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Transitting through the Chilean Fjords

by tpastuszek ~ March 13th, 2013. Filed under: The Crew, Travel and Adventure.
Southern Chilean Fjords - photo by Scott Hansen

Southern Chilean Fjords – photo by Scott Hansen

After two months of hard work and scientific excitement in Antarctica,
the crew of the Point Sur is headed North. The ship seems large and
empty with only eight crewmembers as we transit through the fjords of
Southwestern Chile, but the change of pace is welcome.

Map showing area between Punta Arenas and Valparaiso, Chile

Map showing area between Punta Arenas and Valparaiso, Chile

Because the fjords are sometimes difficult to transit, we have two
guests onboard: pilots from Valparaiso who have studied these waters
and made this transit hundreds of times. Standing five hour shifts,
one pilot is on the bridge at all times, expertly navigating us
through narrow channels, past floating salmon fisheries and around
rocky shoals.

Navigating through the Straits of Magellan - photo by Scott Hansen

Navigating through the Straits of Magellan – photo by Scott Hansen

Forged by glaciers, the fjords are a magnificent display of the power
of wind, ice and water. As we journey north, craggy, barren rocks jut
out of the water. Cliff faces with cascading waterfalls and scraggly
trees surround us. The sea floor below us is just as bumpy as the
landscape ahead of us. In a mile-wide channel the water might be as
much as a thousand meters deep, or it may be dangerously shallow, with
rocks just beneath the surface. It’s a good thing our pilots know
these waters well.

Amy Biddle in Antarctica - photo by Scott Hansen

Amy Biddle in Antarctica – photo by Scott Hansen

This blogpost contributed by Amy Biddle. Amy sailed on the Sur for the Antarctic expedition as an A/B and is currently sailing as Second Mate for the transit North. Amy works full-time at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and is also an up and coming author. Check out Amy’s website and read about her debut novel, “An Athiest’s Prayer”

1 Response to Transitting through the Chilean Fjords

  1. Jennifer Hansen

    Scott is a magnificent photographer. I can’t wait until he gets home so I can see the thousands of photos he has taken. Each one just as beautiful as the last. Safe travels north!

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