After our first beautiful stop in Franklin Bay and an incredible night in Canepa Bay – full of rounded granite that the sun illuminated when we awoke – the weather continued to look incredibly favorably upon us. We continued around the South side and then rounded the east side of the Island for a stop in San Juan de Salvamento where the famous Light house at the end of the world sits. As we rounded the eastern end of the island fog and clouds were everywhere – we thought we left the beautiful weather on the south side, but for the few hours we were at the light house, as we entered the cove, the clouds lifted, only to descend as we were sailing out of the cove three hours later. In addition to the lighthouse, the first prison of Tierra del Fuego was situated in this cove, however after a few years it was deemed too harsh and exposed, so the prison moved one cove over to Puerto Cook, which is where we spent the night. After leaving the cove of the light house we went out and around and into Puerto Cook to anchor. There are a few remains of the prison here, but not many, as the structures themselves were moved, when Cook was also deemed to harsh. This was the time when the prison moved to Ushuaia.
With the light of the evening we went ashore to cross to Puerto Vancouver on the south side and to visit the cemetery from when the prison was located here. We caught the last night before settling in for a good meal.
We were able to get up early and head over to Bahia Colnett where the weather was in our favor and we were able to land and…. we found 6 king penguins! 1 more than was there 3 weeks ago. Five were finished molting and one was molting. My guess is the 6th / new one was the one currently molting. The fresh feathers on the other five, meant the colors – oranges and yellows were at their brightest. These penguins were fairly shy, so we used our camera zooms in our favor and gave them the space they wanted. Colnett is a long cobble beach with a backdrop of mountains that were formed by glaciers – cirques hang in the background and a lake sites just over a ridge – a reminder of a glacial valley. We also took the opportunity to set an otter camera for Ale, that he was unable to set in October due to a faulty camera. We set it, but found no poops in the place, but did find poops closer to the penguins. For me this seems like otter paradise – two big lakes, lots of kelp in the bay for fishing – what more could an otter want? With everyone pretty happy with our seeing the penguins we headed to Puerto Parry for the night – the location of the navy base on the island, where 4 young navy personnel spend 42 days at a time on the island. They are confined to their small patch of earth, as they have no boat and behind them the fjords walls rise high. For most this is a once and a life time opportunity, but for the nurse, this was his 8th time to spend a 42 day tour on the island. We invited them over for dinner and we all shared tales of our adventures on the island – we all agree it’s a pretty special place.
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