Download this page as a PDF Chile Anchorage Notes
Where the guides are referenced in this book we refer to RCC Chile 2nd edition with Supplement No.6 March 2011 and the Patagonia & Tierra Del Fuego Nautical Guide, 2nd Edition. Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego (you can get the latest edition from capehorn-pilot.com) is the bible anything else should be seen as a supplement to it, but the RCC guide does contain some extra material. The RCC occasionally publish updates to their cruising guides and they can usually be downloaded from their site rccpf.org.uk
Giorgio Adrizzi told me in early 2016 that the 3rd edition was out but the website still refers to the 2nd edition. Contact him for the latest.
These notes were taken on cruise northwards during January – April 2015 and in the Chiloé area November 2015 to February 2016
Keep in mind when reading this that “Morgane” is a 10.8m steel sloop, with a draught of 2m, and a weight in the slings of about 10Tonnes. Everybody always asks what anchor we used in the area; our anchor is a 20kg Rocna on 10mm, G30, chain. But anchoring in the Chilean channels is only one third of the story. Keep an eye on the destinations page for a presentation of cruising in the Chilean Channels.
The anchorages are referenced by their number in the relevant guide plus an abbreviation for the guide.
P&TDF – Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide, by Giorgio Adrizzi and Mariolina Rolfo, ISBN 88-85986-34-X
RCC – Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation, CHILE, ISBN 0-85288-721-3
Chile has been changing its phone numbering system and many numbers have had an extra digit added, usually a 2 in front of the number or if dialing with an area code a 2 between the area code and the number. For up to date info see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_Chile
Isla Rule – Canal Escape
S49° 26’19 W074° 24’82
This is not in any guide that I have seen but there is an old fisherman’s camp with the obligatory piles of shells. We needed shelter from wind and current whilst attempting to make progress to the north and found a well sheltered anchorage in the notch on the south side of the island. There is a small kelp reef to the west that helps break the chop from the channel and it was very peaceful on the hook. Drop the hook right of centre of the bay on the edge of the kelp in 8m. This is maybe not a place for a planned overnight stop but certainly is a good refuge.
6.4 P&TDF Caleta Greenpeace
6.8 RCC Estero Ringdove
S49° 48’25 W074° 18’64
Tucked in behind the islets immediately south of Cta Chacabuco
I rate this anchorage very highly; shelter is excellent it seemed free from williwaws while we were there with 35 knots in the channel (North of course but NW – W on the GRIBS, offshore) it was almost mirror calm with not a hint of a gust. The bottom mud is excellent and trees easy to access from a beach so dinghy work is easy and safe. A safe approach even, with a large chop. One of the best we visited in the channels.
6.16 P&TDF – Caleta Colibri
RCC page 123
There is now a good chart (dating from 2006). The island mentioned as unnamed in the text is called Isla Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza and the passage is called Paso Yagan (Paso Cardeau in the text). The Chilean chart number is 10327. Note the original sketch is in the “Pelagic” rutter (skip Novak’s Pelagic).
6.18 RCC – Caleta Finte
Revised anchorage position S50° 21’82 W074° 22’48 – the one in the book is half way up the hill
We did not anchor right at the head as there were signs of submerged tree branches and there is less swinging room due to a reef on the South shore. There seems to be little difference in wind between the absolute head and where we anchored.
Note: On the approach there is a narrows approximately half way along at S50° 22’91 W074° 21’53 with a least depth of ≈5m. We had some strong gusts at this point requiring speed to be kept up to maintain steerage. Conditions outside were NW 25’ gusting 35’.
6.19a P&TDF – Poza de las Nutrias (Otter Pool)
The English translation is incorrect. It should be “Otter Pool”, not “Otter Pole”
6.21 P&TDF – Caleta Villarica
At the mooring shown in the detail plan we found the anchor difficult to set, but OK once set. We used this anchorage on three occasions after getting beaten back from Canal Pitt and each time had trouble setting the anchor. Very quiet in here even when the fishermen were reporting Rachas of 70 knots in just outside in Peel. From what we could see of Peel it was smoking white. Wind always NW – N.
6.27 P&TDF – Caleta Damien
Used the tie-in mentioned and were there for nine days in some very poor conditions outside but never troubled. Set up a four-point tie and tucked in close to the western side. Weather outside was SW – N up to F10.
Needs a sketch – There is rock which covers and uncovers on the north side of the entrance at the inner end.
6.41 P&TDF – Caleta Darde
The tie-in as show in the sketch in P&TDF and mentioned in the RCC guide is not recommended if the breeze goes N of NW as then it enters Darde very strongly from the NE. We had to bail but simply moved onto the anchor slightly E of where shown in the P&TDF plan (to give more swinging room) and were very comfortable on anchor.
6.44 P&TDF – Puerto Profundo
The buoy is no longer in position
8.6 RCC – Caleta Mostyn
Very good – we had some light southerly the morning we left and I could see it becoming a bit exposed if the southerly was strong.
8.12 P&TDF – Bahia Mussel
We moored stern to in the tiniest of coves on SW shore more or less half way in which was just enough to give shelter from the sometimes strong gusts blowing down the cove.
8.15 P&TDF – Caleta Hidden
The kelp extended further from the western entrance than shown.
P&TDF – Seno Pedro, Canal Acwalisnan
The waypoint for the North end of Canal Acwalisnan in paragraph 1, page 453 is a little off, a better one is
S54° 05’600 W071° 36’787
9.7 P&TDF – Caleta Cluedo
We reached Caleta Cluedo at the southern end of Canal Acwalisnan. We came in via the channel on the west side of Isla Seebrock. The plan on page 455 in the book is not very good. I found a report by a dutch yacht called “Thalassa II” very helpful.
Here are two way-points for pass between Islas Duntze and Isla Seebrock, where we found it much deeper than on the plan.
South end – S54° 17’50 W071° 46’00
North end – S54° 16’86 W071° 46’32
We anchored in the inner pool S54° 15’99 W071° 46’77 and then tied on two shore lines from each side of the bow to keep the boat centred in the pool
From the log of “Thalassa II”
So we left it again in the morning of another beautiful day and calm day! Had a very nice trip to Caleta Cluedo (9.7), which we think is one of the nicest anchorages we have seen so far (EVER!). It’s gorgeous and we love it. However, the approach is a bit tricky and the Italian book (page 455) is a bit off here.
Coming from Canal Cockburn and Seno Duntze you keep Isla Duntze on your portside as they say and will have kelp and rocks (barely) awash on your starboard side. BUT (very important!!): the two very conspicuous round islands you see in front of you are NOT the little islands that mark the entrance of Cluedo! Instead, the first and most noticeable two rounded islands you see are part of the shallow bit that sticks out on the NW corner of Isla Seebrock and HAVE to stay on your starboard side. This is very confusing and different from the situation in the sketch, that doesn’t even show these first two islands! After passing these two islands you will be able to locate some other spits of rock (something like a flat pancake, small and hard to notice) near the shore of Isla Clarence. The book shows two islets, we just found one long lump of rocky bits. Keep it on your port side and steer into the seno.
10.9 P&TDF – Caleta Macias
Couldn’t get the anchor to hold so moved on; another yacht that we spoke to had the same problem earlier in the day.
10.15 P&TDF – Caleton Silva
There is an effigy of a fisherman near the stream marked on the plan. It is constructed from an old set of fishermen’s yellow foul-weather gear and tree branches. There is a tree with boards bearing boat names. Some are quite well done but others are in poor taste such as aluminium cans with names written in sharpie that are just contributing to trash.
Islas Chauques showing the location of the Salmoneras in December 2015
RCC 2.27 Isla Mechuque area (Estero Voigue)
2.7 Caleta Mechuque
No fish farm inside anymore but inter-island ferries have moorings there. The light shown on the plan in the bay west of the cemetery is in fact within the cemetery grounds in the SE corner.
2.14 Estero Ichuac
The remnants of a disused salmonera were removed from there in late December 2015 and it is now clear.
The Armada do not allow the use of their dock anymore.
The public slip nearby is OK but it is recommended to chain and lock your dinghy and not leave anything loose in it.
There is now a huge (and very ugly) mall on top of the hill that included many outdoor shops and Lider Express supermarket. The best value supermarket in town in Unimac
We got water from a tap in the fish market, ask during the day and help yourself at night.
Water is available alongside at the commercial port but they wanted to charge us 28,000 CLP for 400L
No easily accessible fuel station.
2.37 Caleta Andrade
The best anchorage we used in the Llancahue area. We anchored in about 18m which gave us plenty of room to put out a decent scope and be able to swing 360 degrees. Most other anchorages in the area seem to be perched on the edge of a precipice or have severely constrained swinging room.
Marina Costa de Huelmo
This is small, 16 boats, marina located in Bahia Huelmo at position 41°39.1S 073°03.6W
It is a located in a very rural setting, well protected but some swell does enter from the south.
There are showers, sometimes hot, sometimes warm, sometimes cold and a quincho. There is water on the pontoons but it contains a lot of sediment and I wouldn’t put in the tanks, there is also water available near the quincho. There is electricity included in the price.
A 2km walk through a bucolic setting leads to the Calbuco – Puerto Montt road (coastal route) where buses pass every half hour from about 8am to 8:30pm. Buses to the marina are caught in the Puerto Montt terminal at platform 32 and are signed “Calbuco por la costa”. The cost of the bus is CLP 1000 and the time taken is about 30 minutes.
The staff will help you get gas from the nearby gas seller. Fuel has to brought in cans from a Puerto Montt service station; the staff may also give you a lift with this for tips.
A very nice setting away from the mess, traffic and noise of Puerto Montt and much cheaper; although prices quotes seem to vary from those advertised on the website, but we got the website price after pointing out that we had already seen the site prices.
© Christopher Harris, April 2016