Through the Straits of Magellan…

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The voyage through the Straits of Magellan to Punta Arenas was incredible. Hard to believe these waters were navigated in small sailboats back in the 16th century—truly amazing.   The fog was too thick to really see the Amalia Glacier, but it was still thrilling to be in these waters, to slip in between glaciers and through fjords on our way to Argentina.

Punta Arenas,our last stop in Chile, was an affluent Belle Epoque city back in the 19th century. Until the Panama Canal was completed, it was a transportation hub, and the robust Patagonian wool trade created wealth for many families.  The European style of the city is apparent in its center at the Plaza de Armas, and the architecture is stunning. We visited one of the mansions created during that time–the Palacio Sara Braun at the Plaza Muños Gamero.   At the main square, we stopped into the Cathedral, where the bishop was celebrating a special mass for the sailors who were in town—and there were lots of them.   South American naval academies from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia were all in town on this day, midway through their around-the-world sailing voyage.   This elite group of young sailors were happy to welcome visitors, pose for pictures, and swap travel stories—great fun!

Then we were off to continue our own adventure—through the Beagle Channel and Glacier Alley to Ushuaia, Argentina. We had wonderful weather in port, but sadly, it was mostly cloudy and overcast in the channels—so the photos don’t really do justice to the glaciers and beautiful channels.   But enjoy the photos anyway!

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