Date: Tuesday February 22nd 2005
Location: Punta Arenas
Temperature: 16°C 60°F
Wind speed: 5 mph
Water Temperature: N/A
Weather: sunny, blustery, scattered cloud and brief periods of rain
Distance Sailed: 0 miles
The flight down to Punta Arenas was fairly uneventful, no cancellations, serious delays, or missed flights. Our one mishap was lost luggage; when leaving Maine we had 17 checked bags and after our rendezvous with Erich in Boston our bag total reached 22. However, at the baggage claim in Santiago only 7 bags appeared! There was not much we could do so we carried on with our flights. Thankfully, at the baggage carousel in Punta Arenas there appeared several of our lost bags. Now we have 15 of our 22 bags and we are waiting patiently for the other 7 to arrive at the airport.
Aside from the lost bags, our flights went well. The Chilean airline food is exceptionally good. As we flew south from Santiago the Andes came into view and there was a mad rush over to the left hand side of the plane to look out of the windows, if we had been in a boat we would have tipped over! The further south we flew, the more spectacular our view became. We were due to land at Puerto Montt to drop off some passengers and just before landing we were treated to a spectacular view of two enormous volcanoes. Osorno is the name of the tall, snow-capped, conical volcano. During our time on the ground a thick cloud bank rolled in and spoilt our view for the remainder of the journey, a pity because we flew almost directly over our second proposed field site. During the approach into Punta Arenas airport the clouds cleared enough for us to see an enormous icecap looming on the horizon. By the time we landed it had disappeared from view, could it have been our first proposed field site, the Cordillera Darwin?
The people here in Punta Arenas are extremely friendly and the food is very good. This morning we loaded the fifteen bags that we have into Juan’s pickup truck; Juan is the owner of our cozy little hotel and he has a friendly little dog that does tricks. Together with Juan we drove all our gear and many boxes of food that Charlie had already acquired to the ferry terminal and packed them into a shipping container ready for our ferry journey to Puerto Williams on Thursday. After unloading the food and gear, we went to the supermarket and bought 20 more boxes of food!
It is getting fairly late in the day now, time for some tea and then a short walk to the beach, after that dinner. Tomorrow our only jobs will be filling all of our fuel bottles and buying more food. Then we can take some time to look around this beautiful city at the bottom of the world.