The coffee in the Oceanview is not the quality of my lattes (decaf or not) but it is better than nothing. But something is better than nothing as I hang out watching other bleary eyed people try to figure out how to get connected with their tours.
The Catamaran turns out to be a whopping big boat capable of holding over 275 camera carrying individuals on two enclosed decks grouped three on a side facing across a short table. The reason for the table was obvious as the cafe did a brisk business in warm beverages. We were out for around five hours – most of it cruising out to one island literally covered with Magellan penguins with a couple of Kings lording over the crown. There were penguins everywhere: bobbing along the side of the boat watching those weird creatures with large glass eyes, bounding along the shore, shoving each other into the water and stepping on sea lions.
I had taken the high end lens with me and it was well worth the weight. I have lots of pictures of penguins, the sea lions and the other birds hanging out in the area. After a good 45 minutes of being outside on both sides as well as wading through the crowd of stubborn short black haired people who would not leave the railing or share the better lookout locations I went back inside to warm up.
We made a secondary stop at this [apparently] iconic light house on another island in the middle of the bay. Covered again with penguins and leaving me wondering how they managed to climb up the rocks to perch at the base of the tower.
Still with a couple of hours to go before departing, I met up with George and we walked around Ushuaia itself. There is a main street area of a dozen blocks long lined with all sorts of tourist type shops. At either of the far ends are some obviously oriented to the locals shops. Built on the side of the mountain (this is a harbor….duh) the next parallel street up was all Hostels and local businesses. Seems pretty clear that tourism is a major source of income for the area. Apparently there was a yarn shop, but I didn’t see it since it was actually left along the water front from the dock. But since I will be back in March….. I also managed to find and mail a few postcards.
We were at dinner when we sailed out of the harbor and headed to Cape Horn