Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Voyage to Southern Patagonia - part 2

MJC looking pleased to be parked by South America´s longest glacier.  More below.

Spooky wreck of a Greek ship which was stranded here in the 1960s.  The rather pathetic crew attempted an insurance scam.  They had already secretly sold their cargo of sugar in Uruguay but intended to sink the ship in this channel and claim insurance on both the cargo and the vessel.  The ship hit the rocks, but didn´t sink.  Crew ended up, red faced, in jail.

The village of Puerto Eden - one of the most remote communities in Chile.   There are no roads to it or in it.  Just wooden walkways.  There are 180 inhabitants and nobody else for about 100 kilometres in any direction. 

Everything and everybody comes in and out by our Navimag ferry, which drops anchor twice a week.

Glacier Pio XI.  It´s 64 kilometres long.  That´s from its origin, up in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field to here at the end of this fjord.  Glacier is a few kilometres wide here.

It´s one of the very few glaciers in the world which is advancing rather than shrinking.  Pio XI is the longest in Latin America and the third longest in the world

This place is no further south and no closer to the South Pole than London is to the North.  We have a lot to thank the Gulf Stream for.

Not the last you have seen of glaciers I assure you....

 Last morning briefing about our route through the channels and passes to Puerto Natales, arriving in the  afternoon.  This guide was good at the talks, lectures and onboard bingo calling.  His two colleagues were definitely Madge Allsopps to his Dame Edna.  The lecture theatre doubled as the restaurant, where food of a very poor standard was served to us.  ¿Where does the US $1000 go, one has to wonder?

Our ship squeezes through the narrowest point on our voyage.  The 80 metre gap at Paso White.

It was jolly windy.  You can see MJC and lovely Dutch duo Mijntje and Rachel battling to stand up.

Our destination Puerto Natales.  The wind was so strong that the ship had to circle around for about an hour before it was safe to dock.

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