Slicing through the fog

Having set sail from Valparaiso on Saturday, Race for Water has set a course for her next destination, the port of  Talcahuano, at the gateway to Concepcion, a city located to the South of Chile. Though the previous passage will go down in history as one of the slowest the current delivery, though short, is proving to be rather uncomfortable since the crew has had no visibility since the start. A peasouper of a fog is hounding them…

Jean-Marc Normant, captain of the ship: “We have fog on the menu! Making headway without seeing in front of you isn’t very comfortable! We have the equivalent of a boat length of visibility. Fortunately, the radar enables us to detect the majority of the obstacles and the GPS-linked electronic cartography indicates our position and our movement. These means of navigation have radically changed the sailor’s lot. Paper charts and the sextant are no longer much in use so in some ways it’s out of enjoyment that we get out the pencil and the protractor to position the boat. :-)”

Valparaiso the Mythical, Valparaiso the Desired.

Anne-Laure Le Duff, second in command: “It took us 21 days to make Valparaiso the Mythical. Through to the very last moment, we called it Valparaiso the Desired. Even whilst it was just a few miles ahead of us, it was still refusing our advances. We had to sit it out for a night to the North of the Concon headland, some 7NM away, before we were able to moor the boat in the military port. Autumnal weather scooped us up in the early hours of the morning and our arrival took place in the rain. It was with undisguised glee that the land-based and sea-based teams got back together. It has to be said that we’d played hard-to-get too due to the rather inclement weather conditions.
The stopover lived up to expectations. It was intense, with over 350 people climbing aboard in less than a week, children, students, local decision-makers, representatives of Rapa Nui and rounding off in style with the President of Chile himself, who honoured us with his presence.
The surroundings were extraordinary: from military frigates to a 300-metre container ship, from sea lions to pelicans, from the cerros or hills to the snow-capped mountains.
It was highly emotional: the chance to hook back up again with the big R4W family, the new encounters, the beauty and the light illuminating this landscape at the end of the world.
This week just flew by and we set off again as tired as we’d arrived, but full of energy (as much in our batteries as in our minds), a smile on our lips.
The last hugging and kissing on the dock, the warps slipped off the bollards, a sea lion swimming alongside us, a blast on the foghorn and here we are, sailing again to our greatest delight!
Four days at sea with a select group and one guest… the fog!”