13 October 2008 – day 11 - Monday

This morning we woke up in the mouth of the huge Pious XI glacier, the biggest glacier in South America. It was beautiful.

There was a lot less ice in the water, which made me feel a tiny bit more secure. The glacier was huge. The mouth alone was something like three miles wide and 300 feet high or something. That's what we were told, but I haven't checked the facts. It would be difficult to do that anyway, because our ship, the Skorpios III, has no Internet available.

At one point, we encountered a crabbing boat and traded them oil for seafood.

After breakfast, most of the passengers got into big wooden life boats and took a ride near the glacier. It was very beautiful. The rich blue colors gave it a magical quality.

Like yesterday, I took some rapid-fire photos of the ice breaking away from the glacier.


Kathy did her own version.


The waters nearby had huge chunks of beautiful blue ice. Many of the chunks were as big as a car.

At one point, some of the crew went out to one of these giant chunks of glacier ice, and carved out ice cubes.

Later, these were used in our cocktails at the lounge. So we could sip twelve-year-old scotch on twenty-thousand-year-old “rocks”.

Most of the day was spent in transit. The skies were cloudy most of the time, but the sun came out just enough to make some of the photos pretty. I have no idea if the photos will look okay. The bright gray skies made photography very difficult.

In the afternoon, we stopped at a small town on an island.

I believe the town was called Puerto Eden, but it was not Eden at all in the Biblical sense. It was a bit dirty and unkempt.

Its claim to fame, we were told, is that it was home to the last remaining full-blooded indigenous people. We took photos of two of them,

after paying them about a dollar. These people are too old to have more children, and the rest of the people in Chile are a mixture of Spanish blood and Native blood. So when these few indigenous people die, there will be no more. It's sad, really.

The town had a nice school, and we dropped in just long enough to snap a few photos.

A lot of the day was spent in the non-smoking lounge playing a card game called “Shanghai.” It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it seemed like we were always called to some event—for example, dinner—before we could finish the game.

I really like the Skorpios III.

The food has been great. The bar is completely open, and the selection of liquor has been surprising. The service has been outstanding and professional. The people have been friendly and courteous. Everybody on board goes out of their way to make this the best possible trip. I can't say enough good things about this ship. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to see the Chilean Fjords.