First things first. When I get to Puerto Natalies I need to buy a comb. My hair is getting some length to it and I am walking around with permanent bed head.
It is a town of fisherman and the boat is thier life blood. It goes back and forth twice a week bringing supplies and much needed tourist dollars. This was not a poor town, but middle class in any sense of the word. The fisherman brought in good catch and sold it in Pto Montt and Natalies. The Navimag brought in tourist dollars and they had good lives. There was electricity running from large towers that ran down the mountains into town and each and every house has a satellite dish. The street dogs all looked very well fed whichi is always a good barometer. The people were hospitiable and the walk was pleasant and of course the views were amazing.
I thought that being inside reading, drinking or just looking out the windows defeated the purpose of being on this ship. This is only my opinion about my experience. I wanted to be outside and outside I went.
Well it was getting a little colder but we had our corner on the deck staked out. What we needed was wine. Marci brought out a real nice bottle of chilean white and we plowed ahead, wine in hand.
To our right we notice some splashed in the distance. We watched and they were pretty consistant meaning only one thing, Dolphins. For some reason I was not compelled to take any pictures, I just wanted to enjoy the experience. They were moving faster than we thought and were on top of us pretty quickly. There were 3 of them, grey and white and they were doing thier dolphin thing. When they got close to the bow of the boat right in front of us about 20 feet down you could see them swim underwater. It was pretty damn impressive. They went under the boat and just like Keyser Söze *poof*, they were gone.
Now this is about 3 hour after lunch and we are still outside and its getting colder and windier, but we were not going to be denied. Suddenly we turned into a channell and far off in the distance you could see Pio XI, the mothership of the day. This glacier is 365 km long and the largest in South America. Something is always claiming to be the largest something somewhere isn't it?
Here is my funny tourist observation moment. We are sailing towards this glacier and will stop within 500 metres of it, to which I was pretty damn excited. However why is it that everyone, myself included felt the need to take a photo using thier telephoto lens. I mean were were heading right towards is. I love human absurdity.
Our captain whose skill can not be denied pulled head on to this sucker and was no more that 300 yards away or so it seemed, I am sure it was farther but holy crap we were close and it was impressive. Large breaks and fissures displayed multiple hues of blue ice. My camera got a serious workout and the battering from the Winds of Patagonia was worth it.
We stayed for quite a while then the captain turned the boat majestically around and we headed back up channel. I was done and needed a coffee, it was a long day on deck. I went inside, had a coffee and my nap requirment increased 1000 %.
It was 7:30 so a quick dinner of Hake which is a great fish and with a full belly, hours of fresh Patagonian air, lots of excitement a a little booze was going to make sleeping a breeze. I wandered down to my bunker and slept through till morning. This was a really good day.