March 20 – catching up to the Magellan Straits

From Puerto Madryn we headed south to Ushuaia Argentina which may or may not be the southernmost city in South America (Chile claims that honor…) But in any case, it is way down there. Jumping off point for small-ship expeditions/cruises to Antarctica, destination for treckers and also a frequenters stop for cruisers. On the way we passed by Cape Horn and had a good view from f the lighthouse and the Albatross sculpture erected In memory of the many sailors who lost their lives rounding the Horn.

On the 18th, from Ushuaia we took a ship’s excursion- a (large, motorized) catamaran about an hour and a half back east along the Beagle Channel to Herberton and the associated island with its penguins. Saw nor heard any beagles, but we did sight many cormorants, a few dolphins [Orcas?] Sea Lions, Fur Seals, and of course Magellanic Penguins. ”Twas a cold wet trip but well worth it! We had time after the excursion to have lunch and wander the main street…

We left Ushuaia Monday evening, passing on down the Beagle Channel and up to Punta Arenas, Chile. Yesterday, Tuesday March 19, we tendered ashore for another ship’s excursion, this one to a sheep ranch. A good trip despite the three bus loads of fellow cruisers who joined us. A wonderful guide (thanks Andrea!) and very gracious and accommodating hosts at the farm. We saw sheep herding demonstrations, sheep shearing, talked to their prize Chilean purebred horses, and had a fine Chilean barbecue lunch.

As I write this we are moving up along the Chilean coast from the Magellan Strait up toward the Chilean Fjords and on to Puerto Montt which we will reach on the 22nd, day after tomorrow. Beautiful scenery of which I will try to post images tomorrow. Thursday in Puerto Montt will be a busy day…

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