Friday, December 23, 2011

Raul Marin Balmaceda..... Good Surfing!!

View out to Bahia Tic Toc from river mouth
When working in the mountains for 2.5 months straight sometimes your legs need a rest and floating in a kayak is pretty sweet. I had a great opportunity to jump on an advanced sea kayak seminar that headed to Raul Marin Balmaceda located on the northwest edge on the Asyen Region of southern Chile.

Raul Marin Balmaceda (RMB) used to be only accessible by water until 2 years ago when they pushed a road through down the Rio Palena. Rio Palena is known by NOLS for having really good surf and rough water practice which suited our seminar well.

Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda
To get there from Coyhaique you need to head west to Puerto Cisnes and at the turn off to Puerto Cisnes head northwest through the Queulat National Park(the rainiest place in Chile and then to La Junta which is where you will find Rio Palena and head west to the coast.

Our trip started with some review of skills and rescues in flat water. After that we headed out to play in the surf. On day 3 we headed to Bahia Tic Toc which had our crew paddle about 10-15 nautical miles in great conditions and arriving at Rio Tic Toc in the late afternoon. The weather to this point was just blue bird and very little wind... which I have to say is not the typical Patagonian weather.

Paddling by Hue Pan Island on the way to Rio Tic Toc


We spent 2 days at Bahia Tic Toc and relaxed on the beach did a bit of river mouth surfing and fishing. Then planned our move back to RMB.
Mauro fishing in Rio Tic Toc with Yeli Peak behind
Bahia Tic Toc

On the move back we had some weather coming in which was super fun to be in seas you hope to never paddle in with a large group of students. We had probably 10-15 knot NW winds, beam seas at 1m and an exposed committing move to get back to RMB.

Once back we started to get the real Patagonia weather! We woke to rain and heavy winds probably up to 40 knots from the NW.  I was pretty psyched to get in the surf and play so a group of 5 of use went and played. A few of them ended up swimming and doing some good self rescues and then after a nice surf session we headed back to camp.

A little hail, it is had to capture a picture of the willywalls. It was pretty windy and rainy!

The next day involved some chatting about different certifications to take to develop more as instructors and why at NOLS things are a bit different. That afternoon we paddled to the vehicles for an early morning departure the next day.

Pete, Rio Tic Toc, Yeli and the fuego

Thanks to Mauro and Fabio for putting on a great seminar and to Steve, Peter, Pilar, Carrie and Emily for some great times paddling in remote Chile!

No comments:

Post a Comment