An uneventful week, but not for the pig!
After the excitement of last week we have had a very quiet one this time. Leaving Castro the day after the collision we motored on a very quiet and warm day through the islands to Isla Alao where we anchored for the night near a large Salmonera (Salmon farm) that must have had a lot of fairly mature fish in it, if the noisy splashing from within the cages was a reliable indicator of size.
I passed the time on the trip by transferring the fittings from the old tiller to the new one. There are several little fittings on the tiller: one for the tiller-pilot, one for the Aries wind-vane steering, a cleat for lashing the tiller, a hiking stick (a tiller extension that allows you move around for comfort or a better view), and a safety knife. I managed to get some sunburn on the backs of my knees due to standing in one position while I worked – that’s not a great place to have sunburn. We spotted a pod of Orcas thrashing something but they were a little too far away for photos.
The next day we got going again heading for Estero Voigue where we had planned to meet up with Dominique and Carole of “Hippo’s Camp”. We arrived ahead of them and were there to guide them in as the anchorage is uncharted and without local knowledge you probably would not consider it an option although it really is very easy and safe.
We each hosted dinner over the next two days. “Hippo’s Camp” are heading south and into high-latitudes for their first time and we are heading to the tropics and Polynesia for our first time therefore the evenings were spent quizzing each other on our relative areas of expertise.
We thought we would stay one more day to repair the paint on the dented bow, put some varnish on the tiller and then sail over to the mainland in the area of Llancahue but never quite got around to it. After the painting and varnishing we went ashore to deliver a print of a photo that I had taken of the children of one of the local families and got persuaded to stay because they were killing a pig. I was curious to see how it was done here and it seemed like a nice cultural learning experience.
Once the piggy had been caught, it was knifed and carried off to where a fire pit had been prepared where the hair was singed and scraped off (a little different to the hot water method that I am familiar with but the principle is the same I suppose).
After the gutting the carcass was hung on a power pole to be skinned and cut down.
Nothing was wasted; the blood was collected to make prietas ( blod sausage or Morcilla) and the intestines were cleaned to use for the skins.
The following day the fat and other offcuts were rendered down to make “Manteca de chancho” (lard or dripping) and the prietas manufactured. The men did the fire and wine drinking outside and the ladies made the prietas and drank mate inside.
Today we have front coming through with a north wind and some rain showers so Paula is making dolls; which leads me onto a plug for her project;
Paula has come up with a scheme to help us out with some pennies for the cruising kitty and as a hobby for herself. The idea is that she makes these cute little rag dolls to order and sends them from wherever we are to wherever they are wanted. Each doll is unique and dressed in suitable clothing for location when they are ordered. The package includes photos of the dolls in the local scenery some maps and other relevant local information. The idea is that they are fun and educational toy or just a proxy souvenir of our travels. They are posted from the first little post office that we come across so prompt delivery is ‘not‘ guaranteed. They only weigh about 150 grammes and postage is via the international small packet service so they shouldn’t take forever to arrive. The dolls cost 50 USD plus postage (about 7 USD from here in Chile). To find out more go over to her Facebook page