Unexpected beauty

Today we're anchoring in Caleta Lucrecia, believe it or not, right next to Puerto Micaela! I can't believe I have my own bay here! You get to Puerto Micaela from Canal Grappler, whose entrance was protected by a quite nice size iceberg! The center of Puerto Micaela lies at 49degrees 30,5minutes S and 74degrees 16minutes W. Jens and I went up the hill behind Alita and took pictures of the bays with a glacier on Isla Wellington in the background. I could not have wished for a more beautiful place for my bay, with icebergs floating by and a view to the glacier. THe funny thing is, that not far from here (40nm), we'll pass Marcus' island on our way north. Not kidding, it's called "Ite Marcus".

Probably in the meantime you're getting tired of my excitement of glacier world. However we cannot stop enjoying every single second of driving in this beautiful landscape, to the feet of these majestic, old natural wonders. It is so hard to express in words the feelings we all have here, so close to what you usually only see in documentations on TV. Today we saw icebergs of the dimensions which you would only expect on an expedition to Antarctica, but which I did not expect here amoung all those islands in the pacific ocean off the coast of the Chilenan coast of Patagonia. I love the contrast here, of almost deserted little mountains on one side and glaciers on the other side or behind them.

We're very lucky these days. Ever since we left our anchorage (which we entered the night before escorted by a large school of dolphins) early yesterday morning the weather, unlike the 3 weeks before, has been extremely beautiful, which results in alcohol drinkers noses ;-) Yesterday a sunny day with about 40% clouds, today a completely sunny day, from midday on without clouds passing through these beautiful channels. Many fjords branch off from the main channel and mostly allow us a sneak view to the glaciers - or better to say the never ending ice field - behind them. Every minute the view changes, different peaks show off behind the hills here as if to say "hey, I am here as well, look at me!". It is soo exciting to basically drive past the backside of the huge "Campo del hielo", a part of which are the glaciers Perito Moreno, Upsala and Viedma. Puerto Micaela is at the height of Glaciar Viedma, the largest one in the Campo del hielo, only about 35nm (60km) west of it.

About an hour after we started this morning Jens called out, what we did not believe to hear this trip: "Iceberg ahead". Marcus ordered a good watch out since we did not want to end like the Titanic. This for sure were the biggest floating ice blogs we have seen so far - but not really big anough to be real icebergs (about 10m x4m). About 10 miles ahead from the moment we first spotted the ice in the horizon was Fjordo Penguin, which is used by all the ice from ice field on the west side of Perito Moreno to fight its way through to the channel just to be free and melt away in peace after it had been encapsuled in its block for probably hundreds or thousands of years. I have never seen so much flaoting ice. You'll see it in the pictures soon. We drove a bit closer to it and as we did so, the temperature dropped immediately from nice and almost warm (yesterday I wore a T-Shirt, today just a thin shirt)to entering a freezer. Tomorrow we're heading to the absolute highlight. Glacier (Ventisquero) Pio XI at the end of Seno Eyre. The book says the ice front is 50 m (150ft) high (Perito Moreno is 60m) and we have to fight our way through to there through a about 15 miles long field of floating ice. At least we don't have to break it. A cruiseship, the Adona, went there yesterday and returned today. She came from behind yesterday but entered a fjord behind us. This afternoon she came from the front and we could see in the AIS that she had been to see the glacier. This is the only way to get there: like them or like us. Thank god she was there today, so we can enjoy the peace for ourselves tomorrow. Tonight, like all these days, I'll fall asleep with the beautiful pictures from today in my mind. Sweet dreams.
Written on Feb 22nd by Micaela

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