Wednesday, November 12, 2008

40 degrees

Isla Waterman, Chile

Crossing through the open seas are difficult. This morning we left Isla Waterman and tried to reach Isla Caroline through the open ocean waters. Huge swells rocked the boat side to side and back and forth. I watched the pendulum of the gauge that measures the angle of boat pitch swing past 40 degrees! Eventually we had to turn back and instead tried to reach the ocean side of Isla Caroline by first crossing through the narrow channel that ran behind it. Along the way we looked for any signs of southern rockhopper penguins.

Some of the smaller islands surrounding the back of Isla Caroline had similar characteristics to Isla Terhalten and Sesambre--tall, jagged cliffs topped with dense tussock grass, and the open ocean access rockhoppers seem to prefer. As the failing weather would not allow any landings on these islands for further investigation, the best we could do was scan the islands and water with binoculars, but no rockhoppers were seen. Hugo found a small cove for the Chonos to anchor in for the night. Tomorrow we will have one last chance to reach and explore the ocean-facing side of Isla Caroline.


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