Days at Sea and the Chilean Fiords
We like the days at sea. They give us a chance to slow down, read, relax and work on our crafts (Zenetta has her art journal, ceramics, and painting. I like photography). So far I have taken many pictures, so I spent the day editing and deleting to get them to a manageable size.
On our way up the western coast of Chile, we enjoyed scenic cruising. Our next port is Valparaiso, which is the busiest port in Chile. Near Santiago, the port exports almost all of Chile’s gross national product (wine, fruits, vegetables, clothing, goods etc…). The other major export of Chile is copper, but that is from the mines in the north.
On our way the Valparaiso, the conditions were favorable for us to visit a fiord to see the Skua Glacier, one of the biggest in Chile. Even with today’s technology, we had two Chilean pilots on-board to help us get there. If you examine the west coast of Chile, you will know why. It would be very easy to get lost if you did not have the local knowledge on-board. A lot of the charts are incorrect when using GPS and the height of the mountains requires constant watch for traffic. The radar does not see around the mountains. What a beautiful part of the world.
We arrived at the glacier mid day and slowly rotated 360º to view the the glacier. The surrounding mountains are jagged teeth that have been broken off by millions of years of glacier movement.
Our guide mentioned that 10% of the earth’s freshwater is still in frozen glaciers. Locals were saying that this year has been unusual. This summer the penguins had moved on sooner than normal after their nesting season. The rainfall (and snow) is below average and central (and northern) Chile are in drought conditions (since 2007).