Agostini Fjord and Hyatt Glacier

Eric Guth, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 05 Nov 2021

Agostini Fjord and Hyatt Glacier, 11/5/2021, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Patagonia

We spent a quiet night sailing down the Brunswick Peninsula. Those who woke early were treated to a beautiful sunrise in Keats Fjord. The conditions were so peaceful after the strong winds departing from Punta Arenas that many of the black-browed albatross were sitting on the water. We also saw southern fulmars, Magellanic penguins, and much excitement over a single blue petrel, which is not so common in these inland waters. We slowly proceeded deep into Agostini Fjord while enjoying our first breakfast onboard.

 

After breakfast, we had our Zodiac briefing and immediately proceeded to the mudroom for our first cruise. The Zodiac fleet headed to the Hyatt Glacier, which provided us with a great show as the glacier calved numerous times into the water. The morning continued on a wonderful note as the head of a leopard seal poked out from the brash ice between the glacier and us.

 

We then proceeded to slowly make our way along the coastline, enjoying our first views of Nothofagus Forest so typical of Patagonia. We sighted many ashy-headed geese pairs, no doubt preparing for a new breeding season. As well as a number of song birds, bar-winged cinclodes, white-crested elaenia, and Chilean swallows.

 

As we moved further along the coast, we also spotted a number of common Patagonian plants. Next to a waterfall we found the waterfall plant! A beautiful red flower that only grows in incredibly damp conditions. Further along were also fachine, prickly heath, and the box-leafed barberry (calafate).

 

During the afternoon as we entered the Magellan Strait we encountered gale force winds up to 55 knots. We also sailed past the southernmost point of continental South America at Cabo Froward.

 

After such an eventful first day, we then headed to the lounge to attend the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Hour. The Captain introduced us to the management team on the ship as we relaxed onboard after an amazing day.

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