As a culminating activity for our trip, we decided to do something neither one of us has ever done before- sailing! All we've ever heard about the end of the world, the Beagle Channel, we wanted to get on the water, and since those big touristy boats aren't really our style, this is what we decided. Once we got out on the water, the view of Ushuaia was amazing!
The boat only had space for 10 tourists, so our little group of five had half the boat. Part of the trip through the channel was getting close to the sea lion island so that we can take a look. We have seen sea lions before in the wild, but never in these numbers!
Even though it was summer, Ushuaia tops out around 50, 55. On the water, there was wind. And splashes of icy water. Despite bundling up, it was cold!!!
The main attraction of our journey through the channel was a trip to H island. This tour company is the only company with permission to land and take tours on the island. The island is the nesting ground for cormorant birds. Here's our trusty vessel.
Here, we are walking on one part of the H, with the other side there.
Cormorant colony! The cormorants use this island to create their nests, which are made out of their poop. The smell was a little overpowering as we neared the colony, but it was pretty amazing to see all the birds.
The Yamana people used this island as a resting area from bad weather, or to spend the night during fishing trips. The Yamana lived on the southern tip of the continent. The Yamana were very interesting because of their lifestyle and how they adapted to life in these extreme conditions. One, they didn't wear any clothes. They covered themselves in animal grease, which prevented body heat from escaping. Since they spend much of their lives in their canoes, they were in a huddled position. Therefore, there was less surface area in contact with the wind. Women were divers for clams and mussels. Since they didn't have any clothes, they were able to quickly raise their body temperature after contact with the 48-50F degree water. They kept warm by constantly having small fires around them, even in their canoes. The name of this region, Tierra del Fuego, is from Magellan spotting their fires.
It was cold, but absolutely beautiful and a wonderful way to end our trip. After we got off the boat, we thawed out with chai lattes, something was quite a treat!