After reminiscing with Ted over beers until 2:00 AM last night I managed to get up just after 6:00 AM and join a bus into Tierra Del Fuego National Park. I’ve really missed Rod Planck, so despite my better judgement I hopped on the bird watching bus (which Rod was leading) and spent the next couple of hours with an interesting yet highly obsessive group of folks; until you’ve sat in a field for twenty minutes with two dozen people scrutinizing every visible dot with wings for the sole purpose of discerning whether or not it’s a northern double-crested pileated thrush or the less common (and thus more exciting) southern variety, the experience would be quite difficult to describe.
After a brief bit of time back in town the Polar Star pulled anchor, and the boat slowly set off along the Beagle Channel with birds circling, penguins swimming below, and the occasional sea lion popping up to say hello. The weather was amazing and we sailed under a crimson sunset with picture-perfect clouds lining the skies. And in case it’s not obvious, I was pretty damn happy to be setting out again.