Tierra Del Fuego

Day 3 - January 7

Today is my birthday – although I have received no presents, last night I was allowed to select the best room. We awoke early to go on a whale watch. The whales conjugate in a bay at Guerrero Negro beginning December 15. They arrive to calve generally accompanied by their calves from the previous year. When I was last here we saw hundreds of whales with calves and they would come up to the boat so that you could touch them. They expect around 1,500 whales this year.

This sensitive environmental area is surrounded by the largest salt processing facility in the world. The guide told us it supplies 1/3 of the world’s salt – between 20-26 million tons/year. The process requires no heat and is completed purely by evaporating the brine in successive steps until pure. It sits on 100,000 acres and, as is becoming popular, it is 51% owned by the government.

We had the opportunity to see a number of whales. On the way back we encountered a group of seals on a barge that reminded of the day after a fraternity party – and smelled worse.

More seals on a mooring buoy – not particularly happy to see us:

What I found surprising is watching the seals jump back on to the buoy (approximately 6 feet high):

Vincent, the master at fixing propellers, inspects Mexican quality:

Helge gives his “60 Minutes” treatment to the poor reluctant guide:

The rest of the day was spent fixing and fine tuning motorcycles.

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