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Home → March, 2018

Monthly Archives: March 2018

Bra­zo Noroes­te – 14 March 2018

After the sun­ny, calm day yes­ter­day, today’s wea­ther was a bit clo­ser again to Pata­go­ni­an rea­li­ty: wind and rain, a lot of both. An hour was long enough to stretch legs in the mor­ning. Beach, wood­land, wet­land, hill, wind-bea­ten trees, view of Cale­ta.

Bra­zo Noroes­te means nor­thwes­tern arm, and that’s exact­ly what it is: the nor­thwes­tern arm of the Bea­gle Chan­nel, which is split­ting up into two bran­ches at this points. The moun­ta­ins to both sides of Bra­zo Noroes­te are roun­ded by migh­ty gla­cia­ti­ons of the past. Today’s inland ice of the Cor­dil­lera Dar­win, which is whe­re we are now, still sends some streams of ice down to the water. Views were limi­t­ed due to rain and low clouds, but still, gre­at sce­n­ery. The wea­ther is just nor­mal life in Pata­go­nia. Or, rather, Tier­ra del Fue­go. Pata­go­nia starts north of the Strait of Magel­lan.

We drop­ped anchor in the Cale­ta Beau­lieu in the later after­noon behind a pen­in­su­la with rocky hill, cover­ed with den­se wood­land which was giving us shel­ter from the wind. It was pou­ring rain, but that did not keep us from explo­ring the area a litt­le bit, so we made a hike up the moun­tain – and felt like India­na Jones at work. The forest was so den­se that it was dif­fi­cult to get through. Water ever­y­whe­re, from all direc­tions. Love­ly! You just have to drop the idea that natu­re is only beau­tiful under a blue sky. That is not the case. It is always beau­tiful.

Gal­lery – Bra­zo Noroes­te – 14 March 2018

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

This was pro­ven by stun­ning views over the fjord and gla­cier, even in the rain. Just gre­at!

Brazo Noroeste

Pou­ring rain, but still a stun­ning view over the fjord with Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha and gla­cier

Bea­gle Chan­nel – 13 March 2018

This is not the first time that „Bea­gle Chan­nel“ is the head­line of an ent­ry of this blog. So far it meant tra­vel­ling from Ushua­ia to the Dra­ke-Pas­sa­ge (or back). This time, not so.

How many times did I see the­se beau­tiful moun­ta­ins fur­ther west in the Bea­gle Chan­nel wit­hout ever get­ting the­re. So, today!

Mountain view - Beagle-Channel

Moun­tain view – Bea­gle-Chan­nel

We set sail in Puer­to Wil­liams and enjoy­ed the com­pa­ny of many Black-bro­wed alba­tros­ses, shags and even a few dol­phins. South of Ushua­ia a Hump­back wha­le waved us off with his flu­ke. Very fri­end­ly.

The rest of the day? A scenic dream made of sky and sea, islands and fjords. Moun­ta­ins and clouds were mir­rored on the water. New islands, new views mile after mile. A dream coming true.

Late in the evening, the anchor fell in Cale­ta Olla (Cale­ta seems to be the word for litt­le, well-shel­te­red natu­ral har­bours) under a beau­tiful sou­thern sky of stars. No arti­fi­ci­al light any­whe­re around us! The Mil­ky way, Magel­la­nic cloud, the Sou­thern cross … so beau­tiful that a small group of us even went ashore to put the tri­pods up in dark­ness. Well, ama­zing how quick­ly the clouds can cover the sky down here … any­way, it was still a nice way to finish the day.

Beagle-Channel, Caleta Olla

Evening mood, Cale­ta Olla

Humpback whale, Beagle-Channel

Hump­back wha­le, Bea­gle-Chan­nel

Gal­lery – Bea­gle Chan­nel – 13 March 2018

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Puer­to Wil­liams – 12 March 2018

Puer­to Wil­liams! I must have sai­led past Puer­to Wil­liams about 80 times, but I have never actual­ly been the­re. So it was about time! The place star­ted out as a naval base in 1953, so it is not actual­ly one of the world’s gre­at won­ders in terms of archi­tec­tu­re or wha­te­ver, but it has grown a bit into a civi­li­an sett­le­ment which claims to be the sou­thern­most town in the world!
That is cer­tain­ly dis­pu­ta­ble and the result will depend on your defi­ni­ti­on of a town, which will need to be quite fle­xi­ble in order to include Puer­to Wil­liams. But the­re are some shops and small restau­rants (at least one of them is real­ly nice, as we were hap­py to find out), the bow of the Yelcho (the ship that res­cued Shackleton’s men from Ele­phant Island), an ATM and the very char­ming Yacht’s club house, on a boat that is groun­ded in the Yacht har­bour. A love­ly place to spend some time and I am sure it has seen some par­ties over the years!

Gal­lery – Puer­to Wil­liams – 12 March 2018

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

We went on a „beau­ro­cra­tic sight­see­ing tour“. Some­thing that may be a rather stran­ge approach for a tou­rist visit and it is by no means more inte­res­t­ing than it sounds. But we had to enter Chi­le offi­ci­al­ly with the boat and all souls and that requi­res paper­work at a num­ber of addres­ses in town. Not the big­gest place in the world, so that was alright.

And Puer­to Wil­liams is sur­roun­ded by den­se, dark pata­go­ni­an moun­tain rain forests. I am won­de­ring if they have got Ents the­re? I’m tempt­ed to belie­ve that the­re must be some the­re! ?

Ushua­ia – 11 March 2018

The pho­tos may seem fami­li­ar. No coin­ci­dence, becau­se this is whe­re we said good­bye and fare­well to SY Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha at the end of the trip to Ant­ar­c­ti­ca four weeks ago. And now we are coming back on board again! Same place … but bey­ond that, not­hing will be the same. Just the first steps are simi­lar, say­ing offi­ci­al­ly good­bye to Argen­ti­na, get­ting pass­ports stam­ped, lea­ving the har­bour in the evening, set­ting cour­se east­wards through the Bea­gle-Chan­nel, but then … in a few hours, we will go along­side in Puer­to Wil­liams, the sou­thern­most posi­ti­on of the who­le trip! After that, we will con­ti­nue west- and nor­thwards, sai­ling through the beau­tiful, stun­ning water­ways of sou­thern Chi­le. New land, new pas­sa­ges, new places. Good stuff! It is not exag­ge­ra­ted to say that we are all very exci­ted about it!

Gal­lery – Ushua­ia – 11 March 2018

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Even the veterans of Chi­le and Pata­go­nia, and we do have some on board, are exci­ted. It is such a remo­te, hard-to-get-to-area. The­re is nobo­dy tra­vel­ling the­re, com­pared to Ant­ar­c­ti­ca. It is emp­ty, remo­te and wild. Pata­go­nia, that is Tor­res del Pai­ne, Peri­to Moreno and so on for most peo­p­le. Stun­ning places for most peo­p­le, no doubt about that, but what is lying ahead of us is very much dif­fe­rent, and by no means less beau­tiful and impres­si­ve. But far off the well-trod­den path! The­re is no infra­struc­tu­re, no gene­ral gui­de­books, no tou­rism.

Pata­go­nia, here we come!


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