Cruising the Beagle Channel
The Beagle Channel is where the journey begins and ends. On one side you can see the mountains of Chile, and on the other are the mountains of Argentina. In total, I spent less than a day on the channel, but it was enough to get a taste of what it has to offer.
The Beagle Channel was very calm, which gave us a chance to unpack our suitcases and Drake-proof our cabin before reaching the Drake Passage. Drake-proofing involved putting everything you did not want to end up on the floor in a closet or drawer. On the way back, it gave us a chance to pack before leaving the ship, without our suitcases sliding across the cabin.
I sailed through the Beagle Channel in the evening on the way to Antarctica. On the journey, I spotted my first penguins in the wild, Magellenic Penguins. They were swimming alongside the ship, and you could see them only when they popped their heads above the water for air. Also spotted were some dolphins.
On the way back from Antarctica, we were in the channel at sunset and after it was dark. It was the first time we had seen the stars in at least a week. Before the sun set, a beautiful double rainbow was painted across the sky. After the sunset and the stars became visible, I located the Southern Cross for the first time since my trip to Australia 16 months before.
You can cruise just the Beagle Channel by taking boat tours from Ushuaia, I have been told.