Friday, November 25, 2016: Garibaldi Fjord, Beagle Channel, Chile…
Today dawned with us sailing in the Beagle Channel (see the photo of the map) which was named for one of the boats used by Charles Darwin when he sailed through this region doing research. We took a little turn off the channel to cruise up the Garibaldi Fjord to the glacier that formed the fjord. When we got near to the glacier, the captain stopped the ship and dropped anchor. It was time to launch the zodiac and have some fun on the water. Well, on the water AND the ice as it turns out.
We got bundled up against the cold air and wind outside and pulled on our big rubber boots (courtesy of Hurtigruten) to begin our adventure. There were 15 or 16 people per zodiac and we went down to the “tender pit” in the bowels of the ship to board them. These zodiacs have rubber sides but steel bottoms and we quickly found out why steel as the water was full of small icebergs from the glacier. So off we went, flying through the water and occasionally over the icebergs. The driver would slow down for the ‘bergs, but then just run up on them and push them out of our way. Using this method, we worked our way up closer to the face of the glacier. Along the way, we saw hanging glaciers high up on the mountains, waterfalls that fell hundreds of feet down to the water’s edge, birds and even a seal pop his head up between the ‘bergs.
As we ventured deeper into the fjord and everyone got quieter on the boat, Lana listened
closely to the fjord, and this is what she felt:
“I am a lonely fjord, only ice comes to hug me cold.
Sometimes the Sun sends tears of waterfalls.
But it is so quiet…
I smell the frozen air and taste the salt for eternity.
I hear the gunshot sound of a glacier calving.
And on a Special day, the sun warms the water
So the animals come to entertain me.
I see the dark eyes of my sea-loving friends
Who only care to hunt and fish.
I am a lonely fjord
Whose life slowly changes through time…
….but always stays the same.”
It was a great day on the water and I can’t begin to describe the beauty, but look at the pictures to get a taste of it all.
After returning to the ship and dinner this evening, we decided to go to a movie in the amphitheater. No sooner had we sat down then Lana said “I have an enormous head in front of me. I can’t see anything.” There was an extra place beside me, so being the gentleman that I am, I offered to slide over a seat. That was great for Lana, but Dwight was on the other side of Lana and this meant that poor Dwight got Lana’s old seat. But he said he could live with it (see photo for Dwight’s view of things at this point). So we started watching the movie. Well, it wasn’t two minutes later and a lady with another large head came into the row in front of us, sat down and now completely blocked Dwight’s view of the movie. But I must say, I have to greatly admire Dwight as he didn’t get upset at all, even when Lana, Carol and I were about rolling on the floor with laughter. No, he just slid down into his seat and promptly fell asleep.