Monday, February 22, 2016

Fjords and Glaciers of Chile

Chile's southern coast has quite a few fjords and channels and glaciers.  Some of these provide access to ports - two of which we visited - Punta Arenas and Puerto Chacabuco.  This southern Patagonian area were first explored by Spain (as was most of this area of the world).  These fjord channels are high, with mountain peaks seemingly guarding the open and free flowing waterways.  When Western Patagonia was being founded and developed, these waterways were very valuable as transport lanes.

We passed by the Paso Iceberg, Tempanos Glacier, the Amalia Glacier, just to name a few.  We also found and circled around the wreckage of the SS Santa Leonore and Captain Leonidas' shipwreck. Inside the Messier Channel is the Leonidas shipwreck.  It is interesting, as the captain deliberately tried to sink his ship in 1968 to collect insurance on it.  He was found out, and that was the end of that.  But the wreck is still sitting there and hulk is used as a base for a lighthouse.  Inside the Smyth Channel, the SS Santa Leonore was previously the USS Riverside, an attack and transport ship that served in WW2.  It was decommissioned in 1944 and sold several times over until it too was wrecked in 1968.

We spent a couple of days in between Puerto Chacabuco and Ushuaia meandering about these channels.  Halfway through, we stopped and spent the day in Punta Arenas, as I've already described in an earlier post.

Early morning entry into the fjords and channels.

Sadly, I do not recall the proper name of the glaciers - don't remember which ones are which.  But, I've given them my own names .....

This one is tongue glacier.  Reminds me of the Rolling Stones album cover.

This is baldy cap glacier.

This is the view from my balcony. Poor me.  I'm so deprived.

We rarely saw another ship, but this small sailboat just glided by us quietly.

I think this is the Amalia glacier.  Reminds me a bit of Mendenhall in Alaska.

This is the Captain Leonidas shipwreck.

Such a pretty and serene place.

This is the SS Leonore. 

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