After waking to the most exhilarating, jaw-dropping, breathtaking views of Ushuaia and grabbing some breakfast on the Star Princess we met up with our tour group as we had booked with Princess Cruises a small boat cruise down the Beagle Channel. We hurried across the dock as the bitterly cold wind threw icy rain at us and boarded the vessel that would take us out to see the sea lions and other wildlife present in the straits at the southern tip of South America.
It was a constant battle to keep the camera lens clean of drops of either spitty rain driven in by the wind or by spray from the boat. My advice to keen photographers and videographers partaking in an excursion down the Beagle Channel would be to get a decent hood for your camera if you can and keep a cleaning cloth in your hand at all times to check and wipe the front of the lens every couple of shots. I did my best to keep on top of the difficult photography conditions but there are still noticeable soft spots in the photos where water drops got in the way.
Speaking of hoods, you’ll want to wear one. I wore a hoodie, a woollen hat, and had a hooded waterproof jacket on as well. Also: gloves and two pairs of socks on. It was incredibly cold on the deck of the boat taking us down the Beagle Channel. Many people stayed inside except for when we stopped to look at the local wildlife more closely – my wife amongst them – or ventured out only occasionally until the temperature sent them scurrying back inside for comfort. Only one person on the cruise down the channel remained outside for the entirety of the nearly two and a half hours. That person was me. I figure if you’re going to die of exposure somewhere you may as well make it somewhere beautiful like the end of the world.
Owing to the sheer number of photos I took of the Beagle Channel this excursion will be split into a number of parts.