Around Cape Horn, on to Ushuaia & Punta Arenas

Posted Dec. 5th, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

This morning at about 7:00am we pulled into the port at Punta Arenas, Chile. We left Ushuaia, Argentina yesterday early in the morning after spending a day in the little community at the tip of South America. Sailing ships have obviously added a tremendous boost to the local economy and has turned the sleepy little town I knew from the 90s into a major tourist destination. It looked and felt something like Sitka, Alaska or any of the other many coastal Alaskan villages that have profited from the cruise ship industry.

Looking in to Ushuaia, the little town at the most southern tip of South America

Looking in to Ushuaia, the little town at the most southern tip of South America. Lumix 35-100mm F/2.8

We sailed up Garibaldi Fjord to see the Garibaldi glacier. The weather was wet – a lot of wind and a steady downpour. Even so we had a great time sailing among the mountain peaks just a few hundred yards off each side of the Seabourn Quest. We got to the end of the fjord and it was hard to believe the captain could turn such a large ship around in such a tight place. He did though and we headed back down the fjord out to the open sea.

Fog hangs in the steep valleys leading in to Garibaldi Fjord.

Fog hangs in the steep valleys leading in to Garibaldi Fjord. Lumix GH3, 12-35mm F/2.8

Backtracking a bit, it’s been five days since our amazing landing at Cuperville Island that included spectacular scenery and thousands of Adelie penguins. We tried one more landing at Yankee Harbor while in Antarctica but the winds were howling at 35+ knots and the Seabourn Quest captain called off our trip to shore. The Antarctica adventure is definitely weather dependent. I was able to shoot a few photos of Adelies on their nests at the Yankee Harbor landing site before we went back to the ship. It was a beautiful site, snow covering the ground and the distant mountains.

Adelie penguins incubating eggs on their nests at Yankee Harbor, Antarctica.

Adelie penguins incubating eggs on their nests at Yankee Harbor, Antarctica. Nikon D800- 24-70mm F/2.8

Today, December 4th, there were many land trips scheduled for Seabourn guests. I had hoped to visit a Magellanic Penguin rookery  but once again high winds called the tour off. This time it was cancelled by the Chilean harbor authority. No small boats were allowed to leave the harbor. I stayed onboard the ship to  add to the blog while Tanya met some of our friends in the city of Punta Arenas for lunch. Below are a few photos from the past several days.

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