20 January 2010



in the morning rain, el Canal Beagle looks more like a lake than a channel, though there are whitecaps out beyond the sandbar that protects the armada harbor.

I'm glad that our swim will be miles east of here, where there are no passable roads. even though our Magellan crossing took place in a remote station- Punta Delgada, at the first narrows-- it was accessible by road and ferry, a small hub of people, motorcycles and sheep-carriers. Looking at the satellite photo of the Strait now, I see the color difference between the water near Punta Arenas-- pacific clear-- and the murky aquamarine of the chilly Atlantic on the Eastern mouth. it was practically ten degrees colder than our training-beach where we actually crossed. we may have a similar experience with the water here. there is no way of knowing, since most of the armada sailors have only jumped in long enough to hyperventilate.

on tv, the same footage plays over and over- government officials who lost bets over Pinera's election performing ridiculous acts: one is a waiter for fellow officers and must pay their tab; another dives into a fountain in a town square; in Punta Arenas, one dunks in the Strait of Magellan for a few seconds, looking shocked and frozen.

I don't have the nerves I did before the Magellan crossing, nor the fear of imminent death, but I also am aware of the possibility that the water East of Puerto Williams will be colder, murkier, choppier-- there are so many possibilities.

at the very least, I am confident that it will be wild and wooly. we'll swim long today, and then rest before tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

  1. I've just been catching up on the posts, which made for quite the build up since today is the day - good luck!