Feathered visitors on board HS Beethoven

Yesterday I found three racing pigeons in the aft station of our vessel. All the crew had gathered there for a fire drill, but these creatures didn’t show any sign of stress or fear. They were staying so still because they were very tired after flying for who knows how many miles and they decided to take a rest on a moving vessel. Smart choice for them, isn’t it?

Meeting the little blue penguin in Otago Peninsula

Visiting the blue penguin colony

I always like meeting new people in the new places we arrive with the vessel or while on holiday. The locals can be the best guides and they can offer you all the information you need in order to make the best of your visit. Moreover, I always considered the locals as the best sources for tips and recommendation and their help is even more valuable when the visit is very short.

Visitors in the anchorage (Puerto Madryn)

Visitors at anchorage

Two years ago, I was travelling on HS Liszt in the winter of the South Atlantic Ocean. The ship was calling some Argentinian ports with the southern most point Puerto Deseado, ~ 1000 km North of Ushuaia, ‘el fin de mondo’. Although it was winter time, the weather was not very bad and, with temperatures of 14-15 degrees at midday, I could enjoy few hours outside every day. When the sun was shining up in the sky, the day was even brighter and happier for me and for some very funny creatures which enjoyed the sunny day even more.

Making new friends in Puerto Madryn, Argentina

The story I am about to tell did not happen at sea, but, as travelling by sea made it possible, I would very much like to include it in the same area. In May 2012, I signed on HS Liszt – together with my husband – for a four month voyage in the South Atlantic Ocean, covering an area between Uruguay and Argentina. This voyage brought out some of the most amazing encounters of my life and revealed to me the beauty of nature as I had never witnessed before.

Visiting a sea lion colony in San Antonio Este, Argentina

Sea lion San Antonio Este Argentina

While entering the port of San Antonio Este, the pilot told me about a sea lion colony living on the beach, only 2 km away from the port. I was very anxious to meet the fury creatures and I stepped outside the vessel as soon as we arrived alongside. Since I started my voyages around the world on board port container vessels, I had the privilege of touching land belonging to all continents (except Antarctica) and admiring the immensity of three Oceans and many other smaller seas. These voyages offered me to possibility to discover beautiful and interesting places, meet extraordinary people and live some of the happiest days of my life. Most of all, travelling at sea offered me the great joy of witnessing wonderful encounters with marine animals.

Patagonia ( March – August 2012)

Patagonia is a region of Southern Argentina that occupies the East part of the Andes Mountains and South of Colorado River. In this area there are some small ports where port container vessels can dock and the most important ones are: San Antonio Este, Puerto Madryn, Puerto Deseado, Puerto Santa Cruz, Puerto San Julian, Ushuaia.

Whale watching in Argentina (June-August 2012)

Whale watching

The Southern Right Whale can be found in the southern hemisphere, both in the Atlantic and in the Pacific Ocean and it always migrates to warmer waters to breed during the winter. The Right Whale is the slowest of all whales – moving with a speed which does not exceed 10 knots – and it got its name from the whalers who found it ‘the right whale’ to hunt, due to the fact that it was easy to approach and had a high economical value.

The magnificent nature

During my voyages at sea I had the privilege of watching sunrises and sunsets over three Oceans and many big and small seas on both sides of the Equator. I know that for many people the sun always sets down in the same way and in the same place (with small changes due the seasons) but sunset is always different at sea. The more clouds are involved in the event, the more beautiful the picture is and if the luck brings some more ‘characters’ in the scene the whole show gets an amazing touch of surreal as if it was painted by the brush of a divine artist.

Dolphins jumping around

Most of you  visited at least once an Aquarium or an Oceanographic Museum and watched a dolphin show. I am sure you enjoyed it. For me, knowing that all those animals are kept captive inside a small basin and forced to jump and play in front of an audience is not something I am keen on seeing.

Bird watching on board container vessels

People may think that life on board a cargo vessel can be boring if you do not work your way through the night. Staring at the sea and sky all day long and watching the birds and fish may seem very dull for most of the people, but not for nature lovers.