Today we board the ferry in the afternoon and have a FREE overnite. The ferry departs tomor. at 6 am.
Later...boarded ferry about 10pm after shopping for snacks (esp fruit) which we find out later was unnecessary, plenty of food + fruit included with meals on board. Cabins are very COMPACT, glad we have one tho, and esp. w/ window!
Next am...we hear them announcing lvg and about 6am I get up and out by 7:15. In white narrows I see 2 Austral dolphins, flock of turns, and duck w/ 6-8 chicks swimming along the rocks in the narrowest part of channel.
Later we see hanging glaciers: Union & Collingwood, huge, strong winds on windward side of ferry! It sure is evident on the rocky faces and shoreline the action of the glaciers which once covered this whole area scoring lines and rounding the rocky, lower elevations leaving the peaks above the glacier action pointed/intact. We pass lots of small waterfalls along the way thru these Patagonian Fjords, the Chilean Archipelago. See Description of Archipelago
About 7:30pm we reach Skua Glacier where we see petrul, scua, other birds...see pics. Huge, way beyond our expectations! Much taller I think than Perito Moreno!
7am we arr at Puerto Eden, 150 inhabitants, many have left due to the decline in salmon fishing...this Natl Park is largest in Chile, 350,000,000 (?) hectares, part of Torre del Paine. The town was founded in 1930 as a Meteorlogical station. Wood sidewalks, rotting boats, away from group I find it a very quiet, almost silent environment...tranquil would be a good description. Only the distant peeps of birds, not a voice or sound other than the distant birds.
(Space Here to list talk on flora/fauna)
In Pacific...only 1.5m seas but because we were being hit side to side, the ferry sways and seas seemed much greater in height. Lots of cormarant and blackbrowed albatross following along. They get a 'free ride' on the heat thermals rising from the engine stacks. Great to watch them soaring by the ferry, then swooping down, their wing tips just skimming the ocean waves, circling back again and bare flapping teir wings. It was a clear day, lots of sun but boo, hoo...no sea mammals seen.
Woke up and out by 5:30, we're in calm waters again and at 7am I see 3 Astral dolphins swimming in a circle alongside the ferry! Only I and a fellow from Denmark are up to witness this, ha! Great!
Arr in Puerto Montt More About P.M.
early morning, our 4th arrival here, ha...same beautiful snowcapped, volcanic peaks round about. Name used to be Melipullis given to this area/town by the Mapuche people which means 'four hills' for the volcanic mtns nearby. Population in 1993 was 77,000 and by 2007 rose to 220,000 due mainly to salmon fishing and rise in tourism. The cathedral here has 7 pillars out front representing the earthquakes which have hit the area, the most in 1960 which literally destroyed the region! Called Valdivia Quake More About Quake