Don’t worry; this title doesn’t have religious or apocalyptic connotations; it actually refers to a city. But I’ll get to that later.
My failure to post a blog for over a month hasn’t been for lack of important subjects to discuss. Oh no – it’s because the 21-day, South America cruise (Lima to Buenos Aries) we booked for November 2020 finally sailed. I’m very happy, however, that the somewhat upbeat closing about the survival of democracy in my November 6 blog was supported by the 2022 midterm elections. I learned to have faith in Americans to eventually make the right decisions (on juries) during my years managing the defense of high potential liability litigation and I hope that I never lose it.
It would be impossible to share all the great experiences my wife and I enjoyed during our cruising adventure, but I thought my readers might find some of them interesting. Please keep in mind, I am not a great photographer and my best camera is my phone, but the many scenes presented were not hard to capture.
One of our most memorable experiences sailing the Pacific Ocean down the coast of Chile was viewing the distant snowcapped volcanic mountains of the Andes from Puerto Montt.
The following day in Patagonia, we hiked through a dense forest to a scenic waterfall. After another 30 minutes we left the trail for a pisco – national drink – cocktail (or two) at a pavilion overlooking a beautiful lake. A couple entertained us by doing traditional dances around a open pit wood fire where small goat carcasses were roasting. We weren’t able to sample the results.
Next was the Amalia Glacier and other spectacular glaciers along the Chilian fiords. There were so many that it was hard to decide which pictures to include. First though, is a picture that doesn’t do justice to the rough seas and 50 MPH wind gusts we encountered before entering the relatively quiet waters of the fiords.
The Amalia glacier. Too bad it was a cloudy day.
Flowing out of this glacier along the fiords was a water fall hundreds of feet high.
The surrounding mountains with glacial runoff were spectacular too.
After a stop at Punta Arenas, Chile, which is on the strait of Magellan, the ship docked at Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city on the planet and why it came to be called the, “End of the World.” The cruise ship that was hit by a rogue wave in the ocean to the south of Cape Horn was already docked at Ushuaia when we arrived. As you may have read, that resulted in the death of a 62-year-old woman and damage to the ship. Ushuaia is at latitude -54.8 in the south. By comparison, Anchorage, Alaska is at latitude 61.2 in the north. This picture from gettyimages is better than I could take and shows a lot more snow on the mountains around Ushuaia than in the photos I took.
We had to walk 500 yards down the pier in strong winds and heavy rain from where the ship was docked to a large 100+ person catamaran and the start of our tour. We experienced rough seas over 45 minutes to reach some small rocky islands where there was a lighthouse, a pod of hundreds of seals and even more hundreds of nesting cormorants. That was only the first part of our day. The low clouds and rain early in the day made for poor quality photos. The first is the other catamaran on this tour.
The bodies of the seals blend with the rocks they are laying on.
The birds were nesting in a small valley, perhaps for protection from the strong winds.
Next, we boarded buses and rode for almost two hours through the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
We eventually boarded a very narrow train for the ride back down closer to the city and then rode another bus to the dock. It was a long, but quite interesting day.
We didn’t actually sail around Cape Horn, the seas were too rough. So, our ship took a route to the Atlantic Ocean (Beagle Channel) between the Argentine mainland and several islands north of the Cape and cruised for a day over quite rough seas to Stanley, Falkland Islands. It occurred to me that cruising in this area near Cape Horn is almost as rough as the ups and downs of U.S. politics.
The Falkland Islands were well worth the visit, but I will cover that and the rest of our cruise with my next blog. In case I don’t get this done during next week, I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a wonderful holiday whatever you are celebrating. May all have a prosperous and productive New Year.