Use it Again!
Alex Pella trapped in Chilean Patagonia due to adverse weather conditions
– Alex Pella and Romain Pilliard have spent more than a week sailing hard in the extreme south of America.
– After successfully overcoming Cape Horn, a strong storm from the West forces the trimaran “Use it Again” to seek refuge in Chilean Patagonia.
– The team thus loses its advantage over the previous record and will face the Pacific crossing at a disadvantage.
After passing the mythical Cape Horn, Alex Pella and Romain Pilliard have spent several days seeking a natural refuge in Cook Bay, at the entrance to the Beagle Channel from the Pacific, as extreme weather conditions prevent them from continuing their journey through the Pacific Ocean. This circumstance has made them lose the advantage they had over the current record.
“We are sheltered to protect ourselves above all from the sea, from the strong wind and also from the adverse weather that lies ahead. We are going to take the opportunity to make a series of repairs and thus let the worst of the storm that is hitting the area pass. We have a grappling hook on board to anchor, but it is not a good anchor and the boat is not prepared for it either, we only take it for safety. Today the conditions to be able to go out are not favorable at all, so we maintain this “stand-by”, which we do not know how long it can last, because the forecast is really bad. We do not see anything clear an exit window. We knew that this would be a difficult step and although we have overcome a part; We still have a jump of about 300 miles to the north, but right now they cannot be done, because with the conditions that exist, we would endanger ourselves, the ship and the project. It’s not worth risking with this; we know our limits and those of the boat, therefore we have to respect that”, says Alex Pella
Alex has also said that having left international waters and not having entered Chile. “They have contacted us by radio and I have had to report our situation to the Chilean army by mail. We should have made the entry in Puerto Williams, but if we make it and someone gets on board the trimaran, our record is screwed up. We are therefore in a situation where we cannot abuse much of our time here. Although at the moment we have not anchored, it is something that we are considering, because we have many days ahead of us and the weather is not good. At the moment we are waiting for the events of both the weather and the administrative issue. We are fine, we are calm, we knew this could happen. We have found a good shelter and for now we will see how the situation evolves.
The truth is that the place is spectacular, I did not expect it, I had never been here; channels, islands, fjords, snowy mountains. There are also quite a few animals, we have seen walruses and two whales that have passed within 50 meters of the boat. There is no one, it is an uninhabited place and also the few cruise ships that there are, as Chile has very strong restrictions due to the pandemic, we are absolutely alone in the world. A spectacular feeling, a real marvel, enjoying this stop, knowing that obviously we are losing many miles of advantage, but we are well aware that if we get through this stage of the South American passage, then we have great chances of breaking the record”, he assures.