Our catamaran speeds out of the Ushuaia port, massive wake behind the two-legged vessel, and it’s official–we are in for an intimate experience with critters from Tierre del Fuego.
The end of the world is a type of place that reminds you of the harshness of survival, of the constant interplay between nature, man, god, and animal, and now, viewing the bay from the ocean–itself thick and green, the water so cold it looks gelatinous–I imagine Magellen and Darwin, for in all likelihood, our forays into the animal kingdom are glimpses at the descendants whose ancestors these two explorers view first hand centuries ago.
It’s just us and few hundred friends cruising through the Beagle Channel, and like a gaggle of teenage girls, our first encounter with the other kind has us in a tizzy of snapshots, each vying for closer, closer, closer pics of the cormorants.
Inappropriate, really, this avian pornography–you subscribe to this sort of bird voyeurism, which we do, and do so whole heartedly, binocs out, lenses out, all peeping Tom on these defenseless creatures, noses up in their business.
It’s actually pretty cool, I must admit, to crash upon this rocky outcrop in the middle of the Channel, itself home to a colony of sea birds, sister isles Grecian white, colored by thousands of layers of bird poop, and now, we just bob up and down, up and down, staring.