These photographs are most notable for the first sighting of the entrance to Fjord Tempanos and our day’s destination the Iceberg Glacier. At Middle Island Messier Channel is over 5 miles wide though studded with islets and navigational hazards. Here is a Google Earth map of the area with notable locations pinned with names. The red line is a ruler path from Sombrero Island.
In the previous blog, Orientation, Iceberg Glacier, February 17, 2016, you learned about the route the Oceania Regatta followed that day. We left off with photographs of Scout and Orlebar islands, the time was 12:43 pm Chilean Summer Time (daylight savings). The next photograph was time stamped 2:24 pm and, frankly, I had lost track of where we were, so it was necessary to determine the ship’s position.
Here is how to do it. From two known points, Sombrero Island at the northern end of Messier Channel and the Iceberg Glacier, our day’s destination, first a velocity from the total distance, in miles, (Google Earth) divided by the time duration (subtract time stamp of the starting from the final digital photograph and convert to minutes). This gives an average ship velocity in miles Using excel list the photographs with time stamps. For each photograph calculate the time from the starting photo, in minutes, and multiply this by the average velocity.
In this way, I determined the first photographs of this blog were Middle Island and obtained confirmation using Google Earth to view the location from ground level. The process is iterative in that the views showed the first calculated position to be behind the position matching the view.
This, I hypothesized, was because the ship velocity decreased on entering Tempanos Fjord. Noting a time gap between the last photograph of this blog and the next, taken within Tempanos Fjord. So, using Google Earth to establish the last photograph position, I recalculated velocity using that last position as the last time. Then, I recalculated the distances of the photographs and the calculated positions came into better agreement with the viewed positions. After Middle Island the ship slowed significantly in order to enter the fjord.
I still have opened questions because the calculated speed from Sombrero Island to Middle Island is 6 knots higher than the documented top speed of the Regatta.
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Here is a map with positions of key photographs in this series.
52.02 miles from Sombrero Island. View NorthEast toward Middle Island, Farquhar Island behind.
The lighthouse of Middle Island is not in view. The channel between the islands is Brazo del Este.
View NorthEast toward the peaks of Farquhar Island Over the shoulder of Middle Island is Riches Bay of the farther island.
View NorthEast toward the peaks of Farquhar Island. Across from us, on Farquhar Island, the George River flow into Connor Cove which opens onto the channel named Brazo del Este. The channel separates the islands.
View east the steep cliffs of Farquhar Island rising abruptly from Messier Channel, to 3,200 feet in 2.7 miles.
Peaks of Farquhar Island. View east from Messier Channel using long lens. The island is named for Percival Farquhar, American entrepreneur active in South America, mostly Brazil and railroads, 1905 – 1930.
View north from mid-Messier Channel. Nearest on the right is Middle Island with lighthouse Farquhar Island behind with Palmer and Hens points. In the distance is Van Der Meulen island.
Farquhar Channel. View Northeast with Boxer Island, left foreground,Farquhar Island behind.
Tempanos Fjord. View Southeast with Estacion Point and Headland to left. Behind the headland is the entrance to Farquhar Fjord, not visible. Tempanos Fjord is framed by land on both sides.
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