We awoke on National Geographic Resolution ready to start our South American adventure. We began on Staten Island off the southern tip of South America, east of the mainland into the Atlantic. This island, known in South America and Chile as Isla de los Esatados, is rich in wildlife, fjords, and history. Today’s adventures began on the northern side of the island, just east of its midpoint in Puerto Cook. This beautiful fjord extends into Isla de los Estados, the deep south. We landed on the rocky beach and began hiking farther south, reaching the opposite side of Isla de los Estados and Puerto Vancouver – one of the few easy hikes that allows for access to both the northern and southern shores of this majestic, kelp-circled island. After enjoying the hike and learning more about the flora and fauna of the island, we returned northwards, back to our landing beach and back to our home, National Geographic Resolution. After a lovely morning, we had a wonderful lunch, crafted with care and expertise by the hotel department. We scurried north out of the fjord and then east, continuing along Isla de los Estados. Eventually, we came upon our afternoon destination, Puerto San Juan del Salvamento. Puerto San Juan del Salvamento is another large fjord, one of the most easterly fjords of all of Isla de los Estados. We boarded Zodiacs for cruises to explore the wildlife found all around Puerto San Juan del Salvamento as well as to enjoy the beautiful kelp forests. Then we turned our Zodiacs southwest to make a landing on the beach and to again walk amongst the shrubbery on the island. Meanwhile, our undersea team ventured deep into the abyss to document kelp forests in all their glory, bringing back footage to showcase while we sailed west to our next day of adventure on this island.
National Geographic Resolution
Bernal Glacier and Kirke Narrows
Arriving at Bernal Glacier early morning, guests and staff completed a most scenic walk to observe its snout and the terminal moraine that extend towards the waters in which National Geographic Resolution was positioned. The glacier is located within the Campos de Hielo which is part of a larger ice- covered area in Magellan Patagonia. Access to the glacier snout is made possible using a path that allows visitors to walk through low vegetation and onto the terminal moraine that consists of a wide assortment of boulders, gravels, and sand that were deposited when the glacier no longer could carry their load. At this point on the walk, unobstructed views of the glacier gave us an opportunity to witness its ever-diminishing size, both in length and width, when compared with our photographs taken over the last few years. Still, its beauty remains, and the enormity of glacial power and erosional forces firmly impresses all those who enjoyed the landing this morning. Following lunch, National Geographic Resolution navigated the Kirke Narrows. Always an exciting part of a Patagonia voyage, the bridge team took us through the narrows at slack tide and perfectly timed the navigation through the narrowest part of the canal which is 426 feet. Once through the narrows, we continued to Puerto Natales in anticipation of disembarkation tomorrow. This ten-day trip of Patagonia and Staten Island has been remarkable during which majestic landscapes and a wide range of wildlife was observed.