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jeremie posted a topic in WorldwideI am not very good at all to write reports, I have very littlef time to go on writing, but the truth is that I am not really motivated at the idea to select and then edit my RAW files... We went to Punta Arenas in Southern Patagonia, Chile, to go on a cruise in mid january within the channels and sounds of the Southern tip of the Americas. Luis Bertea from http://www.patagoniaphotosafaris.com probablyoffers the best trip ever in Continental Patagonia. The Forrest M/N which was a former cargo boat in the Falklands, has been rehabilitated for ecotourism cruises. It can receives about 18 passengers, has 3 sea kayaks and 2 zodiacs to discover the channels, glaciers and whales that live in the fjords of the South of Chile. I will try to write a short trip report, and use a video recently published by Luis Bertea on vimeo to give a better idea of the place. The cruise brings tourists and more especially photographs in 4 major protected areas of Chile: Agostini National Park, Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve, Alacalufes National Reserve, and Francisco Coloane Marina Park. The 4 areas are full of ice fields with huge glaciers flowing directly in the sea. The Darwin range from Tierra de Fuego island is certainly the most powerful mountain range of the region. A small recovering elephant seal colony is growing year by year in Jackson Bay, at the end of the Almirantazgo sound, just South to the large Karukinka Park, privately managed by the WCS (http://www.karukinkanatural.cl). Very close to the colony, can be seen a most Northern black-browed albatross colony from Patagonia, critically endangered by one species devastating the Patagonia unique wildlife, the mink. In fact the two last years no chick survived, the WCS is currently working to try to eliminate this threat of the small island. The Almirantazgo sound has rich nutrients waters formed by melting glaciers from the Parry and Marinelly sounds. On the first one can sometimes be seen leopard seals. Tucket Islands, on the Eastern side of Dawson Island, is a great place to observe Magellanic penguins, rock and imperial cormorants. Two species of sea lions can be found in this area. On the Western side of the Darwin Range can be found one true jewel, the Agostini Sound, with no more than 8 glaciers flowing inside the sound. On Hyatt Sound is another small population of leopard seals. Monte Sarmiento do Gamboa, the most beautiful summit South to Punta Arenas, is not very far from the sound. But the real star of this trip is without any doubt the humpback whale, that use to stay in summer in the waters of the Magellanic channels, avoiding traveling 2000 km South to Antartica. This population, according to scientists, is part of the Stock G population, that breeds in the tropical waters of Panama and Colombia. About 180 whales have been recorded in the waters around Carlos III island, inside the Francisco Coloane National Park, which is rich in krill formed by the convergence of strong currents and melting glaciers of Santa Ines Island. On the coast, wonderful sub-antartic forests (southern bleech forests) and peatlands, everywhere. Huge water falls, amazing sunrise and sunsets, strong winds and perhaps storms, this is the true Patagonia. I live in Chile for 6 years, and I can tell you this is the most impressive place I have ever visited in Patagonia. This trip can easily be combined with puma safaris with Roberto Donoso from Patagonia Journeys (http://www.patagoniajourneys.com). He works for many important international agencies. Natphoto, another chilean photography agency, also guides tours over there. Rodrigo Moraga has been guiding different BBC teams in the last decades in the region. (http://www.natphoto.org/?expediciones=torres-del-paine-pumas) I was in Torres del Paine last week and have seen two pumas over there. Another guide at the same time had 20 different observations in just 5 days! I have never finished my trip report over there (and will probably never finish it, it takes me a lot of time to edit pictures…), but get sure this is a remarkable experience, THE best place to see pumas in the world. Another amazing experience would be to travel to South Georgia, Antartica or the Falklands where I have been traveling in last november (no trip reports unfortunately ) with Natphoto. I am actually the guy really close to the king penguins chick on the picture: http://www.natphoto.org/?experiencias=falkland-2015 Cheers Jeremie
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