Islands Zealous and Sombrero

Where the Andes Stride Into the Pacific

Want More?  Visit my OnLine Gallery.

Islands Sombrero and Zealous
Islands Sombrero and Zealous In the distance are the crags of Porcia Island separated from Zealous Island, in the foreground, by Canal Cronjé (not visible). Sombrero Island is left, Zealous is the right.

The Gulf of Penas is a sunken bowl of the western side of the southern Andes.  Instead of canyons and valleys, fjords surrounded by craggy peaks are the rule.  Sailing ships, driven by storms of the western Pacific, found ways through the fjords all the way to the straits of Magellan.  This was our route as we entered the Messier Channel, a route discovered in the earliest years of colonial exploration.

Looking back the way we came…..

Peninsulas Larenas, Fresia, the Gulf of Penas
Peninsulas Larenas, Fresia, the Gulf of Penas The view is north-northeast from the entrance of the Messier Channel

At the mouth of the channel, Zealous and Sombrero are neighboring, and isolated hills.  Surrounded by water, they are also islands.  Zealous is just under 2,000 feet.  Sombrero, at 200 feet, is prominent only for its position and shape.

Here we are crowded by headlands, points, islands all rising steeply from the water.

Here I have views of these islands with craggy peninsulas in the distance.  The view is to the northeast and east.

Sombrero Island
Sombrero Island, 200 feet tall, rounded by glacial erosion.
Sombrero Island, Peninsulas Larenas and Fresia
Sombrero Island, Peninsulas Larenas and Fresia The entrance to Fjord Eloise is in the distance where the two ridges separate. We are here sailing the Messier Channel.

 

Maritime Pilots, Scout Island, Scout Canal is the next blog in this series.

Views of Larenas and Fresia Peninsulas is the previous blog in this series.

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

Views of Larenas and Fresia Peninsulas

mountainous crags over the Pacific Ocean

In English the Gulf of Penas means “Gulf of Distress.”  Open to the storms of the western pacific ocean, ships seeking refuge sail this body of water to reach the shelter of the bays around the entrance of the Messier Channel.

Stargazing Chileans named the channel after Charles Messier (1730 – 1870), author of a catalog of 110 visually diffuse celestial objects such as the Great Cluster of Hercules, the Crab Nebula of Taurus, the Ring Nebula of Lyra.  As Messier catalog objects these are listed on star charts as M13,M1,M57.

The Larenas and Fresia peninsulas of Aisen Province, Chile, on the southeastern shores of the gulf are seen here as we approach the Messier Channel.  The shore is dotted with islets and islands.  The Chilean pilot who came aboard at Puerto Chacobuco is earning his salary, keeping us safe.  To reach the channel we pass through Tarn Bay, generally north to south.  The southern margin of the bay is marked by Sombrero Island, the subject of my next blog.

Want more? Visit my on-line gallery.

Larenas Peninsula and Merino Islets
Larenas Peninsula and Merino Islets
Close-up of the Merino Islets
Close-up of the Merino Islets
Ayautau Isles
Ayautau Isles
Larenas Peninsula from Gulf of Penas
The Northern Patagonian Ice Fields lay to the east and north of these mountains of the Larenas Peninsula.
High Ridge of the Larenas Peninsula
High Ridge of the Larenas Peninsula
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge 2
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge Close 3
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge Close 3
The craggy heights of the Larenas Peninsula
The craggy heights of the Larenas Peninsula are in the rear. On the right are Fresia Point (of the eponymous peninsula) and the entrance to Fjord Eloisa.
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge Closer 5
Larenas Peninsula High Ridge Closer 5

Islands Zealous and Sombrero is the next blog in this series.

Entering Messier Channel from the Gulf of Penas if the previous blog in this series.

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills

Entering Messier Channel from the Gulf of Penas

Sailing a deep fjord

Gulf of Penas
The Gulf of Penas is exposed to the storms of the western pacific. We are here moving from Aisen Region to the Magellan Region of Chile. Also known as Patagonia. This view is the Larenas Peninsula. The Northern Patagonian Ice Fields are on the other side of those mountains, the Southern Andes.

Get More from My Online Gallery

Taken with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark3, the EF 70-300 f 4-5.6L IS USM lens, tripod mounted on a Manfrotto carbon fiber travel tripod.  UV filter  1/160 second at f 6.3 ISO 250.

There is a steady wind of about 12 mph driving a few white caps.  A line of surf is seen breaking against the cliffs.  Shot midmorning from our stateroom terrace as the Regatta cruises south, February 17, 2016.  We are headed to an encounter with the Iceberg Glacier of the Southern Ice Fields of Patagonia.

Photography conditions were poor: shooting into the sun from an unstable platform gives poor contrast for the mountain crags.  The stabilization of the Canon lens was helpful and I balanced the need for a short exposure with the lowest ISO possible.  No time to experiment.

Views of Larenas and Fresia Peninsulas is the next blog in this series.

Gulf of Penas is the previous blog in this series.

The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills