Thursday, March 5, 2009

Post Number 6: Straits of Magellan & Puerto Chacabuco

Day 9 The Straits of Magellanthe sea route immediately south of mainland Chile, a natural passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It’s considered a particularly difficult route to navigate due to the inhospitable climate and the narrowness of the passage – no place for sissies!

It’s 350 miles long and, in places, only 2 miles wide. The ship’s crew warns of rough seas when we enter the Pacific, and they clearly know what they’re talking about. We are told that sea sickness pills are available at the front desk. We think “better safe than sorry” and get 2 apiece. What a mistake!

We take the first pill at 8:00p and another at 7:00a – just as the seas start getting rougher. For the next 8 hours, the seas are, on average, 5-8 feet, with an “occasional” 20 foot swell. But we are so drugged from the pills that, except for meals (can’t miss meals!!), we spend most of our time in our cabin sleeping. At least we never feel sea sick.

Day 10- Leaving the Pacific, we head east and into the Patagonic Channel, the Canal Moraleda, and the Chilean Fjords, which we are told are fabulous – however, soon after entering, it begins to rain. Ghostly shapes of rocky projections appear and disappear in the mist and fog – not much to see so we get together and hang with our friends.

Day 11 – We take the tender into Chacabuco, Chile with Cruise Critic friends Debra and Gene. It's a nice little port with a few local boats and a lot of scenery as you leave town.

Once ashore we hire a driver and spend the day in and around Chacabuco. The temperatures are warming up and there’s intermittent sun and rain – perfect for photographing the rugged and dramatic scenery: waterfalls, canyons, valleys, and more rainbows.

And, of course a stop at the local airport, where the busy controllers let David see all the action from the tower.

See any airplanes?

Before boarding the tender we stop for a moment to shop and make new friends.

Tomorrow: Puerto Montt, Chile


  1. Hi Guys, just loving the Blog. How long are you on this ship? Really great pictures too. I love the one with the rainbow in the back ground. It's so funny Barbara because I honestly don't even know where some of these places are that you are traveling too but I love it.

  2. You're doing a great job with this. Wonderful photography. You're very generous to share so much of your experiences with us. Try to hold onto some of your basic English phrases though. You'll find 'em handy when you get back. :)