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Home → March, 2018

Monthly Archives: March 2018 − News & Stories


Archi­pe­la­go de los Cho­nos – 31 March 2018

Good to be in shel­te­red coas­tal waters again! The surf on the outer coast was very impres­si­ve, not a good place to run aground, as count­less ships did trough the cen­tu­ries. We had our bea­rings right and ent­e­red Bahía Anna Pink (one of tho­se lovely pla­ce­n­a­mes again), the ent­ran­ce to a sys­tem of chan­nels through the Archi­pe­la­go de los Cho­nos. The sea got com­ple­te­ly calm during the morning, the water was like a mir­ror again mid-day.

Canal Pulluche - Archipelago de los Chonos - 31 March 2018

Green trees covering the moun­tains in the Archi­pe­la­go de los Cho­nos

The sun was shi­ning warm­ly and T-shirts and shorts were seen on the sun deck. May­be it was just the impres­si­on under the coin­ci­dence of today’s wea­ther, but ever­ything seems to be mil­der than south of the Gol­fo de Penas: the air is warm, the forests are covering the hills up to hig­her alti­tu­des, the land appears green, lush and mild. Nevertheless, pen­gu­ins are swim­ming around in con­si­derable num­bers and fur­ther inland, the­re is one of the big­gest non-polar ice-caps of the Earth. May­be it is real­ly just the wea­ther of today …

Canal Chacabuco - Archipelago de los Chonos - 31 March 2018

Sun­rays hit the water, Canal Cha­ca­bu­co

Canal Errazuriz - Archipelago de los Chonos - 31 March 2018

Sai­ling in the late evening and during the night, across calm waters and in moon­light, is very atmo­s­phe­ric!

Gal­le­ry – Archi­pe­la­go de los Cho­nos – 31 March 2018

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

Pen­in­su­la de Tai­tao – 30 March 2018

After the sun­ny hikes on the Isla Jung­frau­en, we had to wait out yet ano­t­her day while the storm was raging out the­re on open sea.

It was pou­ring rain for most of the day, so the on-board cine­ma was by far the best thing to do.

Peninsula de Taitao - 30 March 2018

Wind, waves and Alba­tros­ses: sai­ling at open sea around the Pen­in­su­la de Tai­tao.

Yes­ter­day, we could final­ly set sail again. We have to get this next leg done, across the Gol­fo de Penas and around the Pen­in­su­la de Ta Ito. We still have 500 nau­ti­cal miles ahead of us to Puer­to Montt, and the days are going quick­ly.

Peninsula de Taitao - 30 March 2018

Alba­tros­ses have an enor­mous wing­s­pan of more than three meters!

The open sea is always some­thing peop­le see with mixed fee­lings: some have to retre­at to their cabins while others are enjoy­ing wind and waves. Repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of both groups are pre­sent on board. But the sailors and pho­to­graph­ers amongst us had a lot to enjoy! We made good speed with up to more than 8 knots, wind and waves in con­stant­ly chan­ging light con­di­ti­ons and many, many sea­b­irds. From the small petrels to the Grea Alba­tros­ses (Wan­de­ring, Nort­hern and Sou­thern Roy­al Alba­tross) and a lot in bet­ween.

Gal­le­ry – Pen­in­su­la de Tai­tao – 30 March 2018

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

Isla Jung­frau­en – 28/29 March 2018

We have got the Gol­fo de Penas ahead of us and thus an open sea pas­sa­ge which will take about one and a half days without the pro­tec­tion of the coas­tal waters that we have enjoy­ed so far. It is obvious­ly important to have a good wea­ther win­dow for that, which we were sup­po­sed to have now, but rea­li­ty was dif­fe­rent. The wind and sea were qui­te rough alrea­dy in the chan­nels, and the latest fore­cast spo­ke a qui­te dif­fe­rent but very clear lan­guage.

Isla Jungfrauen

Wai­t­ing for the wind to calm down, Isla Jung­frau­en

So the­re is not much to do but to wait for bet­ter times regar­ding the open sea pas­sa­ge. Some­thing that is gre­at at the time being (later, we will have to catch up again, though), as we have got the Isla Jung­frau­en near­by, which has the beau­ti­ful Cale­ta Vir­gin. The name of the island („Island of vir­gins“) is inte­res­ting, but it does not keep the pro­mi­se, as we have found out by now. But the island has got the beau­ti­ful Cale­ta Vir­gen, which tur­ned out to be a gre­at place to stay safe­ly with a ship and bey­ond that, it is a gre­at place for hiking! Once you have got bey­ond the usu­al few metres of den­se coas­tal forest, the land­s­cape opens up and offers many gre­at hiking oppor­tu­nities over hills and smal­ler moun­tains with stun­ning pan­or­amic views, some lakes, wind-bea­ten trees and a lot of ama­zing pla­ces to dis­co­ver. An unbe­liev­a­b­ly beau­ti­ful hid­den cor­ner of the pla­net! We were all a bit tired after the last night, but that was quick­ly for­got­ten in the beau­ty of the sce­ne­ry. And in here, the wea­ther is gre­at! The Cale­ta is well shel­te­red, so hard­ly noti­ce anything of the strong winds and hea­vy seas out­side (on the moun­tains, you can hard­ly stand at times) and the sun is with us most of the day. Lovely!

Gal­le­ry – Isla Jung­frau­en – 28/29 March 2018

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

As men­tio­ned, we will have to catch up again time-wise, the days are going and they are not com­ing back. But we could not have found a bet­ter place to wait for bet­ter con­di­ti­ons, and when you see the pho­tos, I guess you don’t belie­ve that we are stuck here for wea­ther rea­sons.

 Isla Jungfrauen

What you can’t see in this pic­tu­re: Due to strong winds you can hard­ly stand on some of the hig­her spots.

Isla Jungfrauen

There’s defi­ni­te­ly no bet­ter place for a day of wai­t­ing.

Puer­to Edén – 27 March 2018

Sud­den­ly the wea­ther is on our side again and Cale­ta Coli­bri lets us go. The advan­ta­ge of the quick wea­ther chan­ges is that the wea­ther chan­ges quick­ly.

After a night and many miles we reach Puer­to Edén, which real­ly loo­ks like a bit of a gar­den Eden on a day like this, under a blue sky and with mir­ror images on the water. We haven’t had too many days like this!

Puerto Edén

Simp­le but colour­ful huts in Puer­to Edén

Puer­to Edén is a small vil­la­ge with a few hund­red inha­bi­tants, most of them descen­dants of the indi­ge­ne­ous popu­la­ti­on of this area. The usu­al, tra­gic histo­ry of colo­ni­al mur­der and dise­a­ses has not left many of them ali­ve, and prac­ti­cal­ly not­hing of their cul­tu­re. Ins­tead, the­re is Puer­to Edén, which star­ted its exi­s­tance as a small air­for­ce base and still has a mili­ta­ry pre­sence. Bey­ond that, it has a num­ber of simp­le but colour­ful huts near the shore, which loo­ks beau­ti­ful. It is lovely to walk around and enjoy all the views and colours and the wea­ther which feels real­ly medi­ter­ra­ne­an on a rare day like this. Unfor­tu­n­at­ly, my Colo­bri pho­to from yes­ter­day (or the day befo­re? Time is fly­ing, it is ama­zing!) has lost a lot of value as a rari­ty today, as the­re are a lot of Coli­bris around here and the dedi­ca­ted pho­to­graph­ers got rewar­ded for their pati­ence.

Gal­le­ry – Puer­to Edén – 27 March 2018

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

The­re are even two shops, but both of them fit into a small room. But the­re are fisher­men who come direct­ly to the boat to offer their fresh catch. Deli­cious!

In the after­noon and during the night, we make sure that we get fur­ther north. We have to, the­re are still many miles to go and the wea­ther is per­fect and of rare beau­ty.

Cale­ta Coli­bri – 25 March 2018

Cale­ta Coli­bri is not a place for long hikes. The forest is so den­se that it is sim­ply impos­si­ble to get any­whe­re. I have tried it. It does not work.

But the­re are several inte­res­ting pla­ces. In one place, peop­le obvious­ly spent a lot of time eating mus­sels. The­re is a big pile of them. Who and when? That’s some­thing we’d also love to know.

A pile of mussels on the beach of Caleta Colibri

Whe­re do all the­se mus­sels come from? Unsol­ved ques­ti­ons in the Cale­ta Coli­bri

You can climb up a tree and it does hard­ly look dif­fe­rent from stan­ding on the ground. Many of them are so den­se­ly cove­r­ed with mos­ses and all sorts of plants that it loo­ks like the ground. It is all green, ever­y­whe­re.

And, yes, Cale­ta Coli­bri lived up to its name! A small group of dedi­ca­ted pho­to­graph­ers wai­ted pati­ent­ly to get a chan­ce, and we were rewar­ded. I would guess it was a Green-backed fire­crown (Sepha­no­i­des sepha­no­i­des), accord­ing to our book „Bird of Chi­le“.

Gal­le­ry – Cale­ta Coli­bri – 25 March 2018

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

Now the wind has to calm down a bit so we can con­ti­nue towards Puer­to Edén. That is the next place we are hea­ding for and the first place sin­ce Puer­to Wil­liams whe­re peop­le are living. We have to go shop­ping, we are run­ning out of cho­co­la­te and beer.

Hummingbird in the Caleta Colibri

Nomen est omen: Cale­ta Coli­bri

Canal Tres Cor­res – 25 March 2018

After a real Sunday morning bre­ak­fast (scram­bled eggs and fresh rolls!) it was time to move nor­thwards again. Wind and rain in Canal Pitt, stun­ning light later, sun and blue sky alter­na­ting with some light clouds.

The wind is sup­po­sed to pick up again stron­gly tonight, so we deci­de to hide in Cale­ta Coli­bri. A lovely place for a calm night. And may­be the name keeps the pro­mi­se ..?

Canal Tres Corres

A lovely bay with a pro­mi­sing name: Cale­ta Coli­bri, Canal Tres Cor­res

Gal­le­ry – Canal Tres Cor­res – 25 March 2018

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

Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca – 24 March 2018

After a long day out and a fore­cast with a lot of wind for the night, what we nee­ded was a good Cale­ta to pro­vi­de a shel­te­red ancho­ra­ge for a night.

Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca can be recom­men­ded for that pur­po­se. It starts a bit like Decep­ti­on Island: you approach a steep coast, a nar­row ent­ran­ce with rocks in the water, steep cliffs on both sides (a bit gree­ner here than on Decep­ti­on Island), ever­y­bo­dy starts pla­cing bets if the ship will actual­ly fit through it – of cour­se, it works, the skip­per knows what he is doing. Then, a lovely bay opens, a real pira­te hidea­way. A lovely place to make a ship storm­pro­of for the night.

Caleta Villarica

Will it fit? It will! Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca

Wal­king in the­se forests is not for the faint-hear­ted. We could have used a chain­saw, ropes and a lad­der for that litt­le walk which in open ter­rain would have taken may­be 10 minu­tes. India­na Jones would have been ama­zed by the den­si­ty of this rain forest.

As always, the view was worth it!

Dense forest in the Caleta Villarica

India­na Jones would have enjoy­ed this: Den­se forest in the Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca

The bay of Caleta Villarica

The ama­zing view over Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca was worth the strugg­le through the bush

Gal­le­ry – Cale­ta Vil­la­ri­ca – 24 March 2018

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

Ama­lia Gla­cier – 24 March 2018

Puer­to Bue­no lived up to its name and gave us a beau­ti­ful and calm night. Very plea­sant. Which was fol­lo­wed by a stun­ning sun­ri­se and a new wea­ther fore­cast, which gave us some more time befo­re the next peri­od of strong wind is sup­po­sed to come. So we could set cour­se for the Ama­lia Gla­cier, which was gre­at, becau­se we had all been loo­king for­ward to it. We went under sail and sunshi­ne with the view of the Cam­po de hie­lo, the inland ice of Pata­go­nia, in the distance. Gre­at sai­ling.

Sunrise in the

Sun­ri­se in the “Good Har­bour”, Puer­to Bue­no

We were fol­lo­wed by dol­phins on the last miles to the famous Ama­lia Gla­cier, a stun­ning blue ice cliff lea­ding up the the snow- and ice-cove­r­ed moun­tains in the area of the inland ice. Again, we were lucky with the wea­ther and had gre­at views; often the who­le moun­tain sce­ne­ry is hid­den low clouds. Ano­t­her gre­at day!

So, tonight it is sup­po­sed to be win­dy. We have set cour­se for a small bay whe­re the wind should not bother us too much. All the­se gre­at ancho­ra­ges here in coas­tal Pata­go­nia are real­ly a tre­a­su­re. A gre­at con­ve­ni­en­ce and always a sce­nic plea­su­re.

Amalia Glacier

The cliffs of the Ama­lia gla­cier

Gal­le­ry – Ama­lia Gla­cier – 24 March 2018

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

Canal Sar­mi­en­to – 23 March 2018

The wind should have cal­med down over night, and so it did inde­ed. Not that it was real­ly comfy, stan­ding out­side and stee­ring the ship. Still 30 knots of wind on the nose of ship and helms­man, plus a bit of rain and the occa­sio­nal bit of hail. Pata­go­nia.

But then came dif­fe­rent times! Blue ski­es and sun! We fol­lo­wed various water­ways for many miles to the north, enjoy­ing wea­ther and sce­ne­ry on deck. Paso Vic­to­ria, the long Canal Sar­mi­en­to and other big, beau­ti­ful chan­nels most peop­le will hard­ly ever have heard of.

Canal Sarmiento

Blue Sky over Canal Sar­mi­en­to

Bro­ken land. Many the­se chan­nels are drawn like with a ruler, a strai­ght line. They fol­low huge faults, that is geo­lo­gi­cal cracks, in geo­metri­cal pat­terns; sets of fault lines fol­low cer­tain direc­tions and then the­re are several of the­se main direc­tions. Altog­e­ther forming pat­terns that you can clear­ly see on the hills­i­des and on the map. The vege­ta­ti­on is a bit more spar­se here, espe­cial­ly on some light-grey moun­tains with roun­ded tops, which appe­ar to con­sist of gra­ni­te or some simi­lar crystal­li­ne rock.

The latest wea­ther fore­cast cau­ses mixed thoughts regar­ding tomor­row. Our plan is to visit the famous Ama­lia gla­cier, which is said to be beau­ti­ful. But the new fore­cast pro­mi­ses a lot of wind alrea­dy tomor­row. We will have to see how that all fits tog­e­ther. We will see. In the end, natu­re rules.

For the moment, we deci­de to drop the anchor in a litt­le, silent bay cal­led „Puer­to Bue­no“, hoping that the name does not pro­mi­se too much.

Gal­le­ry – Canal Sar­mi­en­to – 23 March 2018

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

Pen­in­su­la Zach – 22 March 2018

After several hours sai­ling nor­thwards in Canal Smyth, the wind picked up bey­ond 50 knots, strai­ght on the nose, of cour­se. After criss-cros­sing a few miles and gai­ning not­hing but cha­os on the gal­ley, we gave up and went rather into a lovely bay to anchor. A small pod of dol­phins (Dus­ky, pro­bab­ly) accom­pa­nied us on the way into the bay, and once the­re, we were wel­co­med by a curious Mari­ne otter. A very friend­ly place!

Marine otter, Peninsula Zach

A Mari­ne otter wel­co­mes us near the Pen­in­su­la Zach

And it did pro­vi­de the shel­ter that we wan­ted. Calm waters and no wind, except from some occa­sio­nal gus­ting. We wai­ted for a strong rain sho­wer to pass through and then we went out to explo­re the area a bit. The name is pro­mi­sing: Pen­in­su­la Zach is named after Wolf­gang Zach, the mas­ter car­pen­ter in Lon­gye­ar­by­en who is buil­ding tho­se gre­at pic­tu­re frames from Spits­ber­gen drift­wood of which we had a few on offer last year (and we will have some more again later this year … ) so, a pro­mi­sing place! We were curious what Pen­in­su­la Zach would have to offer, but it had to be good any­way.

We were not to be disap­poin­ted. Pen­in­su­la Zach is almost an island. Our anchor bay is sepa­ra­ted from the bay on the other side by just 200 meters of dry land (it was actual­ly pret­ty wet). It is a walk of ten minu­tes befo­re you reach a litt­le hill from which you have a view towards a bay in two oppo­si­te direc­tions. The remai­ning direc­tions are occup­pied by moun­tains. A stun­ning pan­ora­ma!

View from the Peninsula Zach

The pan­ora­ma over the Pen­in­su­la Zach was worth the short but wet walk

The coas­tal low­lands were lovely with its low forest – less den­se than else­whe­re – and wet­lands, but we went a bit fur­ther. From an ele­va­ted per­spec­ti­ve, the views were even bet­ter. The view to the sou­the­ast was towards a wide-open val­ley with a river, lakes and a lot of wet­land are­as. The sun sent a bright beam down onto this land­s­cape of water.

Stun­ning!

Gal­le­ry – Pen­in­su­la Zach – 22 March 2018

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

Then it star­ted to rain again, and we made sure we were back on board in time for the Piet-show (the dai­ly mas­ter­pie­ces of Piet, our cook).

… by the way: Pen­in­su­la Zach was named after Franz von Zach, a Hun­ga­ri­an astro­no­mer who joi­ned the famous Bea­gle with Cap­tain Fitz­roy on the first expe­di­ti­on, from 1831 to 1836 (Dar­win was on the second expe­di­ti­on).

Dolphins, Peninsula Zach

Dol­phins accom­pa­nied us on our way into the bay of Pen­in­su­la Zach

Isla Hose – 21 March 2018

Calm night, well shel­te­red? For­get about it … that works well as long as the anchor is hol­ding, but once the wind starts blowing stron­gly from the wrong direc­tion and the anchor is drag­ging, you sud­den­ly find yourself at ungod­ly ear­ly times undo­ing shore­li­nes from trees on steep, slip­pe­ry shores in the darkness and so on. Well, some time later the anchor – both of them, to be pre­cise – went down in the midd­le of the lar­ger bay, and ever­ything was fine again. Back to bed for ano­t­her litt­le while.

Isla Hose

View from Isla Hose over the Pata­go­ni­an archi­pe­la­go

A win­dy day, which kept us insi­de the bay in Isla Hose, enjoy­ing life on board and later making some walk on the island. For some of us who had an uncon­trol­led out­break of moti­va­ti­on for hiking it tur­ned out to be a good bit of a walk, fol­lowing a cou­p­le of hill­tops, cros­sing small wet­lands, very den­se forests and steep slo­pes. Good fun!

Isla Hose

A walk through den­se forests on Isla Hose

Gal­le­ry – Isla Hose – 21 March 2018

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

Cale­ta Pro­fun­do – Isla Hose: 20 March 2018

Magel­lan dis­co­ve­r­ed the strait that he got named after him in 1520 during the famous voya­ge that was to beco­me the very first cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ti­on of the glo­be. A gre­at advan­ta­ge for us: we know that the Strait of Magel­lan exists and whe­re it is, so we can easi­ly enjoy the pas­sa­ge of the eas­tern part, which we do hap­pi­ly while the wea­ther is good for this long chan­nel.

Caleta Profundo - Isla Hose

Ano­t­her beau­ti­ful quiet and remo­te bay and after all: the Sun!

After a pas­sa­ge of 30 hours, we ent­e­red Canal Smyth north of the Strait of Magel­lan, lea­ving Tier­ra del Fue­go behind us now. The anchor went down in a lovely Cale­ta, one of the­se sweet, litt­le bays made by the gla­ciers just for sai­ling boats. It takes always a bit of clim­bing on the steep, slip­pe­ry shores to get the shore­li­nes fixed, which is good fun, and once it is done, you have an almost bombpro­of place for the night, in most cases (still, we usual­ly keep an anchor­watch).

We still had time to explo­re the sur­roun­dings in the morning, and we even had sunshi­ne on top of it! Can you belie­ve it? It had been a while, the­se waters are not exact­ly sunshi­ne coun­try. Still, it is beau­ti­ful here in almost any kind of wea­ther, but of cour­se it is so much more enjoya­ble when the sun is out. All the­se colours! All the­se shades of green in the lush coas­tal forests! The water, the sky, the clouds, the land … breath­ta­kin­gly beau­ti­ful on a day like this. Bay, nar­row chan­nels … A Rin­ged king­fi­sher was sit­ting on a branch as if it was get­ting paid for it.

Ringed kingfisher

Pho­to­shoo­ting with a Rin­ged king­fi­sher

Later, we had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to stretch legs a bit on Isla Hose, kree­ping through the den­se­ly vege­ta­ted forests while try­ing to get up a hill to enjoy some gre­at views. Now we are enjoy­ing a calm night in ano­t­her well-shel­te­red Cale­ta while some hea­vy wea­ther is said to come up out­side. Shouldn’t real­ly bother us in here.

Gal­le­ry – Cale­ta Pro­fun­do – Isla Hose: 20 March 2018

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

Puer­to King – 18 March 2018

We reached Puer­to King yes­ter­day after many wet an win­dy miles. The name see­med to sug­gest a har­bour of roy­al qua­li­ties, at least a fishing vil­la­ge, may­be with a cosy pub at the har­bour … but no, it is much bet­ter: a lovely natu­ral har­bour, exact­ly our size. Par­king kind of in the midd­le of the rain forest, we fix shore lines on three sides, secu­ring the boat per­fect­ly safe. No anchor watch! Good thing, as we all easi­ly agree.

Puerto King

Wet and fun­ny: A walk through den­se rain­fo­rest

It con­ti­nues to rain the next day, which does not keep us from going out to explo­re a bit. After all the rain, the land­s­cape is wet. Water ever­y­whe­re, it is spla­shing with every step you take, whe­re­ver you put your hand. One should not be afraid of get­ting wet here, it is much bet­ter to re-dis­co­ver the plea­su­re that we had as child­ren when we play­ed in the water, then it is fun! The­re is very den­se Pata­go­ni­an rain forest almost ever­y­whe­re near the shore, a cha­os of trees, stems and bran­ches stan­ding and lying ever­y­whe­re, den­se­ly cove­r­ed with mos­ses and lichens. A green cha­os, almost impos­si­ble to pene­tra­te.

A few metres fur­ther up, the rain­fo­rest is giving way to a more open kind of land­s­cape, wet­lands with litt­le streams and rocky hills. The lat­ter are part­ly steep and slip­pe­ry, the fur­ther have grown to be real obsta­cles after all the rain. So you have to find your way through this land­s­cape somehow, which is not always easy.

Pampasfuchs

Curious and signi­fi­cant­ly lar­ger than the Euro­pean Red fox

Back at the shore, a Pata­go­ni­an Grey fox fol­lows us curious­ly for a few metres. They are sur­pri­sin­gly lar­ge, much lar­ger than the Euro­pean Red fox, not to men­ti­on the Arc­tic fox far up north. For a moment the inex­pe­ri­en­ced obser­ver might think to see a she­pherd dog! And the Grey fox is only the smal­ler one of two spe­ci­es that you may find here.

Gal­le­ry – Puer­to King – 18 March 2018

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

Canal Bal­le­nero to Cale­ta Maci­as – 16 March 2018

Canal Bal­le­nero, Wha­lers’ Strait, was just one of many chan­nels that we are pas­sing the­se days. Canal O’Brien, Bahia Deso­la­da … you name it. Unknown pla­ces, names that sound like adven­ture.

We have to make some miles now. We have got 25 days altog­e­ther, a lot of time, but also a total of more than 2000 miles. Stun­ning sce­ne­ry all the way around us. The wea­ther lives up to its Pata­go­ni­an repu­ta­ti­on of being wet and win­dy, but still, we get our lovely moments of sun and patches of blue sky, stun­ning light sur­roun­ded by a sce­ne­ry that might remind one of Green­land or Nor­way, but without losing its very own cha­rac­ter.

Canal Ballenero

Sun­rays play­ing on Pata­go­ni­as fjords

The anchor goes down in yet ano­t­her beau­ti­ful Cale­ta, one of the­se litt­le natu­ral har­bours which were obvious­ly made for ships like hours. The shore­li­nes are fas­te­ned to wind-bea­ten trees, giving us a calm night des­pi­te the strong wind.

Cala Ballenero to Caleta Macias

Shel­ter from the wind in one of many “cale­tas” (Caleta=natural har­bour)

Gal­le­ry – Canal Bal­le­nero to Cale­ta Maci­as – 16 March 2018

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

Cale­ta Beau­lieu – 15 March 2018

It had clea­red up a bit during the night, so it was nice and calm in the morning. Per­fect reflec­tions of the sce­ne­ry around us on the water were the first thing we saw in the morning. The clouds had lifted a bit and now we had a free view of the Cor­dil­le­ra Dar­win: a rug­ged, high-alpi­ne moun­tain sce­ne­ry, stron­gly ice-cove­r­ed with a migh­ty gla­cier com­ing down to the fjord.

And that was the thing for today.

Glacier, Cordillera Darwin

As clo­se as pos­si­ble: Gla­cier, Cor­dil­le­ra Dar­win

A lon­gish Zodiac ride took us to the rocky shore west of the gla­cier. Even without the gla­cier, the place would be worth a visit. Gla­cier-polis­hed gneiss with amphi­bo­li­te len­ses, beau­ti­ful to see no mat­ter if you under­stand the back­ground or not.

And then the­re was the gla­cier its­elf. A migh­ty cal­ving cliff of ice and behind that a cha­os of crev­as­ses and ice towers. The hig­her parts framed by a wild alpi­ne pan­ora­ma and the lower part by – forest! That is qui­te unusu­al for me: eit­her gla­cier or forest, but both of them tog­e­ther, that is qui­te unusu­al for an Arc­tic fox like me. Actual­ly, the gla­cier has obvious­ly advan­ced into the forest qui­te recent­ly: bro­ken trees are lying under boul­ders on the steep edge of the gla­cier. Yes, an advan­cing gla­cier! The­re are not to many of them any­mo­re, but still a few. A shame we don’t have more of them.

Caleta Beaulieu

Eit­her gla­cier or forest? Both!

You don’t have to do much at a place like that, just find a nice spot – the­re were ple­nty of them any­whe­re – and keep an eye on the gla­cier (and the rest of it, for that sake). A per­ma­nent rumb­ling and thun­de­ring, the gla­cier was very acti­ve and pie­ces were con­stant­ly brea­king off and fal­ling into the water. Ama­zing!

Obvious­ly, the hours were going by quick­ly.

After a litt­le rest on board, we went once again for yesterday’s litt­le walk up the moun­tain. Doing it without rain did not do any harm.

Caleta Beaulieu

crev­as­ses and towers of ice and stone

Gal­le­ry – Cale­ta Beau­lieu – 15 March 2018

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

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