Kirke Passage, Chile
March 12, 2018
51F Cloudy Skies and Showers
Sailing on through the Chilean fjords, channels and narrows
(more history of this area HERE if interested) and another spectacular day on the water.
Heading for Puerto Natales, capital city of both the community and province
of 'Ultima Esperanza' (Last Hope), it was named by the sailor Juan Ladrilleros
who was seeking the Strait of Magellan in 1557. It was his "last hope" to find the
Strait after exploring the maze of channels between the Pacific and the mainland.
It was not until three centuries later, in 1830 that the next major expedition sailed
through the fjords. . . . . that of the British expedition of the HMS Beagle.
A second voyage of the HMS Beagle (1831-1836) is well-remembered for
the most famous crew member - Charles Darwin.
Rather dreary but still awesome scenery on awakening.
No breakfast served on the sundeck this morning!
Checking the mist-shrouded Narrows ahead - new UK friends Bruce and Jill - two of the most fun passengers on the ship!
Weather issues never phased them - guess it was like being back in rainy England!
The Kirke Narrows was actually the narrowest passage of our voyage.
Fringed by rocky headlands and shallow banks, if offered only a width of
about 65 ft. therefore we had to transit at slack water during daylight hours
to be safe. Expedition navigation at its best!
Slack water, also known as 'the stand of the tide', is a short period in a body of tidal water when the water is completely unstressed, and there is no movement either way in the tidal stream, and which occurs before the direction of the tidal stream reverses.
~ via Wikipedia ~
Expedition team members headed out in Zodiacs to test the water and report back when
'slack water' condition arrived and the Captain could sail through the Narrows.
We made it through safely. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .and sailed for the evening anchorage at Puerto Natales, our port for
the next day excursion to one of Chile's most attractive national parks,
Torres del Paine.