Sailing the channels of South America

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine
March 2nd 2017
Published: August 7th 2017
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We sailed through the Straights of Magellan to reach Punta Arenas for 2 pm and it was a murky day so not much to see. From there we headed to Ushuaia with the morning cruising through Glacier Alley. This is a channel with many hanging glaciers visible whenever the clouds / rain lift. Glimpses of them were sufficient to get photos.

In all we had 3 days at sea. The first was a trip around Cape Horn. We reached there just before dawn and I was thrilled to see the Rock out of our porthole about 5.30. I woke Paul with this exciting news only to receive a grunt so took myself up to the back deck where others had gathered to film as as we sailed by. Around 6 the captain announced that we were going to sail around the island for about an hour and as the seas up the west coast were rough we might have to head into the channels to continue North. By the time we had done that and seen the Horn from every angle, we were able to conitue up the coast at a fair speed which meant we were back in the channels for sight-seeing of the mountains by next day.

In the Canal Sarmiento there were three sessions of scenic cruising narrated by the onboard events manager. Unfortunately times given were approximate and the broadcast was only to be heard out on the outside decks or in the Crow's Nest so it was easy to miss some of the commentary. It was extremely cold so staying out on deck for hours was not practical. We did catch the Paso Shoal, a channel that has to be navigated at high tide and even then is very narrow and shallow. Over an hour later we were in the region of Paso Summer with glimpses of Torres de Paines caught when clouds lifted and finally we cruised in front of the Brujo Glacier. For anyone who has not done this in Alaska it was an impressive sight but the ship did not sail very close. Thankfully I have a good zoom on my camera.

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