An un-explored beach and Saoirse

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Photo (heavily compressed to reduce size): An un-explored beach and Saoirse (our boat) with Cerro San Valentin dominating the background
All good over here in Patagonia, got some cracking drone footage and pictures. Had a close call yesterday – the drone lost signal and did a “return to home” – the problem was the boat had shifted slightly due to the tide and it nearly landed straight in the water, luckily we had someone in a dinghy who raced over and saved it just in time!

The weather has been really good which is apparently very uncommon for this time of year; this has meant I have been able to “Drone” almost everyday.
I have lots of dead Whale footage but not much footage of live Whales, it’s really hard trying to be in the right place at the right time as they only surface every 10 minutes or so. I have got some really good footage of an island covered with seals that we sailed past. There are a lot of vultures near the dead Whales and I have managed to get some pretty interesting footage following them as they climb in thermals. There has been a mixed reaction from the local wildlife regarding the drone, some animals like the seals found it pretty scary but the vultures don’t seem bothered. Some brave parrots tried to scare it away by flying right past it – which made for some good footage!

It’s ridiculously isolated out here, until two days ago we hadn’t seen any other signs of human life for 14 days. Then randomly we bumped into another sailing boat that had four French tourists on board, we anchored together and they brought cheese over for supper– classic French!

I was expecting to be eating tinned soup for the duration of the trip – I was wrong. There is food stored in every possible nook and cranny in the boat meaning that each day we have fresh fruit and veg and last night we even had lamb! We have heating, power and the occasional hot shower, so, boat life is very civilized.

The scenery is spectacular, with the Andes making the perfect backdrop for pictures and footage, it’s also really dynamic – changing from day to day. One thing that has remained pretty consistent is the density of the forest. I am really keen to climb up some hills but every time we get to a beach I realize that it’s impossible to get more than 1 meter into the thick jungle.

For me one of the most exciting things about this trip the fact we are visiting places so remote and isolated that there is a good chance they have never been explored before. Which means we never know what to expect, the drone makes it quick and easy to get unique perspectives on islands and is a useful tool for seeing things underwater – making a shipwreck discovery an exciting (although still pretty remote) possibility.

We have just arrived at Caleta Buena where we have seen the first building in two weeks – it’s a shed which houses a JCB that enables workers to get supplies to the lighthouse 7km away. If the weather holds we will be making our way overland to the lighthouse the day after tomorrow so we can speak to the workers about possible whale sightings.

Ollie

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