November 29, 2009
Today we're halfway through our cruise. I can't believe it's been a whole week since Valparaiso! We are halfway up the Beagle Channel now and heading for Ushuaia, Argentina this afternoon.
We got up extremely early and went immediately to the Garden Cafe to snag a table. We'll be passing by a group of five glaciers on the port side of the Beagle Channel at around 6 AM, and I wanted a place to sit indoors rather than shivering on the fantail between glaciers.
When we neared the glaciers, the cruise director came on the loudspeaker to tell us the details about each one as we approached it, at which point everyone dashed outside and snapped photos madly. We successfully scored a table the perfect distance from the door to the poop deck: far enough to be out of the draft but close enough to dash over and not miss any good photo ops. We had a good time identifying geological features like this hanging valley:
There are four glaciers along the north side of the Beagle Channel: the Italia, Francia, Alemania and Romanche. To be perfectly honest, I didn't annotate my photographs, and I haven't been able to find a detailed map of "Glacier Alley" in my Googling, so I'm not perfectly sure which is which, but I believe the order given above is the order in which we passed them. What I do know for sure is that they are pretty cool to look at (pun! Didya see the pun?!)
Our first glacier:
You can tell this glacier is receding rather than growing because it doesn't reach all the way to the waterline.
The second one we passed was wider and much flatter:
Neither of these showed as much glacial blue color I was anticipating, but the next ones did:
This last is my favorite (the color is more intense in real life).
Even after passing the Avenue of the Glaciers (the "hifalutin" name for Glacier Alley), the scenery through which we moseyed on our way to Ushuaia was spectacular. This is one gorgeous (if bleak) part of the world.
Why, yes, we are having fun!