Richard Harwood

Chile - 2001

Beagle Channel

The Beagle Channel

After boarding the Terra Australis in Ushuaia, we spent the first night and full day traveling along the Beagle Channel. The channel is actually a long narrow fjord. Fjords are glacial valleys that were made wider and deeper by the erosion of a glacier. Once the glacier retreats, if sea level rises and floods the glacial valley, it is called a fjord. So essentially it is an ocean-flooded glacial valley.

Part of our time in this fjord was at night - obviously there wasn't much to see at that point. The early morning of the 15th found us moving up the Avenue of the Glaciers - a series of glaciers along the sides of the channel. Later that day we steamed up the Pia and Garibaldi Fjords to view the Pia Glacier and Garibaldi Glacier.

Since this was our first full day on board the ship, we were also given safety lectures and instructions on the proper use of the life vests. We also got our first excursions from the ship in the Zodiak rafts.