Quesahuén was a delightful spot. There were several buildings ashore, but only one was occupied, apparently by a solitary man with his dog. There was an old
The sound of rapid footfalls on deck woke me, and when I got up I saw a small, dark mustelid (which we later identified as a mink - an escapee, or one of its descendants, from a fur farm). He had obviously climbed up the anchor chain and was not particularly afraid of me, although he decided to hop back over the side when I got too close for comfort. I went back to bed and about half an hour later we heard him again. This time Trevor got up armed with his camera. Just in time, as our visitor was about to come down the hatch! Again he was curiously
unafraid, and not a bit aggressive when cornered. He hid under the dinghy and played hide and seek with Trevor for a while, before finally walking back down the anchor chain and swimming away. But not before he'd put his cheeky little head over the forehatch coaming to say hello to me, still lying in bed laughing at his antics. We named him Don Descaro - Master Impudence!
We woke to a perfect day, with the mountains shrouded in mist, coloured pink by the rising sun. As we set off towards the glacier, the mist gradually burned off,
I got myself a cup of coffee and sat down to wait for the ticket offices to open in the faint hope that I might be able to get an earlier flight to Nelson. Amazingly I could, so I checked in my big bag and backpack, which I knew would be handled with more care than I would guarantee with the big planes, and celebrated with a croissant and a pot of particularly pleasant Earl Grey tea.
We left into clear sky and I had the most glorious flight back home, with bright sunshine over the whole country. I could see all the way down the Cook Strait to Wellington on N Island and the Marlborough Sounds on S Island. Even the Strait was flat calm and the ships' wakes were clearly visible at some distance behind them - not a common state of affairs. Then down Tasman Bay and at last we landed at Nelson, 30 hours after my leaving Chacabuco.
Half an hour later I was back on board my little boat, which seemed none the worse for my absence.