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We sailed from Montevideo through the inner breakwater, then the outer and then turned to port to follow one of the channels out of the Rio de la Plata delta toward the open waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.  The views of Montevideo and then the sunset as we sailed eastward were spectacular and were followed by a lightning display over southern Uruguay in the distance behind us as the night darkened.  We never did have rain that evening and as we got further from shore the darkness in the sky deepend and there were myriads of stars to be seen in the sky, including the band of the Milky Way.  Unfortunately, on a moving ship the light of the stars was still too faint to allow me to pull off anything that resembled a decent photo of the southern skies.  There was, however, a crescent moon riding high in the sky and I was able to get a shot of it over the lighted funnel of the Splendor.


The following day we were at sea all day and out of sight of land...  On days like that you find a comfortable lounge chair on deck or on your balcony and just relax, let the cares of life ebb away, and enjoy the passing horizon or the cloudscapes when there are clouds.  That first full day at sea there weren't many clouds and hence there wasn't much to photograph but as we sailed further south after we departed Puerto Madryn that changed and there were spectacular cloudscales to watch and photograph.  Those are coming...

Our second night out of Montevideo passed quietly.  Before the day dawned we were sailing west toward the entrance of Golfo Nuevo to the south of Peninsula Valdes.  To the north before you enter Golfo Nuevo you can see the distant flash of the Punta Delgada lighthouse.  That lighthouse is still manned and the complex where it stands now has a hotel and restaurant as a result of increasing ecotourism on Peninsula Valdes which has a huge colony of Magellanic penguins and another of sea lions.  Entering the mouth of Golfo Nuevo, you pass between the flashes of Faro Morro Nuevo which stands in an isolated area on the southeastern point of Peninsula Valdes to the north and the blink of the Punta Ninfas light to the south. 



Our route from Montevideo to Puerto Madryn, more or less, is shown on the image to the left.  You can click any of the maps for a larger view.  A view of Golfo Nuevo showing the positions of most of the lighthouses is shown below on the left.  A close-up view of the waterfront of Puerto Madry is shown below.  The Carvnial Splendor was too large and to deep of draft to moor at the shorter pier close to downtown Puerto Madryn so we were moored to the large industrial pier at the top of the image directly below.  The industrial pier is associated with the area's aluminum industry and trucks were continually delivering pallets of aluminum billots that were being loaded into the freighter Finch Arrow moored to the north side of the pier.







A fisheye view of Puerto Madryn shot from deck 11 of the Splendor is shown below.  The region of Patagonia where Puerto Madryn is located in Chubut Province is quite aird.  In the late afternoon when the winds picked up from the west it wa amazing how much dust was in the air over the city.  When we were in Puerto Madryn, the town was quite dusty...  when we saw the dust in the air that evening, we knew why it was such a dusty town.



There is a small lighthouse, Faro Golfo Nuevo, located a short distance north of the commercial pier in Puerto Madryn.  The light was built in 1916 and deactivated in 1990.  Following it's deactivation, public outcry saved the light from being removed by the Argentine Navy.  The light is considered a traditional symbol of Puerto Madryn.  The photograph to the right is from the Faros de la Argentina website.  (Click the photograph to the right to go to their Spanish language web page for further information on this light.)  The tower is now owned by Municipalidad de Puerto Madryn.









The commercial fishing fleet is moored at the commercial pier that the Splendor was moored at in Puerto Madryn.  It was interesting to look in across the red hulls of the commercial fishing boats to the shore where the rusting hulls of derelect vessels were beached.

Aluminum ore was discovered near Puerto Madryn.  Hence there is a very active aluminum industry located in the city.  The Finch Arrow shown to the right and below was moored at the commercial pier while we were in port taking on a load of aluminum billets.  The stacks of silvery metal on the pier in the foreground are aluminum billets.  Semis rolled out the pier all day the day we were there hauling loads of aluminum billets to the end of the pier where they were loaded into the holds of the Finch Arrow.






Only a short time after we departed the pier at Puerto Madryn the pilot left the Splendor and the pilot boat took him over to the container ship Alicana Pampas that had been at anchor off shore all day while we were moored at the commercial pier.  No doubt the pilot would be bringing that vessel in to the pier to load or unload that evening.



If one looks carefully in the photo of the Alancia Pampas above, on the headlands to the right up near the top of the hill you can see the square pyramidal tower of Faro en Playa Parana with red and white daymarking.  A close-up photo (Creative Commons - Alex Dukal) of this light is shown to the right.


Creative Commons photo - Alex Dukal







The Maersk Funchal was also at anchor off of Puerto Madryn as we left.  Again, if you look carefully on the shore above the P&O Nedlloyd container just forward of the rear crane you can also see Faro en Playa Parana.  The light is in the red boxed region in the cropped segment of the photo above shown to the left.








Continuing further east on the waters of Golfo Nuevo we next passed the light at Punto Conscriptos that is shown to the left.

As you sail further eastward, the land along the south shore of Golfo Nuevo becomes progressively more barren and arid in appearance, finally giving way to relatively steep cliffs as you approach the Punto Ninfas.






When you finally pass the headland shown in the center above, Faro Punta Ninfas finally comes into view, standing atop the tall headlands overlooking the South Atlantic.  Looking back over the Splendor's stern, the sun was sinking into the waters of Golfo Nuevo as we slid past the Punta Ninfas light and out once again into the waters of the South Atlantic...


... which brings this segment to a close!







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All images are Copyrighted by Gary Martin, 1996-2009. No images can be downloaded or used for any purpose without premission in writing from the copyright holder.