53°21'S, 73° 5'W (Laura Cove, 145 nm from Punta Arenas, Chile)
We were called this morning by Saito-san from a point where the Strait of Magellan begins to widen as it approaches the Pacific Ocean.
Saito has been making his way west through the winding and narrow stretches of the Strait, and is now tied up in a small weather hole the local fishermen affectionately call "Laura." This will permit him and the two crew of the escort boat Lucky Dream to sleep through the night. The two boats are approx. 80 nm from the entrance to the Pacific Ocean.
He reports his yacht Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III is fine although there were some difficult times when trying to proceed at night as the channel became narrower and shallower. The tidal changes were among the strongest of the year, thanks to the full moon being at its closest orbit, producing alternating flows that threatened both boats with grounding.
A bit after sunup tomorrow Saito and his guide boat will leave. He expects to make Cabo Felix lighthouse within 9 hours and will probably tie up in a small harbor there, spend the night, then reenter the Pacific to resume the voyage. The escort boat will then return to Punta Arenas.
Weather at the moment looks good on ClearPoint for the next 3 or 4 days. Winds in the Strait were opposing from the west at about 12 kts. Winds in the Pacific are expected to be moderate from W and WNW in the high teens and mid-20s. Waves in the Pacific are 4-5.5 meters, and are expected to reduce to under 4 meters in 3 days.
See the weather graphic below, courtesy of James Hayashi, ClearPoint Weather.
Click graphic for an enlarged view.