Thursday, December 11, 2008
Southern Chile - Dec. 2008
Dec. 9 & 10, 2009 – Two sea days traveling south off the Chilean coast, most of the time not in sight of land until the latter part of the second day, allowed time for relaxation and getting to know the comforts of the ship. We enjoyed visits to the health club, attending port and naturalist lectures, meeting an interesting mix of other ‘international’ passengers, and of course the delicious and bountiful food – available 24 hours a day. On a two-week voyage like this it is such a treat to get fully unpacked and settle in to your ‘home away from home’ and find your favorite places on the ship. Our ship, the Star Princess, features three swimming pools, multiple hot tubs, a variety of theatres and lounges, several dining rooms and restaurants, library, internet café, a health club and spa, the innovative ‘Skywalkers Lounge’ (set like a ‘spoiler on the back of Deck 17 reached via a glass enclosed moving sidewalk), and the new ‘movies under the stars’, and so on. As we journeyed south our sunny and clear days grew increasingly longer with daylight lasting until about 11:00 pm. The temperatures also started to decline and winds picked up at times too, but the seas remained relatively calm.
Dec. 11, 2009 – We took the Captain’s advice and set our wake-up call for 7:30 am to view the entrance into the Chilean fjords, the Straits of Magellan and the beginning of glacier country. It turns out that we even woke up before our ‘call’ at 6:00 am and enjoyed the journey through balding mountains, some still topped with snow and others with some minor vegetation. Our major destination was the majestic Amalia Glacier in the Southern Patagonia Ice Fields. It reaches the sea at approximately half a mile wide, and 100 feet high. It is a tidewater glacier and at this time of year has lots of calving action and deposits many iceflows and mini icebergs on its march to the sea. In the surrounding mountains a myriad of other hanging glaciers can be seen. Sailing up to a thrilling glacier like this is a special ‘once in a lifetime experience’. It’s somewhat similar to Alaskan glaciers, but nestled in the beautiful Chilean Fjords with ample sea life and bird watching opportunities, it takes on another dimension. Viewing the sights from your balcony with warm clothing, a blanket and hot beverage creates memories that cannot be erased. Scenic sailing and smooth seas were the order of the day.