Back In The U.S.A.

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I am back in the U.S.A. We arrived at 5:45am EST in Atlanta from an overnight flight from Santiago. We are in the Sky Club Lounge at Concourse B waiting for our 10:05am flight to Daytona Beach.

I slept well and didn’t even eat breakfast but when I get home I am going to eat and eat and eat. I miss my room and all my stuff. Can’t wait to see the ocean again after having been on it for 12 days:)

This is Frederick and I am proud to be an American.

Disembarkation – Valpariso, Chile

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We arrived in Valpariso at 6:30am ship’s time. We will get off around 8:30am to go to Chilean Immigration and Customs (Aduana), then onto our bus for the Kennedy Hotel in Santiago, the capital of Chile. We will explore a little bit of the city before we leave for the airport around 7:00pm to catch our flight at 10:15pm.

This is Frederick and I can’t wait to come home.

Some Stuff I Haven’t Posted But I Should Have

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One of The Side Altars of the Metropolitana Cathedral in Montevideo Where I Did The Stations of The Cross With My Dad

On The First Day We Had Our Boat Safety Drill and I Had to Wear This Vest

One Day As We Left Port, We Caught The Pilot Boat Coming Along Side

Here are some photos that I don’t think I have used in the previous posts. They are pictures that I like and want to share with you. Read the captions to find out where, what and when. I hope you have liked my blog and what I saw and how it made me think about the world we live in.

One thing that The Falklands, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords has taught me is that we are only a small piece of the design of Earth. There is so much unexplored and under no man’s control. We need to respect what we have and enjoy life to the fullest even trying to understand those things we don’t know but find intriguing and beautiful.

I really appreaciate all the comments from everyone especially the JOM community and my classmates and teachers. Keep coming back for more of my Journeys. I have only begun to explore our wonderful world.

This is Frederick and I think our world is what God has given us to better.

On Our Third Formal Night, February 13th, My Mom Caught Me Happy and Thinking

At The Chilean Naval Museum in Punta Arenas They Had This Old Diving Suit

This Magellanic Penguin At Otway Sound Almost Shook My Hand

This is Elsa, Our Taxi Driver to Otway Sound, She is Originally from Argentina

Lago Llanquihue, Petrohue & Puerto Varas

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[Today, February 15th, 2011, at 8:14am ship’s time, we are on a course heading of 001 degrees N, at a latitude of 38 55.90” S and a longitude of 074 15.05”W, 45 miles west of Tumuco, on the west coast of Chile, with a cruising speed of 18kts, and an apparent wind of 27mph off the port stern WSW.]

After arriving in Puerto Montt (yesterday or February 14, 2011), which is on the south shore of the Seno de Reloncavi (Reloncavi Sound), up above the Golfo Ancud and is the main city in the Chilean Lake District, we were told our excursion was an hour late since the ship was an hour late.
We had breakfast and went to wait with everyone else in the Showroom of the Seas where they have nightly entertainment. We were given little stickers that were red with the number 15 on them. The entire tour group had the same stickers. And our bus would be number 15.

Soon, we were called and we headed to our tenders for the short ride over to the harbor pier. I sat up top with my parents and the Quarterman or Coxswain, who pilots the tender. I had my compass with me to help him navigate the boat to the pier.

We were all headed for Lago Llanquihue (Yang-kee-kay), the 4th largest lake in South America. There, on its south shore, sits the little resort village of Puerto Varas and further up Ruta 225, off the Pan-American Highway, is Ensenada and then the Cascades of Petrohue in the Parque Natiocinal Vincent Perez Rosales. This was all a large German colony in the mid 19th century but now there is only a small minority of German-Chilean but there is a German School in Puerto Varas, “The City of Roses”.

Along the way, we passed fields of grains, dairy cattle and beautiful little cabanas (small hotels) and chalet style architecture. It looked more like Switzerland than South America. I guess it was the German Bavarian influence. There seemed to be a number of fruit orchards and lots of flowers.

Our bus took us first to the Cascades of Petrohue, which was a short hike to the main rapids, which are framed by the Volcanoes’ Calbuco (which is an Indian name from Blue Water) and Orsono, at 8,000 feet high. Orsono is snow-capped and last erupted in 1898 but Calbuco has lost its peak cap and last erupted in 1961. After the rapids we drove back to Puerto Varas along the lake and stopped for a short time but it is mostly touristy and we didn’t have time for lunch.

The bus took us back to the pier outside of Puerto Montt’s city center and we had lunch back on board the ship. This is St. Valentine’s Day and my Dad and Mom are having dinner on their verandah with champagne while I am in Club Hal.

This is Frederick and I want to wish Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all my classmates at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Mrs. Fazarri, My Mater (Tante Patty), my Aunt Debbie, Mrs. Hunt and all the other people out there that I love.

Tomorrow (now today) we are at sea in the Pacific and we have to pack. On the night of the 15th we have to leave our bags outside our rooms so they can be put ready to off-load once we get to Valpariso. I will still have my backpack with my animal friends, Nintendo and my books.

More tomorrow or later today.

Sunrise on St. Valentine's Day, with Volcan Orsano (L) and Volcan Calbuco (R)

Me with The Tender Coxswain. I Have My Compass Handy for Directions.

On The Way to Petrohue is The San Miguel Chapel Near Ensenada

Volcan Calbuco, The Name means "Blue Water" in Campeche

Volcan Orsono from Lago Llanquihue Lake Front With Colorful Kayaks

A View of Orsono from Petrohue Cascade

The Little Fishing Village of Angelmo Opposite Our Ship's Anchorage in Puerto Montt

Approaching Puerto Montt

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We are coming into Puerto Montt Harbor but an hour late. So, our excursion is going to be an hour later. I am really excited about seeing the Petrohue Cascade and the Lake and the little town of Puerto Varas. I will be posting pictures of the magnificent volcano mountains named Volcan Calbuco (nearest) and Volcan Osorno (largerr) that towers over Puerto Montt and of the Lake District once back on board.

This is Frederick and I am going to be home in 3 days.

The Chilean Fjords and Amalia Glacier

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My Dad Says Everyone Gets These Not Just Kids.

Our Sunset That Night Coming out of The Fjords

These Waterfall Cataracts Were All Over the Mountains and Rocks

At The Glacier We Found These Dolphins Putting on A Show

You Can Tell The Glacier is Nearby Because We Are Seeing Ice Floes

One of Two Shipwreck’s We Saw in the Fjords

When We Awoke on the 12th of February This is What Greeted Us.

We left Punta Arenas at 9:30pm (2130hrs) ship’s time or 7:30pm EST.  This was our longest day in any one port since it was were the one-day excursion to Antarctica left from.  Unfortunately, those who were scheduled to fly there were unable to since the weather in Antarctica was not acceptable to the flight crew.  The people who were going were sent to a National Park instead.

When we awoke on the 12th of February, we were well within the Chilean Fjords, somewhere inside the Canal Smith near Isla Manuel Rodriguez on our portside and Peninsula Munoz Gomero on our starboard side.  We continued to sail on a northerly heading correcting from time to time for the many little islets and islands that dot the fjords.  Up past Isla Vancouver and Isla Esperanza toward our destination of Glaciar Amalia in its namesake fjord.  Amalia is part of the Gran Campo de Hielo Patagonia, the mountains, peaks and ice fields that span the fjords.  We passed sunken ships who met with unexpected disaster and came to a final rest against some nameless, yet deadly island.

Finally, we headed to the southeast into a very narrow, restricted fjord.  Ice packs were visible through the dense, cold fog and then we saw the floe of ice as it seemed to blanket the lower level of the rocks in a wide sheet.  Dolphins played in the wake of the ship’s side thrusters as the ship made many pivots so each side of the ship could see and photograph the glacier even though it was almost impossible to see due the limited visibility.

I hope my Mom’s photos do it justice for the incredible raw and undisturbed beauty of this part of the world.  My Dad has a very detailed map of the fjords and there are no settlements other than Puerto Eden and Puerto Natales.  It is barren, vacant desolate land and it is hard to imagine how anyone less they be hermits could live in such a place.

When I came back to my room from Club HAL, I found a serpent waiting for me.  That Imam is a van Gogh of towels.

This is Frederick and I believe more and more in a Supreme Being, as God, since I have seen the fjords of Chile.

Next, we will await our little excursion in Puerto Montt to the Petrohue Falls, Lake Llanquihue and Puerto Varas.  My Dad wanted to go to Chiloe but he didn’t like the way the excursion was planned.  He said next time we come we do an independent trip to Chiloe and visit its independent culture and society.


Otway Sound Penguin Rookery, February11, 2011

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A few days late in posting this summary of our trip to the Otway Sound Penguin Rookery outside of Punta Arenas. But we have had some pretty spotty Sat reception.

We are currently out to sea in the Pacific in choppy, windy seas after exiting the Chilean fjords last night. They were stunning but cold and damp. More on that later.

Otway Sound is quite a drive, about 8 kms of paved highway then 30 more miles on a dusty, gravel road through a huge estansia and sheep station. But it was well worth getting there to watch these wonderful if not comical little creatures.

We passed a large sheep station, fields full of sheep and ostrich as well as cattle. At the Rookery, you walk another 3K meters on pathways and wood boardwalks to the viewing platforms. It was very windy and cold so we didn’t spend a lot of time.

There was one interesting and humourous moment when 6 adults started to leave the rookery for their burrowing grounds up higher from the beach. They were led by one the new chicks and it was fun to watch them waddle through the fence to the dry creek bed. There the adults managed to jump down but clumisly while the chick watched. One of the adults (Momma?) stayed with the chick and tried to show it and encourage it to follow but it wouldn’t and finally turned to go back to the beach while all the other adults watched.

It was a funny, funny moment and I have video we will post for you when back.

This is Frederick and I think you can learn a lot about life from Penguins.

Tomorrow or even later today, The Chilean Fjords and the Almania Glacier.

Sheep Station on Otway Estancia - Where a Whole Lot of Shearing Goes On

This Little Bird Kept in Front of Us on the Walkway to the Rookery

Almost Two Miles of This Before the Rookery Viewing Platform

The Magellanic Penguins are Burrowers but Spend A Lot of Time By and In The Sea

These Penguins Had Just Come Back from A Swim

Six Adults and a Chick Walking to the Burrowing Grounds Above the Beach

Five Adults Jump Down to Show the Chick How it is Done

After Watching and Looking for A Shorter Fall Off, He Says, See Ya!

On Our Way Out of The Estancia We Saw This Ostrich

Punta Arenas Part One – Ciudad Centro

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A Neat Way to Use A Wheelbarrow. I Can't Wait to Try Back Home.

The Chilean Naval Museum, Where I Took the Helm and Learned Morse Code

The Indians Fought with Bows and Arrows, The Spainards Had Guns. Guess Who Won?

Entrance to The Magallenas Regional Museum in the Braun-Menendez Mansion

The Main Square (Plaza Munoz Gamero) With The Monument to Hernando de Magellan

A Happy, Smiling Tugboat Crew As We Arrive in Punta Arenas

Last night, Imam made me an Elephant out of the towels. He didn’t look in character with my bears, stingray and penguin but he was different.

Today is February the 12th. It is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, and also of Charles Darwin, in whose tracks we are following on this cruise. Darwin and Lincoln not only share the same day but also the same year as their birth.

We are currently in the Chilean fjords on a heading of 344 degrees NNW and at Latitude 52 24.06” S and a Longitude of 073 40.75” W. From the plot on the map we are approaching Isla Esperanza (Island of Hope) on the starboard in a very narrow channel. We are spending two days at sea cruising the fjords before stopping in Puerto Montt.

I am going to try to make two posts today: 1) will deal with Punta Arenas itself, which was anti-climatic after Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel, and 2) our visit to the Otway Sound Penguin Rookery (Magellanic Penguin variety). Those penguins and there antics probably deserve more than one post. We’ll see.

Punta Arenas or Sandy Point in English is the largest most southernmost city in Chile and could be said in the world by population since it has more people than Ushuaia. It is in Punta Arenas where the people going on the excursion to Antarctica will leave by plane and land at a Chilean Air Force Base. There they transfer to an ex-Soviet icebreaker and do about 3 hours of cruising then back on the plane for Punta Arenas and the ship. My Dad says they are being charged $3,999 for this excursion, when you can use the same airline and get a five-day cruise of Antarctica for $5,900. So, he has decided that when I am 12, we will come back just to explore Antarctica.

We grabbed a taxi on the pier (the pier is way outside of town) and drove into the main square (Plaza Munoz Gamero) with a beautiful central monument to Hernando de Magallanes (Magellan as we know him), the first sailor to circumnavigate the world. We came up the Estrecho de Magallanes (Straits of Magellan) to Punta Arenas. From the Plaza we went directly west, across the street, to the Cathedral where we said our daily prayers for everyone but especially our men and women who serve our country. We then went to the Magallenes Regional Museum, which is housed, in the old Braun-Menendez Mansion designed by the French architect Antoine Beaulier. It has a great collection of not only the period furniture and home wares that came with the house but also items from the full history of Patagonia, including bows and arrows and Spanish muskets (Blunderbusses).

Further down Ave. Pedro Montt, was the Chilean Naval Museum. My friend Grace and her family were also there. The museum had displays of torpedo, mines, machine guns and diving suits. There was rooms set up to resemble the bridge (where I took my place at the helm), weather room, communications/radio room and officers mess. My Dad showed Grace and I how to use the telegraph key to tap out our names in Morse code.

We met some people from Georgia who were going on a National Geographic cruise to Antarctica and they told us about a little bistro down the street that had great food. It was called La Marmita and the food was really good. My Dad had the best Ceviche he says he ever had, a soup based on a Chiloe recipe. Chiloe is a very special island in the fjords before you get to Puerto Montt with its very own distinct culture and history.

Then he had ravioli stuffed with carrots and ginger and an herby tomato sauce. My Mom also had he ceviche and special pasta with salad. I shared my Dad’s lunch.

There was a little park across the street and it had seesaws which we took turns bouncing me up and down. My Mom got a great picture of one of the workers taking a siesta in his wheelbarrow.

This is Frederick and I found Punta Arenas interesting but not as much fun as the Penguin trip, which I will tell about next.

To Mrs. Fazarri and my classmates, Adios con dios and hasta lluego. I miss you all.

Have You Got Glaciers?

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Waiting for me last night after our dinner was a Penguin made out of towels by our steward Imam. He told me he was making me a monkey but I like the penguin better.

We are currently on a heading of 008 degrees (N) at 8:29am ship’s time or 11:29am GMT. We are in the Straits of Magellen, heading for Punta Arenas, Chile, at 53 13.16” S and 070 48.02” W, with an apparent northerly wind of 37mph. The ship is cruising at comfortable 17.0kts.

Last afternoon, we left Ushuaia on a Southeasterly course to skirt the necklace of islands on its starboard side. Then we entered the Beagle Channel where Charles Darwin sailed on the HMS Beagle, as official naturalist, during its world voyage of 1831. On the starboard side of the ship (where our cabin is located) you see the magnificent Cordellera Darwin and its array of imposing and impressive glaciers.

It is going to be hard to identify each of them but I will try with the help of my Dad, a map and my Mom’s photographs. But it was the most beautiful natural scenery I have ever experienced. There was no sign of life except for the occasional duck floating by, sea birds soaring on the thermals and in one area of thundering waterfalls a small lodge, probably for the intrepid visitors to this remote part of our world. I can only let the pictures speak for themselves.

We only have a short interval to post and I want to share as many photos as possible. But when we get back home I will have them all up on Flickr for everyone to enjoy.

This is Frederick and I love science and have read about Darwin in my class taught by Mrs. Fazzari.

More, about our Punta Arenas walk-around later today.

Imam's Latest Twist on Towel Art, A Penguin with My Other Friends

Leaving Ushuaia with Cordellera Darwin and Glaciar Martial in Background

Glaciar Alemania. The First Large Field on The Beagle Channel out of Ushuaia

Glaciar Holanda Flowing into Caleta (Cove) Olla

The Large Imposing Glaciar Italia and its Large Flowing Field of Blue Ice

Glaciar Espana and Its Muddy Waterfall flowing into The Beagle Channel

Ushuaia and The Martial Glacier

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The Beagle Channel and Ushuaia International Airport from The Chairlift

The Rushing Stream of Clear Pure Fast Moving Water down From The Glacier

My Mom and I on a Bridge that Crosses the Rushing Stream of Pure Water

Early this morning, while I was sleeping, we pulled into Ushuaia. Thanks to my Mom, you have the pleasure of seeing the approach to the harbor and our pier in Ushuaia. It is the further most southernmost city in the world. The Chileans claim Puerto Williams, south across the Beagle Channel is but it is more a town than a city.

After breakfast in our cabin, we decided to go directly into the city. It was very warm, over 66F with a chance of showers later. As we walked down the pier we passed an icebreaker turned into an Antarctic cruise ship, a custom sail yacht like none other ever seen, a research ship for the Argentine navy and a commercial fishing vessel that my Dad says is a big-time seine netter. We walked past little shops on the pier selling everything from duty free liquor to jewelry to leathers. Then we passed out onto Avenida Maipu, which is the main street along the harbor.

From there we found a taxi to take us up to the Glaciar Martial where we can catch a chairlift up another 1.8kms and then hike some more up toward the glacier itself.

It was not open when we got there so we joined some people from Chile who are on our ship and went to a little Cabana de Te next to the lift and had coffee, tea, hot chocolate and scones. By the time we were done the lift had opened and we got in line to buy tickets (boletas) for the chairlift. My Dad and I took the first one and my Mom the next one so she could take her pictures. Along the way, we saw people hiking back down from the upper platform (platforma superior) and a flowing creek that sounding like a rushing train as the water flowed quickly over the rocks. My Dad said that would be the purest water you ever tasted since it came from the snowmelt on the glacier and was filtered by the stones and air all the way down to the reservoir in Ushuaia.

We hiked up the mountain (montana) some and took lots of pictures, then came back to the upper platform to take the lift back to the lower platform (inferior platforma). From there we took a taxi back to town and found a few shops for souvenirs. I bought a compass to help me understand were we were and were we are going. My Dad bought a photo book about Ushuaia. We ate lunch in a little restaurant named Tante Sara.

My Dad and I had vanilla milkshakes and burgers while my Mom had a glass of wine from Chile.
We then walked back to the ship because we had to be on board by 2:30pm. A very short stop.

This is Frederick and I just saw the most beautiful mountains and glaciers I have ever seen. Later today, when we cruise the Beagle Channel, past the Cordillera Darwin, I hear we will be in breathtaking country. I can’t wait.

Tomorrow I will post the Beagle Channel but only after we leave Punta Arenas. Then, it may be that we have to suspend the blog due to lack of reception in the Chilean fjords.

Our Approach to The Harbor of Ushuaia, Argentina

The Chairlift at Glaciar Martial - My First Ride up A Mountain

A Close Up of The Martial Glacier from Our Trailhead