Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel

Our second port was Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The Beagle Channel, which we took both to and from Ushuaia across southern South America, was in itself a beautiful and interesting voyage. It is named after the ship that Darwin took through Patagonia in this channel on his "Voyage of Discovery", the HMS Beagle. Ushuaia is also the termination of the Pan American Highway, the longest highway in the world. In fact, this picture, which I took from just off the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia reminded me that I could have backpacked down here instead of cruised.
Jon was already busy doing public relations for his new company, Shell Oil.
One of the highlights of Ushuaia was a catamaran excursion down the Beagle Channel, where we were able to see seals and sea lions for the first time. The black and white birds, which you may mistake for penguins are actually cormorants. And look closely at those rocks. Many of them are actually seals.
Ushuaia was another pleasant, quaint and colorful port city, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Jon and I spent considerable time wondering about how the airplanes dropped in through the valleys to land. They just seemed to appear on final approach, well below the mountain tops.
Even this industrial suburb had quite a view.
This sign summed it up, "Ushuaia, end of the world, beginning of everything."
As I mentioned, the channel itself kept us spellbound for many hours, both from the catamaran and from the ship. It was lined with mountains and glaciers dropping right to the edge of the water. One, with a torrent of water running from the bottom as it melted was particularly dramatic.

1 comment:

nemattox said...

Wow - is Jon wearing short sleeves?! Anyway, I'm glad you were able to get a little closer to the wildlife with the catamaran. Sounds fun, and I hope you didn't get too seasick!