with just water around us.

Sighting land was quite special, these are stretches of land you only
get to read about in books and that I will probably never see again unless
I do another yacht race around the world! The steep cliffs of the Tierra
del Fuego are snowcapped even now, in summer, and everything looks quite
wild and barren.

We had absolutely no information about these tricky currents so I had to
ask a friend to google some information and send it over. I cant say the
extract from the pilot was very clear and we couldnt even tell how strong
the currents would be, 3,5,7 knots? So we decided to call up on VHF one
the two large fishing vessels we could see on the AIS screen, the one I
called was heading for Ushuaia so I thought they maybe local. The captain
was very helpful and after some time converting times across time zones we
found out we had struck luck, the tide was just about to become favourable
so we kept going towards the strait. The current increased steadily until
it reached nearly 5 knots, good job we didn't arrive at the wrong time of
the day, the wind was so light that there's no way we could have gone
against the flow. A few hours later we had be spat out into the Atlantic
and as the current faded away we drifted slowly for a while before a
gentle wind started to fill the sails.

We now have some rather tricky weather for the final stretch to Punta del
Este but hopefully as long as we keep moving along we should get to some
proper south american steak in a week or so, 1150 miles to go!

Just brilliant sailing by selwyn (not verified)
Just brilliant sailing by selwyn (not verified)