On December 2, we embarked on a 4 night - 3 day cruise from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina. The cruise took us through a number of fjords and passageways along the southern coast of Chile. We went along the Straits of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and many other water ways.
We had anticipated VERY cold weather and possibly some rough seas. What we got was BEAUTIFUL days with temperatures close to or in the 60s and nice calm water.
All except the last disembarkation was done by Zodiac rubber boats. We had a detailed explanation about how to get into and off of the Zodiac and how to slide along the side to the designated seating area. NO STANDING!
To the left is a panoramic view of typical terrain. Shown below was our home for 4 nights and 3 days. Our cabin was on the 2nd deck, had a large picture window and was really quite spacious for a ship.
During the cruise we had 5 disembarkations planned and we were able to do all of them. An important part of every disembarkation is the preparation. We had to be dressed appropriately which meant for us that we had to borrow boots - Wellingtons. We had on our cold weather gear and/or our rubber, waterproof suits. Over all that we had to put on our life vests.
To the left is Granny ready to go to Ainsworth Bay. To the right she is all decked out in her waterproof suit, ready for the elements. Really "Tres Chic"!
Our first disembarkation was at Ainsworth Bay. Here we saw a colony of elephant seals (See below right). They are different from sea lions as they only have small flippers and they must be 2 - 3 times the size of the sea lions.
We walked across some purple vegetation, much like a clover, that covered a good part of the open area. (See right) Then we walked through an arctic rain forest which is much different from the tropical rain forest we saw in the jungle of Ecuador.
Click here for next part of the cruise.
On our walk around Ainsworth Bay, we also saw a newly built beaver dam. Our guide told us that this dam had been built within the last 2 weeks. The beavers are not native to the area and have no predators. As a result they are becoming a problem.
There were many different types of vegetation along the way. This berry, (I don't recall the species,) is an example of some of the quite lush vegetation we found on our walk.
And finally the stalwart travelers trekking across the frozen tundra!