South American
Journey – 2012

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Navigating this
South American
Diary:

Entry and Exit
Part One
Part Two
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six


Cruise Photos Contents Index

Diary of a Journey to South America – Part Three


Sea Legs



Friday, December 21, 2012
– leaving the port of Coquimbo, Chile

There is a difference between an ocean “wave” and a “sea.”  Waves are the ocean’s direct response to the blowing of the wind, the jumping of a fish, or the movement of a ship.  A sea, also known as the “swell,” is a large wave – a very large wave – and is the ocean’s cumulative response to wind and ships and currents and tides and the pounding of surf on faraway shores.  From tip to trough the swell can be as high as a two-storey house, or even higher, and at its base it can be as wide as a city block.

Most times on this voyage the seas have been quite calm.  There have been winds, yes, sometimes strong enough to move a sailboat at a good speed; and there have been waves both big and small; but the broad expanse of the ocean itself has been level, so that inside the ship you would not even know that the vessel was in motion, if it were not for the faint rumble of the engines.

The stateroom television has a channel that carries a “Report from the Bridge.”  Twenty-four hours a day you can read the ship’s position and direction, how fast it is moving, the force of the wind, and the condition of the ocean.  Seas are categorized anywhere from “Calm” to “Heavy” and a graph is provided that plots sea height on a grid from zero to a maximum of 40 ft. or 12 metres.

Yesterday, we didn’t need a television to tell us that the seas were getting serious.  Although the ship is equipped with stabilizers, there was a noticeable pitch and roll to our motion.  Looking out from our window I could see plenty of waves, many with white foam and spray at the tip, but for the first time on this voyage I saw the swell beneath, seas, upon the surfaces of which the waves were playing like little ripples.  These giants moved toward us like mountains in stately procession.  And our ship, despite its great size, certainly knew that they were there; it moved up and down, and from side to side, creaking and juddering ever so slightly as each one passed.  The motion was not enough to prevent us from standing or walking, but it was real, and palpable.

Heather and I went out to the Promenade Deck, and began to make our way to the bow.  Other people ventured out there too, laughing as they passed us, and apologizing for looking as if they had had too much to drink.  Heather was magnificent, considering the fragility of her knees.  She kept her stance, held on to handrails if she needed, and whooped when the powerful headwinds nearly blew her down.  The breeze was cool, so she felt somewhat chilled, but she stayed with me at the prow of the ship for quite some time, watching the giant hills and valleys of the ocean come towards us, and predicting the stately downward plunge, and our subsequent return to the heights, as the ship passed through one vast liquid canyon after another.

There should have been music playing in the background as the two of us stood at the prow together, holding on tight and exulting as though we were in some epic movie.  It was wonderful.

Eventually we made our way all around the ship, and after Heather went back to our cabin, I walked about some more, enjoying the experience of having “sea legs” – for I found it quite easy to keep my balance, even when the Captain came on the public address system to say that certain areas of the ship were being closed, and the water drained out of the ship’s swimming pools because it was splashing about too uncontrollably.  Passengers were to use extra caution when moving in the corridors and in the cabins.

All through the night I could feel the ship creaking and flexing with the working of the sea, until early this morning, when we came into harbour at the port of Coquimbo, Chile.

Evidently “sea legs” stay with you long after the ship stops moving.  We went ashore today, and as it happened, had to stand for almost an hour on the pier, waiting to board a shuttle bus.  The pier is a solid object.  It does not move.  And yet my body felt, and was adjusting for, the rise and fall of the deck as if we were still onboard, and out on the open sea.

La Serena

The city of La Serena, in Chile, is about thirty minutes drive from the port of Coquimbo, and the cruise line arranged free shuttle buses to take us to this exquisite colonial town.  The four travelers – Tony, Heather, Werner and Mary – caught one of those shuttles (though we had to wait in line for a very long time since at least a thousand of our fellow passengers had the same idea) but we eventually found ourselves walking along one of La Serena’s main streets.

We were consulting a map, when one of the local people came up and said, in English, “Perhaps I can help you?”  Soon she was pointing out the museum, the shopping, and the other points of interest.

This was only one of several really good experiences we had in La Serena.  The city is beautiful, it is clean, and the people are courteous.  We felt utterly safe the whole time we were there, and had a fabulous day.
Easter Island monolithic head
Easter Island monolith
...at least twelve feet tall

For me, the best part was the Archaeological Museum, in which were displayed a number of objects from the days before European contact: pots, arrowheads, musical instruments, a giant sea-going canoe, a small inflatable raft on which people actually hunted whales, 12 and a twelve foot tall monolith from Easter Island 13 (see inset).  Almost as interesting were some pre-contact graves, some mummified human remains, and two shrunken heads.

Information about each item was clearly printed beside it in Spanish, which I can read... a bit.  As we had no guide, I did my best to make out as much information as I could, but a lot remains a mystery.  I do know that some of the things we saw were more than 3,000 years old, and that the Inca people were an invading culture that supplanted the region’s first human inhabitants less than 1,000 years ago.

Back on the ship, we soon found ourselves once more in heavy seas.  Life on board continued more or less normally, but the waiters and other food service people said that the ship’s motion made their work very difficult, and my appreciation of them increased even more.  But I quickly recovered my own “sea legs” and with the luxury of being a vacationer, continued to thoroughly enjoy being at sea.


     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yesterday the Mayan calendar came to an end.  Some have thought that the world itself would end at that time, but evidently it did not.  I have it on the authority of one of the lecturers on this ship that the Mayans never actually considered yesterday to be the end of the “world,” but only the end of an era, rather the same way that 1999 was the end of the 20th Century.  Only difference being that western millenia are 1,000 years long, while the Mayan one is about 4,000 years long.  Still, all good things must come to an end, and the Mayan era has now done so.

We’ve been floating along the coast of Central and Sounth America near the places where the Mayan people lived, so we would have been at the centre of the action, should the world actually have come to an end.  But nothing happened.  Oh well, Jesus did say, “You know neither the day nor the hour,” 14 and I am content with that.


What time is it?

Speaking of calendars and the passage of time, this ship has sailed in no less than six time zones since we left San Francisco: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic, and Argentine.  I had no idea that southernmost South America is further east than Atlantic Canada!  We are now, in fact, only three hours later than time zone zero – Greenwich Mean Time (or more properly these days, UTC, or “Universal Time Coordinated”).

It was quite an experience putting our clocks ahead again and again as we crossed one time zone after another.  But it has finally stopped.  We stay in our current time zone – that of Argentina – until we get to Toronto on January 10th. 15

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

I have made several attempts to write down the events of the past week, but again and again the narrative just wouldn’t come together.

Three things are competing with one another in my mind, each with a different emphasis:
1) this cruise ship is sailing through one of the most extraordinary natural environments in the world; the landscape is stunning, and the only way to tell you about it is probably with photographs.  2) We are in the year-end “holiday” season, and have a host of mixed feelings about living through Christmas in a cruise ship.  3) Somehow I ended up leading “Interdenominational” worship onboard, last Sunday and on Christmas day – a task which came to me in a rather roundabout way, and went surprisingly well; but it took quite a toll, since doing it properly and reverently and ecumenically was, to say the least, a lot of work.


1. Tourist stuff

Just over a week ago we sailed away from the normal activities of hot-weather tourism – snorkelling, zip-lining, museums and shopping – and entered a colder, wetter and much wilder world.  This portion of our journey has been a mirror-image of an Alaskan cruise: snow-capped mountains rising straight out of the ocean, deep fjords, a glimpse of glaciers, and almost no human habitation.

The further south we went, the longer the days became, with sunrise as early as 4:10 AM, and sunset at 11:00 PM.  And yet, despite all that daylight, the air never got truly warm.  Cloud and mist and rain shrouded the coastline almost constantly.

We awoke one morning to find barren mountains on both sides of the ship.  The captain had taken us into an inland waterway, hundreds of kilometres in length, where, at the end of a particular fjord, the Amalia Glacier came down to the sea.

People donned windbreakers and toques and gloves and hurried to the upper decks to see this natural wonder.  Others stepped out there in t-shirts and shorts, then quickly ducked back in.  I found it surprising how many people brought nothing but tropical clothing on a cruise that goes near to the South Pole!  Onboard shops brought out scarves and fleecy vests and hats and did a brisk business.

Sometimes the mists parted and the sun came out, revealing a spectacular vista of jagged snow-covered mountains all around.  On one such occasion – when the ship was slowly and carefully approaching the Amalia Glacier and the sun breaking through the clouds – I took the photograph that you see here.  Heather and I think that it tells a rich story.

jumbotron of the Star Princess cruise ship, with snow-capped mountains in the background
The Star Princess, approaching the Amalia Glacier in Chile

The high-tech movie screen is playing the shipboard morning show, with the cruise director interviewing a manager of the vessel’s beauty shop.  This is, after all, a modern cruise ship with every luxury and amenity conceivable.  But... how many people are watching the show??  Mother nature is putting on a display that no technology can equal.  Off to our right, where everyone is gazing, the huge glacier is just coming into view.

Sunlight, seen here in the distance, eventually touched the face of the ice, briefly showing off veins of sapphire blue.  Then the mists closed in once more, and the ship returned to the ocean and to its southerly course.

That was December 26, “Boxing Day” in Canada.

A day or two later, we sailed through the “Beagle Channel,” passing six or seven enormous glaciers and giant mountain ranges deep in snow.  The views in all directions were breathtaking, and we spent hours in utter rapture, taking hundreds of photos as our luxury liner moved majestically along.16

Cities at “the end of the world”

We were now reaching the very tip of South America, where wild weather and terrifying seas have taken the lives of whole shiploads of sailors and adventurers.

The entire region – thousands of kilometres of mountain and sea – is almost uninhabited, but to our surprise two small but very modern cities have grown up there.  Punta Arenas was built halfway through the Straits of Magellan, the natural waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific that is much safer than the treacherous passage further south around Cape Horn.  Until the construction of the Panama Canal, all the shipping that had to go from one great ocean to the other went through this passage, and gladly stopped to resupply at the little town.
balcony pipe organ in Punta Arenas, Chile
World’s southernmost pipe organ

It is now a city of 130,000.  Marine traffic dropped off dramatically, of course, when the Panama Canal opened in 1914, but nonetheless the seaport is still busy: ships going between Argentina and Asia come through regularly, as do those going between Chile and Africa or even Europe.  And now there are the cruise ships.  In addition, oil was discovered nearby in the 1940s, so Punta Arenas is a prosperous commercial centre in a very hostile land.

The city’s “Golden Age” was in the early 1900s (before the Panama Canal was built) and some very fine architecture dating from that period can be seen around town.  The historic centre is not far from the pier, so the four of us – Heather, Mary, Werner and I – got off the ship and walked around.17  You won’t be surprised to learn that we went into the Roman Catholic cathedral, which I found to be quite lovely.  It has what they proudly call “the southernmost pipe organ in the world,” which was in process of restoration when we visited, and seeking contributions.  Naturally, we made a donation.

The southermost city in the world is Ushuaia, Argentina.  It’s about 250 kilometres south and east of Punta Arenas, if you’re going by air – but by cruise ship we had to travel through more than 500 kilometres of magnificent inland waterways to get there.

Ushuaia is a town of about 80,000 people, and it functions mainly as a jumping-off point and resupply centre for scientists and eco-tourists travelling to Antarctica. The addition of cruise ships (two were in port on the day that we were there) has led it to become quite a little tourist town – almost too tourist-y for our tastes.

Before leaving Winnipeg, we had purchased from the cruise line an official Ushuaia excursion, thinking that it would provide us with a fairly dramatic adventure at the bottom of the world.
The 'toy train' in the toy station, with the toy conductor saying 'all aboard!'
Ushuaia Train Station
a faux steam engine pulling deliberately quaint carriages past a miniature waterfall

Bottom of the world?  Yes.  Dramatic?  Not even slightly.  First we boarded a modern highway bus with an English-speaking guide and commentator.  This bus took us to what I call a “toy train” – a narrow-guage railway once used to ferry prisoners to and from a labour camp, but now a collection of faux steam-engines pulling a line of quaint little wood-paneled passenger coaches glittering with brass trim.  Once onboard the train, we were carried past a miniature waterfall (ten minute stop to take pictures), and ended up at a parking lot where our same highway coach met us and took us to a viewpoint on the Beagle Channel.  There, in admittedly spectacular scenery, there was a kiosk at which one could buy and mail postcards from the “end of the world.”  Well, we bought, and we mailed, and upon our return to Usuaia we completed this almost kitchy experience by having ourselves photographed at the town’s “end of the world” placard, complete with cruise ships in the background!

Typical happy tourists.

     
     
     
Heather and Tony in front of a city sign saying 'Ushuaia - fin del mundo'
Heather & Tony in Ushuaia – the town at the end of the world

Well, we are tourists, aren’t we?  And we are on a luxury cruise ship.  And we’re having a lot of fun.

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Cape Horn

Today we did the other kind of tourism, the kind that I enjoy much more: going to a spectacular natural landmark which is also loaded with human history.  We rounded the Horn.

Cape Horn is the southernmost tip of the South American continent.  Further south lies Antarctica, across a 900 km stretch of water known as the “Drake Passage.”  At Cape Horn, the Atlatic Ocean touches the Pacific.  And in the era of sailing ships its normally horrible weather, icebergs, and wild seas made it one of the most dangerous places on earth.18  I’ve been told that, in those early days, sailors who rounded the Horn were given an earring and free drinks if they made it home alive.  If they managed to round the Horn more than once – and live – they got two earrings and free drinks for life!

Since the sinking of the Titanic no one has been foolish enough to say that a given vessel is “unsinkable,” but huge cruise liners (when properly operated) can generally withstand wild weather that would have drowned an early sailing ship.  So, despite Cape Horn’s horrible reputation, the plan for our voyage included a leisurely sail today around Isla des Hornos – Horn Island – the legendary tip of the continent.

At dawn it was cold outside, and rainy.  Seas were choppy with whitecaps.  From our stateroom window I could see jagged rocks looming up out of the mist.

So this is what those long-ago mariners experienced as they neared the cape! ...except that I was warm, and in an enormous vessel, while they were climbing up and down masts in the drizzle, hauling in and letting out the sails, with the ship being tossed in the waves and the helmsman, dripping wet, gritting his teeth and holding course with all his might.

Before long we were right by a barren island that rose up toward a solitary round-topped peak whose southern face was simply an enormous cliff that dropped straight into the ocean.  The Horn itself.

Then the sun came out, and the winds dropped appreciably.  For the next forty-five minutes we sailed smoothly past one of the most dangerous places on earth, and – happy tourists all – took lots of pictures.

Early in the voyage, Captain Perrin issued a free drink voucher to all of the cruise line’s repeat customers.  It could reasonably count as Part One of the old-tyme sailor’s reward.  However, I think I’ll pass on the earring.
cape Horn
Cape Horn, December 29, 2012


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2. The “holiday” season

During this entire cruise our ship has been in holiday trim: Christmas trees are in every public space, while twinkling lights in green garlands decorate stairs and railings wherever you go.  More recently, a giant plastic Santa Claus was set up in the main piazza.  Oh yes, and a few days before December 25 the normal musak in all the corridors began to play “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” and the song that begins “The weather outside is frightful...” and ends with a rousing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

Can you say “incongruous”?

Admittedly, by Christmas we were far enough south that there was snow on the mountain tops, and the weather was at times quite “frightful,” at least in the sense of being unnaturally cool and wet for the beginning of summer.  But it is the beginning of summer here, not winter.  The weather is considered bad only if it is not hot.

So the decorations and the melodies, having their origins in the short cold wintery days of the northern countries of the world, seem strange and out of place here.  Indeed, they make the ship feel like a department store, rather than a home-away-from-home.

There are some children on board, and they received gifts – not only from their parents, but from Santa Claus himself, whose arrival was cheerfully announced over the ship’s public address system.

I wrote “Christmas tree” above, but of course the more socially-correct word is “holiday tree.”  There are some Jewish people aboard (the ship’s newsletter told us that there was an eight-day series of Hanukah observances).  Possibly there is a handful of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, and without doubt there are many who profess no religion at all.  However, I suspect that the vast majority of both crew and passengers are Roman Catholic, since a great number of crew members are from the Philippines, and an equally large number of passengers are from South America – both regions being predominantly Roman Catholic.  Nonetheless the ship maintains a stedfastly secular stance, and pursues a “holiday” spirit with great vigour and determination.

Frankly I would rather not spend my Christmas in a department store.

3. Helping to put the Christ in Christmas

When we first came onboard and found that there was a Roman Catholic priest assigned to take services, I was content.  I’ve had a long history of good relations with Roman Catholics, and am comfortable in their liturgy.  Attending their mass would very likely help me keep Christ at the centre of my Christmas.

But after attending a couple of “non-denominational” services led by this same priest, I sensed that many people onboard might not be as comfortable as I am in services under his faithful but distinctly Roman Catholic direction.  In fact, I began to get something that I consider a “nudge from Above,” which, if put into words, said something like: “Maybe you should offer to lend a hand.”

So I introduced myself to the priest, Father Richard Gosselin, and when I said what my profession is, before the words were even out of my mouth he was saying, “Wonderful!  I had heard that there was a minister on board and I was hoping that you would come forward and identify yourself!  I’d love it if you would take on these ‘Interdenominational’ services for me; I told the cruise director that I’ve never done one before and I’ve been very unsure of how to proceed.”

He had “heard” that there was someone in my profession aboard?  How could that be?  I came on as a private passenger, and as far as I knew no one knew anything more than my name and address!

As it turned out, a Presbyterian pastor was due to join the ship in Valparaiso, and he had been in discussion with Princess about leading non-Roman Catholic worship over Christmas.  But when Fr. Gosselin gave me his eager welcome, this person had not yet come on board.  And the Cruise Director’s staff was very vague about who he was, when he would arrive, and what he had agreed to do.

If I was to take on the interdenominational worship, I needed some resources.  Words for hymns, for example.  There was a generic (interdenominational) service sheet on board containing the words of “Amazing Grace,” and “For those in peril on the sea” (yes, you read that right!).  For the Sunday before Christmas, I thought that we should have something more seasonally appropriate, such as “O come, O come, Emmanuel...” and maybe “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  Could I get the Cruise Director’s department to print up these words for me?

Well, Fr. Gosselin and I had the hardest time even getting their attention, so intent was everyone on the frenetic and secular holiday activity.  It was late on the Saturday that I finally met with the young Deputy Cruise Director, Matias Chimicz, who made up for all the lost time by being very friendly and helpful.  He asked me to type up the material that I needed for the morning, and give it to him on a USB memory stick as soon as I could.  He promised that leaflets would all be printed up by morning.

So, there it was, Saturday afternoon, and just as I have done all my professional life, I was once more preparing a worship service and composing a sermon.  Except that I was floating on the ocean in warm weather, somewhere off the coast of South America.

Early Sunday, December 23, wondering if Matias had been able to come through, I made my way to the worship venue.  There I found a stack of leaflets perfectly printed with everything that I had typed up.  Technical crew members were there, ready to set up podium and microphone and whatever else was needed.  And there was a musician, too, with all the music of the hymns that I had chosen laid out before him on the grand piano.

When people started to show up, I was able to find scripture readers (I had a Bible all marked and ready), and soon the service was underway.  People sang and said the printed prayers with gusto.

Following the service the question on everyone’s lips was: “Would there be a Christmas Day service other than the Roman Catholic midnight mass?”  As well, participants from Lutheran or Anglican or Orthodox churches traditions also asked: “Would there be Holy Communion?”

Fr. Gosselin, who, at eighty, is kindly and generous athough a little frail, had attended the service.  He and I were talking with Matias – who was also there for part of it – when we were joined by the Rev’d Dr. Jerry Kramer the retired Presbyterian pastor.  He had just come on board, and was completely uncertain about his role since communication from the cruise line had been either confusing or non-existent.

It was now time for some serious negotiation and planning.  Fr. Gosselin was the “official” ship’s chaplain.  Dr. Kramer had prepared some material for Christmas day, but basically he is a paying passenger and volunteer like me, and had not recieved any clear direction from the ship.  I had somehow been handed control of the interdenominational agenda.  Matias was anxious to help, and was able to speak for the ship, but he had a hectic schedule of partying and balloon-filling and gingerbread house making and Santa Claus visits to organize.

So we agreed to meet and hammer it all out at 2:00 PM that afternoon.  Which we did, sitting in one of the ship’s bars.  There is some irony, I think, to having three clergy sitting together and planning Christmas services in a bar!

It all went very well – clergy of differing denominations can be very respectful and cooperative with one another, and we were.  Matias made it absolutely clear that the ship would help and not hinder whatever arrangements we agreed to.

And so, after careful deliberation, it was decided that there would be a Roman Catholic midnight mass, and a second one Christmas morning, both to be held in the biggest theatre of the ship (with the vast majority onboard being born and raised Roman Catholics, this was a no-brainer).  There would be one interdenominational service, on Christmas morning, held at the same time as the second Roman Catholic mass.  This service would be at the other end of the ship in the second-biggest theatre, and it would be jointly led by me and Dr. Kramer.  He – coming as he does from a preaching tradition – would lead off with Scripture and a Christmas meditation.  I would then preside over a form of Holy Communion, using the rites of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Because many Protestants use grape juice rather than wine in their Communion, we decided to have both.  An Anglican laywoman whom I had met, and who is a licensed administrant in her home church, would administer a chalice of wine, and Dr. Kramer would administer a large cup of grape juice.  The ship would bake a type of pita bread for the occasion, and would provide both grape juice and wine.  To my surprise they have two complete sets of communion vessels on this ship, so we actually had a real chalice for the wine!  And because there would be three Christmas hymns, and the Eucharistic portion of the service has many parts for the congregation to say, I was once more to type up the materials, give them to Matias, and he would cause a leaflet to be prepared.

Thus there was more work for me to do.  But at least I didn’t have another sermon to prepare.  I spent several hours at my laptop, and got the materials to Matias by mid-day Christmas Eve.  He was so busy that I never actually saw him; I just left the USB memory stick for him at the purser’s desk.

That night, I didn’t sleep very well.  Would Matias be able to get the leaflet done?  Would it all fit?  At three o’clock in the morning I got up for the necessities of nature, and saw that something had been slipped under our cabin door.  Using my cellphone as a flashlight (so as not to wake Heather) I took a look and found a sample of the leaflet, and, separately, the parts for the priest all perfectly printed out and put into plastic sleeves.  Then I slept deeply for the rest of the night.

When it came time for the service to begin there was some last-minute confusion, mostly because the technical crew and the kitchen staff were not entirely clear as to where things were to go, but we got it worked out.  Jerry Kramer did his part very well, then I began my part, and in the end the whole morning was reverent, devout, respectful, and inclusive of everyone present.  It was interdenominational... and holy.

And, I was exhausted – having spent the better part of a week in negotiation and preparation – but I was also very very content.

Again and again that day, wherever I went in the ship, people would stop me and say, “Thank you for helping it finally feel like Christmas!”

The next day Matias phoned.  He said that the Cruise Director, recognizing how much work I had put into something that was so much appreciated by the passengers, wanted to treat me and Heather to dinner in the ship’s upscale “Crown Grill” restaurant.  Although all meals onboard are included in our cruise package, there is a $25 per person cover charge at the Crown Grill, where portions are individually prepared and table service is particularly elegant.  Essentially the ship was offering to waive the cover charge for us.  I was so touched by this recognition of what I had done that I actually started to cry.  Accepting the Cruise Director’s kind offer, I asked if it might be applied on December 31st, our wedding anniversary.  Matias instantly agreed, and the booking was made.

And that is how Christmas became Christmas... for me.

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Next: Penguins!

FOOTNOTES:

12  The pontoons of these 6 ft. x 10 ft. rafts were obviously made from some sort of whale intestine.
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13  It turns out that Easter Island is part of the nation of Chile, and several artifacts from that extraordinary place are on display in this country.
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14  See Matthew 25:13, and Mark 13:32.
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15  What I didn’t know when I wrote this was that there was yet another change of time zones awaiting us.  As we approached Montevideo in Uruguay on January 2nd we set our clocks forward one more time, thus putting us only two hours behind London/Greenwich.  However, on January 4 we ended the cruise with the ship once more in Argentina, and set our clocks back again.  Hence my comment is substantially correct because, from December 22 to January 10 – with that brief interlude in Montevideo – we remained in the Argentine time zone.
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16  This tiny paragraph refers to what was, without a doubt, the most spectacular part of our entire cruise.  So much so that I’ve used a photograph, taken that morning, as the “symbol” of the journey as a whole (check out the image on the top left corner of every page.  In fact, click on it).  A series of images of the Beagle Channel (particularly the portion called “Glacier Alley”) has now been added to the photo album, beginning here.  Click here for a video that was also taken that morning.
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17  Click here for some photos of our day in Punta Arenas.
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18  Craig Spence, a correspondent of mine, sent me the following excerpt from a book describing the 1854 arrival in Victoria, British Columbia of an Anglican bishop.  Edward Cridge and his wife Mary had to travel around Cape Horn to get from England to their destination on the northwest coast of North America.  Here’s the excerpt: “The stout little ship bucked heavy seas and winds as it struggled to round Cape Horn, the only route to the Pacific, and the [ship] made no headway for several days.  Mary realized it could have been worse when the ship’s boatswain told her of a trip that had been halted by the elements for several weeks...  When those [on board] finally glimpsed land, and the passengers realized they were looking at the southern tip of South America, there was great excitement for all aboard.  The shoreline, the first Mary had seen after three months at sea, reminded her of the last verse of one of her favourite hymns.  She repeated it with her husband as they walked the decks and studied the stark, desolate mountains of Tierra del Fuego:
And when we regain the land,
How happy shall we be,
How shall we bless the Mighty Hand
That leads us through the sea.
– from Ian Macdonald and Betty O’Keefe, Quiet Reformers: The Legacy of Early Victoria’s Bishop Edward and Mary Cridge (Ronsdale Press 2010), page 19.
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