There are hundreds if not thousands of anchorages hidden in the Canales and Seno’s that protect the mainland coast of Patagonia. Some are well charted, many are not and there is endless scope for exploration of many more. With wind and weather unpredictable at best, it is essential that a well protected anchorage is found each evening if you want an untroubled sleep.
Although there are bays that allow you to use only an anchor the best nights sleep is assured with the anchor well set and 2, sometimes 3 lines ashore.
The more confined the space the less wind is likely to enter the anchorage so wherever possible the technique is to get close into the trees and reduce movement as much as possible.
The anchorage in Puerto Natales is nothing more than an open roadstead and the best shelter is to be had close to the low lying land across the river opposite the town.
This necessitates a long dinghy ride to town and the Armada are not happy if you leave the boat unattended as we wished to do to head off on a road trip to Torres del Paine National Park. We were able to please the helpful and well meaning officers by setting two anchors in series, the shank of one linked to the head of the other by a 10m length of chain. Novara’s heavy ground tackle and bow roller setup makes this relatively easy and bomb proof.
With both 120lb anchors dug well in and a long length of 1/2 inch chain put out, we could head off into the hills with some confidence that the boat would be there on our return…. It was!