March 16 – At sea

Having bypassed our stop in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, due to the weather-related closure of the port for tender operations, we had a leisurely two-day trip down to Puerto Madryn, Argentina. This port is slowly gaining attention as a cruise stop and resort area but is primarily known as the access point to Punta Valdez peninsula sea lion area (north an hour or two) and Punto Tumbo National Park (to the south two hours) with its 750,000 or so penguins. On our previous stop here four years ago we opted for the penguins. This time we made no plans.

Thursday evening Captain Leo announced that the major excursions (Tombo and Valdez) whether by Celebrity contractors or by independent operators would be cancelled. Heavy rains and high winds had damaged the (dirt and gravel) access roads to both parks. We walked the reputed 700 meters to shore, paid appropriate homage to the local artisans waiting for us in their booths (i.e., we bought some stuff), and walked along the boardwalk. Very pleasant sunny day!

After a leisurely shared half pizza we walked back to the ship. Along the way I took some photos of the penguins swimming near the pier and of a big gang of sea lions flaked out on the metal stairs leading to a docked shrimp boat. Who needs paid excursions?

When we got back to the ship I pulled out my long lens, went back out. The penguins had left so those images below are fairly heavily cropped. The sea lions were still flaked out. What I believe are two different species of cormorants also hanging around.

Dense fog most of the morning today as we proceed south toward Cape Horn and then Ushuaia Argentina. Where we do have an excursion scheduled…

Puerto Madryn

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