Where We Be
|Cruising the Chilean Fjords
|Misty shapes of the Chilean fjords as seen through the picture windows on Deck 11
|We enjoyed hanging out in the Constellation Lounge on Deck 11, sipping drinks and watching the scenery drift by
|This was as clear as it got on our second day; the first day was a complete washout
|Swirling mist created an evocative beauty of its own
|Rows of hills seem to point toward infinity
|While crossing the Pacific in high winds, water from the pool overflowed and sloshed all over the deck
|What they don't show you in the cruise brochures!
|Watercolor image of fjords passing by outside our window
The Chilean fjords have a brooding beauty to
them. More often than not they are swathed in
swirling mists, and they can look quite forbidding
under such conditions. We cruised for hundreds
of miles without seeing a single habitation or
structure of any kind, and it was this sense of
remoteness and isolation that struck us as
something unique to this part of the world.
Unfortunately, our first day of fjords cruising was
so socked in we couldn't see a thing, so we sailed
blindly past some of the best of the Chilean fjords.
Oh well, you can't control the weather. Thankfully
the weather cleared somewhat on the second day,
enough to give us a sense of what we were sailing
Speaking of the weather... On our way to see the
fjords, around 4 am, we left the Strait of Magellan
and hit the open ocean. Immediately we were hit
with very strong winds and large waves that had
the ship rocking. By morning it had gotten worse.
The ship was visibly listing to starboard. The
captain got on the speaker and said we were
getting to experience the full force of the Pacific
Ocean, with sustained winds at 60 mph and gusts
up to 90 mph. Waves were 20 to 25 feet high. We
noticed that the shower in our room wouldn’t drain
because all the water was pooled against the far
wall, unable to reach the drain.
Around 10 am the four of us went up to the buffet
for a late breakfast. The ship was visibly tilting at a
“permanent” angle to starboard, so watching
people walk at an angle with trays full of food was
amusing in a surreal way. As we sat down to eat,
the ship listed even farther to starboard, so much
so that the glasses of orange juice and cups of
coffee on our table started to slide off. Then there
was a huge and sustained BANG!! from the kitchen
as an enormous set of dishes crashed to the floor.
An industrial-size coffee urn in our seating area
tilted over and splashed onto the floor, creating a
dark, spreading stain on the carpet.
Shortly after our surreal breakfast, we entered a
gradually narrowing channel called the Nelson
Channel where the fjords began and the seas
became calmer – still rough, but calmer. The ship
“righted” itself and became level again. The seas
continued to grow more serene but unfortunately
the views remained obscured behind a wall of mist
Note: As it turned out, we got another chance to
see the Chilean fjords in better weather, during
our Navimag Ferry trip southbound to Patagonia.