In a presentation that made a nice complement to the topic of a week before (Cape Horn), Richard Hudson spoke on the portion of his travels that took him from Vancouver to Patagonia. His ship, the Issuma, is a 50 foot steel staysail schooner with a drop keel, drawing 10.5 feet with the keel lowered and a scant 4 feet with keel raised. Aboard the Issuma, Richard has circumnavigated the Americas and sailed parts of Europe and Africa.
Richard left Vancouver in September 2014 and travelled south, spending time in the Sea of Cortez off Mexico before eschewing the coastal route and instead heading straight south, arriving at Easter Island. His route was designed to use the currents optimally and to avoid the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ, aka "The Doldrums").
Easter Island (or "Rapa Nui", or "Isla de Pascua"), with its population of about 5800, lacks a good harbour and to get from the anchorage to the shore requires a climb up a ladder on the seawall. The key apparently is to time the transition from dinghy to ladder with the motion of the waves, assuming they are not too large.
After Easter Island, over to Patagonia, where stops along the coast and in the fiords included Puerto Montt, the town of Castro on the island of Chiloe, and many unnamed anchorages along the way south. Anchoring involved both setting anchor, and usually running land lines as well, as waters were deep close to shore and winds were often strong. The route was blessed with stunning natural geography, glaciers, and rugged barrenness. Care needed to be taken with the occasional williwaws descending from the mountains.
Southward travel eventually led to the Strait of Magellan, and then on to the Beagle Channel, and the port of Ishuaia. That was the end of the talk, but not the end of Richard Hudson's voyage. Perhaps the Shellbacks will hear more at another time!
ABOUT RICHARD HUDSON
• Richard has over 75,000 miles of sailing experience
• Last year (2016), he finished circumnavigating the Americas
• He is originally from Toronto. At 13, he began sailing via free sailing lessons for kids offered by Harborfront in lug-rigged, converted lifeboats. He followed this venture up by going through the Toronto Brigantine program (he was a Watch Officer on Pathfinder).
• He lived for five years in Yukon & NWT, fifteen years in New York City
• Richard is a true sailing ‘handiman’:
-- He refitted and sailed a 12m/35' steel gaff-rigged schooner, Orbit II, along eastern US, Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, Iceland.
-- He restored a classic gaff rigged schooner, Rosemary Ruth, and sailed along eastern US.
-- Flew to France, bought a 15m/50' steel staysail schooner, Issuma, refitted and sailed her over 50,000 miles from France to Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, to USA, Canada, Greenland, through the Northwest Passage then south to British Columbia, Mexico and Chile, then to Antarctica, South Africa, St Helena, and New York.
• Currently he lives aboard Issuma, so "home" is generally where the boat is *
• Between trips, Richard works in the computer industry to pay for his sailing habit
The Shellbacks Club will make occasional posts on this blog. If you want something added in a blog post. let us know.