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rafinmd

Around the Horn in 80 days.

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Great report.

 

Glad you got some walking while washing clothes.

 

How nice they have a lot of lectures for everyone to learn about the ports.

 

Love the pictures.

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Thank you Denise, Krazy Kruizers, Carole, and puppycanducruise.  Carole, is it your cruise that's ending now but only temporarily until the Rotterdam?

 

Day P20, Thursday, January 24, 2019. Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile


This was my second visit to Robinson Crusoe Island, the first being on last year's Crystal World Cruise.  It is a small island, and not necessarily easy to reach.  Aside from a cruise ship there is a private boat, a 12-passenger supply ship which visits twice a month, or a small plane followed by a 2-hour ride from the air strip in an open boat.


The island was devastated by a Tsunami in 2010 and recovery has been slow.  Last year I did a collage of storm damage:

tsunami.jpg
Vs 2019
tsunami19.jpg


I did not identify the site in the lower right panel this year but the container as post office, hulk of a big building, and skeleton of a dome are all pretty much unchanged.


Like most towns in Chile the center of town is the Place des Armes, and Robinson Crusoe Island (the town is actually called San Juan Batista) is no exception.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/armsirc.jpg


I got a pretty nice map last year and have outlined today's walk on a copy of that map.  My first circuit (Red) started with a turn to the left out of the tender dock and followed the coast for a while before heading up a side street.

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/crusoemap.jpg


Just before reaching the National Park boundary was the city medical clinic, apparently pretty new.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/clinic.jpg


I did not pay for admission to the national park and went back down a smaller street.  Most of the streets are narrow and hilly with perhaps a basic sidewalk.  Most of the vehicles appeared to be small SUV's.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/ircstreet.jpg


After returning to the tender pier I started my second (black) loop.  I walked up what appeared to be, along with the street that followed the ocean) the main commerce street as far as the simple Catholic church.  There were also a number of small shops and restaurants.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/egliseirc.jpg


Turning right from the tender pier there are several spots marking the far end of the town.  There is a light beacon, a small cemetery, and a marker noted as "Dresden Cannon Balls".  The German Warship Dresden was involved in a battle at the island and eventually scuttled, but only after firing several rounds at the island leaving some large holes in the cliffs.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dresdenend.jpg


The street leading right is a couple hundred yards/meters from the shore.  There is also a walkway along the shore and between the street and the shore walkway there is a park area with a soccer field and picnic shelters.


My third (green) circuit went as far as I could go from the Dresden/cemetery end of the town, about a mile's walk from end to end.  I stopped for a photo of the Prinsendam at the turnaround point but had a better one later.  As I approached the tender landing I headed up once again to higher ground and places dating back to Chile's 1814 Independence War.  There are a number of caves which were refuge to exiled Spanish Patriots.  I had a glimpse of them a year ago but took a better look at them this time.  Last year I saw only some shallow caves but beyond them were a couple that were much deeper.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/cave.jpg


I continued up to Fort Santa Barbara, almost directly on top of the caves.  There are walls remaining and several cannons plus a beautiful overlook where I could see both the Prinsendam and the tender pier.  This is the only remaining site dating from the  days of Spanish rule.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/santabarbara.jpg


A year ago it had started to drizzle while I was at the caves and getting down the steep, muddy trail was a real challenge.  This time the weather was perfect.  I returned to the ship about 12:30.


The last tender was due to leave town at 4:30 but at that time Captain Jeroen reported everybody was back on board.  We would have more rough seas on the way to Castro but not as bad as on Wednesday.  I went up to the "Front Porch" and listened as the anchor chain was retrieved (a long time) and watched as the anchor ball came down from the mast.  Soon we were on our way.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/away24.jpg


We were all present at table 19.  Most of us had pretty strenuous days.  I had chosen the turkey entree and the peach crisp.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dishes24.jpg


The featured entertainment was magician Craig Diamond.  I actually pretty much dozed through the show.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/diamond.jpg


After the show I walked back to the Seaview Pool and saw a beautiful sunset.  The time was almost 9:30.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dusk24.jpg


Today's parting shot will be something of a rail against technology.  I post to my Wordpress blog by email.  I have been composing in WordPerfect and the entry looks great there but by the time the email goes through several characters come out garbled.  I also tried Word with similar results.  For my most recent entries I am trying WordPad (probably 1980's technology) and almost hidden in modern versions of Windows, and it seems to be working.  Why do we need those continuing "improvements"?


Roy

 

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I travel from FLL to Tampa on Saturday and join Rotterdam on Sunday. They are handing out the new tiles - got one on P'dam and one for the Vista ships today.

 

I'm sure I'll never make the journey south of the Panama area, so I appreciate the pictures and the commentary. Thanks, Roy

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Robinson Crusoe Island looks like an interesting place to walk around.

Wonderful pictures, especially the sunset.

Thanks for sharing your adventure.  It's fascinating.

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Great report.

 

I love small islands where you can walk around and see just about everything.  I appreciate your outlining in colors the routes you walked -- great you had that map.  I do remember your being here last year.

 

Great pictures -- love the sunset.

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10 hours ago, rafinmd said:

I went up to the "Front Porch" and listened as the anchor chain was retrieved (a long time) and watched as the anchor ball came down from the mast. 

Oh Roy your so much like my DH!!! 

He does that on occasion and we have videos. I thought something happened to you!!!! I would look for your blog and could not find a current one! I would always see Kathi’s and not yours!😞 Tonigjt I told my DH “Where is Roy?” He suggested that I might of overlooked on CC and go to next page! Sure  enough I found your blog 10 hours late🙄

Sooo lives your pictures and your great narrative! I sure am learning a lot with your adventure!!

My parting thought for this evening here in San Diego “Give me more sunsets!!! LOVE THIS LAST ONE ROY IT WAS A REAL WINNER!!

You did a lot of walking and boy did you deserve that good dessert👍

Denise😊

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Thank you Carole, puppycanducruise, Krazy Kruizers, and Denise.

 

Day P21, Friday, January 25, 2019, At sea, MS Prinsendam


While it was another stormy day the lower promenade deck was never closed off.  At 5:30 I decided to only walk 6 laps and to get them in before conditions got worse.

 

Sunrise was about 7:15.  I almost forgot about it but about 7:10 remembered and was ready for my second cup of coffee, doing another of my "to the bow, up to Kathi's deck, across the lido, and down the aft exterior steps" laps.  I was just approaching the steps up to Kathi's deck as the sun was approaching the peak.  I did one additional lap each at breakfast and lunch, and 3 while my room was being serviced for a total of 3 miles walking.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dawn0125.jpg


There were 2 lectures that caught my interest.  Noel Miller spoke at  11 on the 5 Gateways to Antarctica.  The cities he listed were Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Town, Hobart, and Christchurch.  We are a pretty well traveled group and many in the audience had visited all of them.  I have been to all but Hobart; that will come next year on the Crystal Serenity.  I had expected Stanley to be on the list, he said it was not because it only supports efforts of one country (UK).  I have a suspicion that the state of relations between the UK and Argentina may be a bigger factor in it's exclusion.


In his noon update Captain Jeroen talked about the difference between swells (waves created by wind which continue for hundreds of miles after the wind had died down) and seas (waves created by wind in the area).  We will be experiencing both over the next 12 hours.


I normally change clothes after lunch after I have finished my walking for the day.  A note was delivered to cabins in the morning that laundry would be minimized for the next several days as we go through a sensitive area and will be unable to discharge gray water.  I discovered when changing clothes that I was almost out of tee shirts and decided a visit to the laundry would be wise.  It had become very busy.  I did the wash during the 2PM lecture and then on to the dryer.  The dryer was not very effective so I have a number of articles on hangers on the bathtub clothes line.


The 2PM talk in the showroom was on Sharks by Craig Franklin.  He indicated that killings by sharks are very rare (about 4 per year) and that they have a very important role in the ecosystem.


Kathi again joined us for dinner as she wanted to attend an 8:45 event in the Crows Nest.  My choices for the day were the watermelon carpaccio, veal parmigiana, and triple berry Alaskan tart a la mode.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dishes25.jpg


The featured entertainment was supposed to be the Prinsendam singers and dancers in Dance but Linda came on the PA during dinner and announced that it was cancelled due to the seas and Salvadore Hasard would appear instead.  I skipped the show.


Stevie had a special program in the Crows Nest featuring the work of Robert Burns and Scottish music, in honor of Robert Burns birthday.  I stayed for about 20 minutes, would have stayed longer and gotten a Diet Coke but nobody came by to take my order.  I intended to leave for sunset, but the sun fell just below the clouds seconds before I got on deck.

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/burns.jpg


By the time I post this Australia day will be coming to a close.  I understand the day is now controversial, but for those who celebrate it I hope the day is/was great.

 

Roy

 

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Enjoy reading your posts & looking at the pictures. I celebrated Robby Burns day by having a nice drink of Single Malt Scotch (McClelland's)

Allan

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In addition to traveling vicariously with you , Roy. I am now smarter. I know the difference between seas and swells.

 

I learned to sail on the Chesapeake and have encountered both, but never knew the difference.

 

Thank you for spending you time doing this.

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Glad you are getting your walking done in spite of the weather.

 

Love the sun rise picture.

 

Always enjoy all your reports and pictures.

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Finished my coffee 👍👍 Loved getting back into a routine of reading your wonderful writings. There have been so many times I’d get up early to walk the promenade but step back to enjoy watching the sunrises! Always beautiful and never the same!

Ive only been as far as New Zealand and Christchurch so will be looking forward to your adventures!

Denise😊

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Thank you everyone.  Finished yesterday's entry just barely in time to post before dinner.

 

Day P22, Saturday, January 26, 2019, Castro, Chile


This was my chilliest morning yet as I walked 6 early laps around the lower promenade deck.  After a pretty rocky day Friday, things calmed down around bedtime as we made our way into sheltered waters.

This was my first visit to Castro, located on the east (sheltered) coast of Chiloe Island.  There were 4 tours offered, a National Park tour to the west coast, a horseback tour, and 2 tours centered on churches, a longer one using a ferry to a nearby island and a shorter one staying on Chiloe Island.


I opted for the shorter tour which was also the last one to depart (8:30).
The tender ride was a modest half mile.   Our guide was Pierre, a transplant from France who teaches French in the off season.  He explained that there are 150 "active" churches in the region but only 13 priests, meaning that some only get about 1 mass per month.  16 of the churches, including the 3 we visited, were UNESCO World Heritage sites, due to their age and wood construction.  We drove about 20 minutes, including a short stretch on the Pan American Highway (connected by ferry to the mainland at each end of the island).


The first, Nercon, was perhaps my favourite.  The balcony was open and you could also walk around inside the roof for a look at the construction details.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/nercon.jpg


Next up was the church at Chonchi.  Like Nercon, it had heavy exterior beams supporting the roof .


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/chonchi.jpg


We walked a couple blocks down hill to a small museum.  Originally the home of a wealthy lumber executive it had several interesting rooms and a display of artifacts on the second floor including several sewing machines and a typewriter with a huge platen.  We used one in the early days of my employment typing large statistical tables but I haven't seen one in perhaps 40 years.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/museechonchi.jpg


On the way back we stopped at an inlet where we saw a number of houses on stilts.  At least they used to be houses but Pierre says that with gentrification they are being converted to shops and B&B.  They are a good kind of house to have when a tsunami hits.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/stilts.jpg


The center of town is very nice. It is also quite a climb from the dock below, so I was glad the tour stopped at the main square.  It is of course home to another World Heritage Church, in this case the Cathedral.  The tall yellow spires of the Cathedral are quite easily visible from the ship.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/castro.jpg


It was a short drive down to the port area where there was really not a lot besides the craft markets.  I had thought about getting lunch there but most of the restaurants had not opened yet and I didn't really see anything I liked.  I did still have one carton of milk left and found a nice little park area (called the train park but most of the stuff there appeared to be steam era farm implements)


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/steam.jpg


I was back on the ship about 12:45, and got fries at Dive-In for lunch.  There was an Chilean Food and Wine festival on the pool deck starting at 3 and people were starting to set up for it.  It seemed at least moderately successful although nobody I met had participated.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/chilewine.jpg


An Australia Day dinner was celebrated in the dining room (technically a bit late since it was already
Sunday on Australia's side of the dateline).  Both the waiters and the penguins were dressed appropriately for cowboys on the Outback.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/penguinoioioi.jpg


Several of the menu choices were declared to be Australian teemed.  I went for the Australian grilled
lamb chops and Aussie carrot cake.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dishes26.jpg


The featured entertainment was pianist Jason Lyle Black.  While classically trained most of what he did was medleys of movie and tv themes and a couple of oddball things.  His program included segments on "Songs a pianist should avoid at weddings" ('Take the Money and Run', 'I Still Haven't found What I'm Looking For') and funerals ('Another one Bites the Dust', 'Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead).  He also asked the audience for a series of random notes, and improvised a piece incorporating the sequence.  Finally, he closed the show on a more classical note with 'Rhapsody in Blue'.  I thought it was a truly delightful show.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/black.jpg


Sunset was about 8:30.  After the show I went up to the Crows Nest for a while heading across the lido deck for a final cup of decaf just in time to see the sun disappear.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dusk0126.jpg


Sometime during the night we passed the Zaandam as they make the way from our Sunday port to our Saturday port.  It is likely the last time the 2 vessels will pass as sister ships.  My parting shot will be a welcome back for our furloughed federal employees.


Roy

 

Edited by rafinmd

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Fabulous pictures Roy!!! Loved the churches and the seaside. You had nice weather for the day!!  Those penguins on the lido deck with a glass of wine👍

Australia Day penguins attire with cowboy hats cute too!! Best part for me is seeing the sunset and my big smile!

Thank you for taking the time on this wonderful voyage to share with all of us a little piece of your voyage!!

Sooo Happy our furloughed employees

are back onboard too!

Look forward for more

Denise😊

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Very interesting thread, Roy.  I’m really enjoying it.  Talking about laundry,  I read in a different roll call thread that they were told that there would be no laundry done while on the Amazon, as they couldn’t use the silty river water to make fresh.  Have you heard anything about that?

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Thank you puppycanducruise, Krazy Kruizers, Denise, and Ann.

 

Day P23, Sunday, January 27, 2019, Puerto Chacabuco, Chile


It was both cloudy and quite chilly but otherwise fine for my early 6-lap walk around the lower promenade deck.  It was dark for my entire walk.


Castro and Puerto Chacabuco make 2 consecutive first time port calls for me.    It is a very small town and just a tender port.  There were a variety of tours offered, fishing, trekking, kayaking, horseback, and scenic.  I was booked on the more scenic tour, "Northern Patagonia and Coyhaique City".  The 6-hour tour had a pretty early start, leaving the showroom just past 8.


The majority of our time was spent on the bus as it was almost a 2-hour drive to Coyhaique.  As we passed through tiny Puerto Chacabuco there was little to see.  A fellow cruiser who did not do a tour reported there was a shuttle but it just went to some Quonset huts with crafts for sale.  I doubt there was much else in the town.

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/ptchacabucu.jpg


About another 5 miles up the road was the somewhat larger town of Puerto Aysen.  It is on the Aysen River and we crossed on the "longest suspension bridge in Chile", a crossing of about 300 meters.  I guess Chile is not noted for it's great suspension bridges.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/pontaysen.jpg


Puerto Aysen used to be the area's prime port.  Our guide told us that a volcanic eruption in 1991 dumped large amounts of ash in the river and harbor and operations needed to be moved to Chacabuco.  I'm not sure why but there were large developments of small colorful houses in Aysen.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/aysen.jpg


We had a break in the journey midway at the Rio Simpson Natural Area, a nice scenic spot with trails, a cafeteria, and rest rooms.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/simpson.jpg


The reserve was at about 300 feet.  To get to we crossed a pass at 1400 feet.  The road was pretty steep with deep valleys below, which was a bit of a strain for our bus.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/climbing27.jpg


Unfortunately, much of Coyhaique was closed on a Sunday morning so there was not really a lot to do there.  Some people were unimpressed but I left with the feeling of having been transported from South America to an Alpine village.  We had about a half hour to explore the area around Patagonia Square.  Many of the shops were along a pedestrian street and there was a fountain in the middle although it was rather chilly and not really time to congregate around it.  Coyhaique is the largest "city" in the area (about 50,000), and is clearly a jumping off point for hiking and camping.  There were lots of familiar names on the stores including Columbia, Merrell (boots) and North Face.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/patagonia.jpg


We had a "snack" at a restaurant a couple miles out of town.  I'll use the term restaurant a bit loosely as there were tables for each bus with light dishes laid out but no tables for seating,  There was a large porch with a great view.  I took just a couple skewers of fruit and most of my lunch was things I had brought with me.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/fogonview.jpg


We did not get off the bus on the way back but stopped briefly to view a nice looking waterfall.  We were back at the dock a little after 2 and I was back onboard about 2:45.  While we were touring the winds had picked up and the ride back was on the bouncy side also with some splashing.  Back in my room I heard a number of mechanical sounds.  I got the impression they may have been struggling to
keep the ship in a position for a calm interface with the tenders.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/waterfall.jpg


The Interdenominational Worship service was at 4.  Captain Jeroen's sailaway message at 4:30 was quite lengthy.  I did not really make any of it out from the Stuyvesant Room but there was a letter in my room with some of the essentials and I heard more at dinner.  We will have some interesting sea conditions for the next couple of days, most notably overnight.


We were all present at table 19.  Most of us had done tours of some kind although one stayed on the ship.   Although we were sailing through protected waters there were white caps all around and conditions had become quite misty.  At one point we saw a rainbow although I was unable to capture it on camera.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/choppy.jpg


I opted for the parmesan crusted chicken breast along with the rhubarb crisp.  There had been a special "La Dolce Vita" menu in the Canaletto, although I don't know anybody who dined there.   By the time I left the dining room the lower promenade deck had been closed off.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dishes27.jpg


The featured entertainment was a Tango show.  I skipped it and went up to the Crows Nest for a while where Stevie was having a country hour.  The winds were strong most of the evening but the seas just started getting rough around 10.  It was a very bouncy night.


As a parting shot, I think we have been pretty lucky so far with the weather.  We had truly glorious days at Robinson Crusoe Island and Castro and while there were sprinkles on our bus windshield during our Puerto Chacabuco tour it was dry (a bit chilly but that's what layers are for) whenever we were off the bus.  I think all 3 ports had endured a week of rain leading up to our arrival.  We've had some pretty nasty weather on our sea days which just makes me appreciate the warm comfort of the Prinsendam a bit more.


Roy

 

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11 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

Very interesting thread, Roy.  I’m really enjoying it.  Talking about laundry,  I read in a different roll call thread that they were told that there would be no laundry done while on the Amazon, as they couldn’t use the silty river water to make fresh.  Have you heard anything about that?

Ann, I think that's mostly preparing people for the worst.  When  I was on the Amazon cruise in 2013 we were told that and there were some restrictions but I think it's announced in advance to somewhat limit usage and prepare people if monitoring of the water situation (both fresh and gray) requires a curtailment of services.  Be prepared for no laundry and rejoice in what is available.

 

Roy

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Your excursion sounds wonderful.  That is nice that so many at your table did different tours -- gave you all something to talk about.

 

Great pictures -- especially the falls.

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Your excursion brought back very fond memories of my visit there back in 2011.  Thank you!

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50 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Ann, I think that's mostly preparing people for the worst.  When  I was on the Amazon cruise in 2013 we were told that and there were some restrictions but I think it's announced in advance to somewhat limit usage and prepare people if monitoring of the water situation (both fresh and gray) requires a curtailment of services.  Be prepared for no laundry and rejoice in what is available.

 

Roy

Roger, willco, and thank you, Roy!:classic_smile:

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Really enjoying your posts, Roy.

 

Robinson Crusoe island sounds fantastic.

 

So glad you are lucking out weather wise.  

 

Keep the great pics and posts coming please 🙂. They are very appreciated 😄 

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Roy, thank you for the review of Puerto Chacabuco and your excursion. Will be there soon, and looking forward to it. The rough seas are giving me a little anxiety. Have never experienced rough seas in the ocean before and hoping it’s not bothersome for us!

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Good morning Roy!

Puerto Chacabuco you had nice weather with a beautiful picture of the falls.

Those yellow row houses seemed a little strange.

Back on ship with the white caps later and getting a little well rocky how did you sleep?

Have a great day Roy. Look forward for more👍

Denise😊 

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