Thursday, April 17, 2008

On the Agua, Day IV

Docking at Puerto Natales We all woke up a bit later today. I got up around 8:30, headed down for a late breakfast, then grabbed my camera gear and went up on deck. Today, we were navigating through some tight spots and witnessing some gorgeous landscapes, as we drew within a couple hours of Puerto Natales.

Pretty much the entire roster of passengers was up on deck enjoying the last day's route and capturing the photons on both silicon and silver halide. We were up there for some time, and I figured there wouldn't be a daily briefing today because 9:30 had come and gone. We did end up having a briefing, albeit a bit later than usual. The crew probably just knows that there's a lot of interest outside at this time and plans for a late briefing on this last day at sea.

After the briefing, I went back to my cabin and packed up all my stuff in preparation for disembarking before too long. We had been told that there might not be lunch on the last day, depending on what time we arrived in Puerto Natales. When the trip starts, they can't say precisely at what hour we'll arrive at the destination, because it is weather dependent, to a degree, and can vary by a few hours. We did, however, end up having a final lunch. What a great way to end the trip.

Again, most of the passengers were up on deck to watch the process of pulling into port and docking. All kinds of things are involved, from small boats to tow the ropes Puerto Natalesto shore, to anchors, to the captain, driving the ship closer to the dock from a control station on the outside of the bridge, from where he can get a good view of the dock and the relative position of the ship to its surroundings.

Even after we were secured to the dock, we had to wait a while to disembark, as the crew had to offload some of the cargo first, so as to clear a path for the Letting the anchor out-take a look at the right chainpassengers to take through the cargo hold to get to the ramp at the rear of the ship, and thus onto dry land.

In summary, this was a great trip. I met loads of nice and interesting people from around the world, I saw some scenery I wouldn't otherwise have seen, I had loads of good meals, and I got a few days to relax in a comfortable environment—except for the night in unprotected waters. Overall, a great voyage!


¡Ciao, Navimag!

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