Day 5 |
Nov 07, 2008

Isla Magdalena National Park And Navigation

By Juan Carlos Restrepo

Position:Latitude 44º 54.9’s , Longitude 073º 16.5’w

We woke up this morning for a planned landing in Punta Gaviota at Isla Magdalena National Park, however, the sea and weather conditions were not favorable for a landing, so we had to resort to plan B, a Zodiac cruise around the bay just east of it – lush fjord with steep granite sides and several waterfalls.

The sky was gloomy and drizzly; the wind was blowing from the NW with a velocity of 28 knots gusting to 40 (near gale force). There was a moderate rough swell outside the bay, which made our Expedition Leader Robin West opt for a cruise around this beautiful fjord instead. Despite the wet conditions, about 90 guests went on the Zodiac cruise, divided in two different groups.

Out there things went well, the evergreen forest is rich in southern beech, a few people had a chance to see South American sea lions. There were kelp gulls, neotropic cormorants, black browed albatross, turkey vultures and dark faced ground tyrants.

We came back on board, had a nice lunch and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon sailing down the fjords. Before dinner we had a recap and a briefing with the expedition staff, recapitulating on the highlights of the day and explaining the plans for the next one.

Just before sunset, the light was wonderful and the mountains around the fjords looked magnificent; we were all having dinner and enjoying the rainbow, and then we got to open water... In a very short period of time we left the shelter of the fjords and felt the force of the pacific weather. The westerly wind reached gale force and created a very heavy swell that was ranging between 18 and 22 feet. Things got a little shaky during dinner, however most of us endured and a good number even made it to the Panorama Lounge for “The Liar’s Club”, a hilarious show hosted by our Assistant Expedition Leader Jarda Versloot. Four well known “liars”, namely Chris Harbard, Rob Suisted and Robin Aiello all lecturers, and last but not least our Captain Fabien Roche were giving definitions of rather unusual words, but only one was telling the truth. The idea of the game is to find out who is not lying. Lots of laughter and giggles preceded a rather rocky night.