Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chilean Fjords

“Nothing equals the trips through the passages around Victoria Island, except maybe the trip through the Chilean Fjords.” That is what the onboard naturalist told us when we were on the Alaska cruise.  With this lovely balcony the choices for the day were a slam dunk.  Out on the balcony, wrapped in three layers of sweaters, hoodies, jackets to keep off the wind, and I needed two more blankets.  One to sit on so that the balcony railing was not right at my sight line and then second fleece blanket to wrap around me. I haven’t seen that kind of beauty before.  The naturalist had explained how the fjords are created:  pockets of water in the rock that feeze, then expand and cause deep fissures, so there are few of our glacial shaped valleys.  Just this massive rock, some of it bare with huge striations across it.  And then there were trees, soil deprived.  The tree line was defined.  There was little in the way of sandy shores, though Peurto Arenas does mean sandy point. 

The second day of doing the same thing didn’t mean seeing the same thing.  Now we saw salmon farming:  small houses on logs, pathways on which people can walk to feed the salmon, black buoys and sometimes orange ones.  Greg is a source of knowledge about the past – at least about Canada’s efforts to establish salmon farms.  He told us how the public has been lead to believe that wild salmon is better than farmed salmon and how hard it has been to establish the industry. This is not true in Chile.  Salmon farming is one of their leading industries. I recoginize an embarrassment of riches.  A once in a life-time cruise, a trip around South America.  A space on open deck, and a brother-in-law giving a compelling history and narration.

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