Aboard the ms Veendam: Ushuaia and Cape Horn

ABOARD THE MS VEENDAM– Okay, I have to admit it. I missed Cape Horn, both visibly and audibly this morning.

The Veendam docked at Ushuaia, Argentina

I was tired from yesterday’s excursion at Ushuaia, and still sound asleep at around 7 a.m. when they tell me captain blew the ship’s horn when we were at Cape Horn. This also marked the southernmost point on the cruise. (So I am including here a photo of Cape Horn which I took a few years ago under similar weather conditions.)

Ushuaia, Argentina is considered the southernmost city in the world. Surprisingly — to me at least — it has a cosmopolitan population of about 70,000  composed of many different nationalities and ethnic groups. But I saw little of the city itself yesterday because I took a long, combination catamaran  cruise of the Beagle Channel followed by surface transportation through Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Sea lions jockey for position on an island in the Beagle Channel.

We saw sea lions and sea birds on the cruise. Then we switched to  beavers, large rabbits, interesting trees, flowers and beautiful lakes in the park portion. The weather seemed to be constantly changing, with wind, light rain, sun, and even a rainbow, which they say is typical for this latitude at this time of year.

Today we are enjoying the first of two relaxing sea days sailing north along the east coast of Argentina. Until recently, cruise ships on similar itineraries would call at the nearby British-owned Falkland Islands. But recent pressure by the Argentine government – which also claims the islands — seems to have put a stop to that.

Cape Horn – the farthest point south on our cruise.

I’m writing this while doing my laundry – $3 worth of quarters to operate washer and dryer. Outside it’s raining off and on, and the seas are a little rougher than we have seen thus far. Skies are reasonably clear to the west, however, giving us views of the Andes and other shoreline features.

In my cabin, I hear the ship creak with the motion of the ocean – a comforting sound actually, and fondly remembered from years past while traveling in other, less-modern vessels. But same this pitch and roll is going to give me a workout later when I take a shower – all part of the fun of traveling by sea!

Photos by Robert W. Bone

November 15, 2012

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