Cruising the Chilean Fjords

After our first stop at Puerto Montt on our 16 day cruise from San Antonio in Chile to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil we then cruised through the Chilean Fjords including the Sarmiento Channel, Amalia and Brujo Glaciers, Smith Channel and the Straits of Magellan before reaching our next port of call, Punto Arenas.

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We saw quite a number of dolphins as we cruised through the narrow channels jumping and frolicking in the water.

Sarmiento Channel, Chile

The early dawn was stunning with a fiery red/orange sky over the snow covered mountains.

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We eventually reached the magnificent Amalia Glacier. Amalia Glacier, also known as Skua Glacier, is a tidewater glacier located in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park on the edge of the Sarmiento Channel. The glacier originates in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. From 1945 to 1986, its terminus retreated 7 km (4.3 mi), being, along with the recession of the O’Higgins Glacier, the most dramatic retreat of the glaciers of the mentioned ice-field during that period. The glacier partially surrounds Reclus volcano and erodes the northern flank of it.

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As we headed south there were some dramatic peaks covered in snow on each side of the Smith Channel, the most dramatic and stunning peak being Monte Burney.

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Smith Channel, Chile
Monte Burney
Monte Burney, Smith Channel, Chile
Monte Burney
Monte Burney, Smith Channel, Chile
Monte Burney
Monte Burney, Smith Channel, Chile
Monte Burney

We passed the old wreck of the SS Leonor in the Smith Channel. She sank on her maiden voyage in 1964. The ship was built as transport for the U.S. Navy and configured for 575 crew and 1740 passengers. Her military career took place in the Pacific carrying troops and wounded. At the time of the accident she was travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Vancouver (Canada), under the command of Captain Donald Johnson and governed by the Chilean pilot Ernest Ruiz Muñoz. She hit a reef at SW of Isabel Island, then drifted to Adelaide island where she laid on the starboard side. Shipwreck attributed to a navigational error. All passengers and hands were rescued.

SS Leonor wreck, Smith Channel, ChileSS Leonor wreck, Smith Channel, ChileSmith Channel, ChileSmith Channel, Chile

 


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