Reaching the town of Puerto Natales by ship requires passing through one of two navigable narrows, and this morning National Geographic Endurance waited for slack tide on the outside of Kirke Narrows. The tide predictions here are somewhat imprecise due to the local topography of the many canals and channels of Patagonia. The bridge team launched a Zodiac to monitor the currents, advising Captain Kruse as the slack tide approached. We arrived at the pier of Puerto Natales about one hour later, leaving time for lunch before some afternoon excursions to explore this area.
Many guests joined a tour of the Mylodon Caves led by local guides. The caves are a byproduct of the last ice age, created by glaciers carving into the relatively soft sandstone hills. Discovered in 1895, the caves have provided a wealth of information for geologists and historians. Perhaps the most famous discovery was the remains of a large mammal, the Mylodon, a creature resembling a bear.
The Mylodon Cave is well laid out, with an easy trail and boardwalk sections that make visiting accessible.