Brazo Noroeste (Seno Pia, Caleta del Sur)
The sky is blue...
I will open my eyes a little more then, wake up, seize the day, like they say. And what a day. A majestic glacier is melting his ice right in our anchorage water. Blocs of ice float around but always, like by enchantment, chose not to mingle with our chain so as not to put us in any kind of danger. We have landlines attached to trees, little birds sing in the morning sun, I seem to come right out of a Walt Disney movie, I expect a red squirrel to come knocking on our hatch after having danced his way along the line to announce us some kind of news that will start the action right then and there.
While sipping my tea with milk I materialize my imaginary squirrel, it turns out the squirrel is a bearded Englishman with a aluminum boat and a missing foot who asks us to join him and his friend right to the mouth of the glacier on his vessel. We pack our cameras, our social skills and jump ship...
During the one hour ride the weather goes from sunny to rainy, from calm to windy, ''4 seasons a day in Tierra del Fuego'' they say, damn, this must be autumn then, I hope winter will not be too rough... Or are the seasons not compelled to keep the chronicle order we know about, and indeed why would they when they keep on teasing and defying all kinds of laws with great ease and success.
On arrival the sun fights the heavy clouds and wins. Blue diamonds blind us, thundering sounds scare us. We're in front of something of great power. We stay silent a while, then pick up some piece of floating ice. ''The bar's open'' sings the red squirrel, and to celebrate our arrival in Chile and respect the glacier's gift I accept a pisco, some local terribly strong liquor. I don't like the drink but the ice melting in it is full of thousands years old air bubbles making it look like a yellow starry night. I stay mesmerized by the spectacle of the blue diamond in front of us, the yellow one melting in my glass. The glacier thunders under the sun and let go of more ice. It really is blue! Real blue and turquoise. Blue, a blue mountain, I see it with my own eyes. I have to reshuffle things in my brain, give some room in it for ''blue mountains''.
I can't tell you yet what's next, but surely I can tell you of a few reshuffling in my brain lately. Not further than yesterday for example, we went for a walk to get closer to the first glacier we encountered, we walked through the most impenetrable forest I have yet penetrated, forced our way through very thick green stuff, we were completely wet, water dripping from our trousers down our legs, in our watertight shoes... The undergrowth is incredible out here, there seems to be no earth, first there is rock, granite I think, and there upon, thick moss, really thick, about half a meter I would guess. And not just plain boring moss, a whole miniature universe makes the ground of this part of Tierra del Fuego, and in this moss, trees grow, big trees, rooted in the moss that somehow sticks to the granite. Who ever heard of trees, big ones, growing without earth under them? Here again I had to review my general idea of the concept of '' tree ''
About a century ago some Canadian beavers were brought here, for their fur. Having no natural predator the beavers started to proliferate at such a speed that the whole ecosystem is now changing under the pressure of their teeth. Long brown nasty teeth they have, the beavers, destroying everything on their way to create some kind of island-castle for their family. They build huge dams, and kill every tree surrounding them, by simply cutting them of or by drowning those ones the dam is in place. Those dams are very impressive though, big, well built things. But wherever there is one the area resembles a sight of apocalypse, or some nuclear disaster. Dead trees and more dead trees, and swamps, never ending swamps. We have started to really dislike the nasty ratish things. The other day I saw one big majestic tree, most probably older than me, older than you and on its bark, traces of the killer teeth, my heart broke, I caressed the tree and wanted to kill the beaver. How long will it take for them to finish of this very tree?
Hmm, this became very depressing all of a sudden, which is strange, I'm having a very good time here, why turn it into a disaster story? Why choose to speak about the all destroying beast now instead of waiting for a black day of mine and then spit it all out using the beavers as the baddy and hiding my venom in its dams?
The day is ending, there was quite some action but not the Walt Disney kind. I start with dancing squirrels finish with killing beavers, well well, maybe there was some abuse on the social skills, I must have constricted myself in the well behaved lovely girl in Chile Australis. I can handle a little while but soon I slip, today I didn't slip on the aluminum boat, but I'm skidding now, losing my good humor right here on the keyboard, getting darker as the sun sets over the bay we are anchored in. It has started raining, it's time for me to leave you before I drown the keyboard.