The Beagle Channel

This channel, which cuts clean through Tierra del Fuego, is named after the first ship to navigate it. the first English ship, that is, and the ship was named Beagle because of Queen Victoria’s fondness for these dogs. So the Argentinians are stuck with it.

The clouds are low, so we don’t get views of the mountains today. We do come very close to Alice Island – I don’t know why it’s called Alice – after the bookj? There are after all enormous sea lions bellowing dominance over harems of females lazing on the rocks, looking utterly bored by it all. The females look very cuddly, with velvety, light brown fur and big,soft brown eyes.

There are also Imperial Cormorants, who look like penguin ancestors. Their feathers are black and white, and they stand very upright. They can still fly, but they like to waddle up the rocks, helping themselves along on the steeper rocks with their wings. Why these animals have chosen one or two specific islands out of all the other islands around here is a mystery.

Back at the hotel, we have a hot shower and go for a hotel meal. the chef here is very good, and we order regional specialities, the King crab (not as good as Alaskan, to my mind), and Merluzo Negro, a fish taken from deep down under the sea, which is the best fish I have ever tasted.

ˇomorrow, off the Calafate and the glaciers.