The original plan had been to go and visit Cape Horn and the morning was spent waiting for the permit to do that. Once again, wheels needed to be turned and perhaps palms greased and that all takes time, so it was after midday before we were able to leave. Though the permit said Cape Horn, we knew we couldn’t get there as the weather just wasn’t playing ball with 40 knots of wind around the horn. However, in the Beagle channel it wasn’t as bad, so we headed east down to Picton Island. Sails were hoisted almost straight away and we sailed down the channel wing-on-wing with the main and staysail. Ironically, given that we couldn’t go to Cape Horn because it was blowing too hard, the wind died about two-thirds of the way there and so we motored the last bit heading into the bay between Picton Island and Gardiner Island to anchor for the evening. We arrived about 6pm or so.
The status of a lot of the islands around here is disputed between Chile and Argentina, so many of them have a military presence. On Picton Island this was a navy person with his wife and two young daughters, so we had to check in with them, but they were very friendly. We headed off for a short walk and after a mile or so, Jan and I turned round while Simon and Tracey-Ann carried on. When they met us later it turned out that we should have walked a bit further as there were two beavers who had built an enormous dam! However, we headed back to meet the others who had built a camp fire and were cooking bread dough on sticks by the fire. Given beers as well, this did seem the better option at the time – little were we to know about the beavers!