Cruising the Magellan Straight

Santiago Travel Blog

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WOW. Today we saw something truly magnificent. I wasnt going to blog again until after Punta Arenas but I had to bore you all with a million photos of ice. We had a really rough day's sailing to get to the Magellan Straight but it was worth it. Getting out of our bunks at 8am was hard (we've been waking around 9.30-10am every day....yeah, slack). We rugged up and headed out onto deck. It was only 2 degrees so there was a little bit of eye rubbing and a brutally quick wakening. Looking down the ship we saw the star attraction. The water around us was as still and smooth as silk. Our massive ship sailing over it left ripples that you cant even begin to describe. So pretty.

But the true delight lay ahead of us. Skua Glacier. Set into these wonderful Chilean fjords, the glacier is by far bigger than I'd expected and so much cleaner. The photos I'd seen when researching this trip showed a glacier covered in black and brown but that's not what we saw and I really wasnt expecting to be as blown away as I was.

This glacier was pristine and showing a spectrum of whites and blues that the photos cant possibly do justice. Talking to Ferdinand the barman last night, he'd told us that this glacier was not as spectacular as Hubbard's glacier in Alaska. But I think it is just as grand. It's not as sharp - when I saw Hubbard's it has ice breaking away which was fantastic to see and hear. But this glacier was spread across the mountains and looked enormous. The ice wasn't cracking away but that is probably because we are heading out of summer and into winter.

Small icebergs scattered the water that we sailed through everywhere. It was incredible to see such a cluster of them and see them bang up against the hull of the ship. Some you could carry in your hands but others were as big as a car. The ship's crew took out one of the special life boats and brought back to ship a small iceberg a bit bigger than a large tv. They put it on the Helipad on the ship so we could all take pics (by which time my battery had carked it due me going berserk earlier with the glacier snaps). The kids touched it and felt it melt in their hands. Amazing to feel something that had probably not been touched ever before. Something that was thousands of years old and in the middle of a bleak and barron land. Did I say the word amazing? What about spectacular? Magnificent? Ok, so I was impressed.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, well I have a thousand pictures so go grab a hot chocolate, sit back and scan through these - yeah, yeah, I hear what you're saying....."Tonnes of photos of water and ice". No, you'll be dazzled. I guarantee it!

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photo by: Bluetraveler