I just can’t stop thinking about the Chilean fjords. It was such a visually extravagant environment! I was constantly looking out the windows, going out on the deck, walking among the various areas of the boat, and even standing on the bridge watching the fjordscape unfold from the captain’s vantage point. They even let me navigate the boat for a while, but don’t tell any of my companions that their life at sea was briefly in my hands. For being in a relatively small environment (the boat was 55 feet from bow to stern, not that big when you think about it), there was so much to do and see. I was never bored. It was like being a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t even take a nap during the day because I was afraid I’d miss something!
All that said, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw our boat, the Explorador II, docked in Puerto Natales and waiting for us to board. It seemed so small and even a bit vulnerable, especially compared to the vast network of fjords we were about to enter. Fortunately, my reservations and anxiety quickly evaporated and I was almost instantly comfortable in my new home for the next 11 days.
Once we were on our way, my favorite thing about being on the Explorador II was the ice. I was fascinated by all the ice. Often times, we were surrounded by it. It is not easy to imagine, but sometimes the fjords stretched for miles and miles. And there was ice as far as the eye could see! Sometimes the ice was as large as a boat, and other times it could easily fit in a glass. Sometimes it was crystal clear; sometimes it was intense blue. And sometimes it was as white as virgin snow. The ice was constantly moving, even when the movement was so slow as to be imperceptible to even the most astute observer. I don’t know if it is true, but I’ve heard that the Arctic Inuit have dozens of words for ice. After a couple of days on the Chilean fjords, it is easy to understand why.
I have discovered that there are many myths associated with ice in the glacial fjords. Why is it blue? Why is it clear? How old is it? I heard some of them during my trip and others I discovered in my research for this post. Spend a little time on Google and you’ll quickly see what I mean. I won’t delve further here, but instead I’ll let some images do the rest of the talking for me.
Above all else, I think the ice was beautiful. I hope you agree!