Week 3 - Some more weather = more “togetherness” and another fabulous glacier

D: Watching the glacier and gathering ice
R: Garibaldi Glacier
Jon: Hiking (R trophy hike), Garibaldi and views of the ice cap
Megan: Views across the channel

To start week 3, we left our beautiful anchorage with the glacier and mountains of Seno Pia vistas and traveled a quick 10 miles across the Beagle Chanel to set ourselves up in Caleta Julia. The views back across the channel and of the Darwin Cordillera (Ice Cap) were truly breath taking. They are the types of views that pictures never manage to capture, where you know you are taking the picture to try to remember the *feelings* of just how spectacular the vista is rather than to preserve the actual view. That has been a common theme for us and our many pictures since our early sailing days. We are blessed to have seen so many amazing 360 degree vista views over our adventures.

We had a sunny day to cross over and it was nice and clear with rare, nearly cloudless, blue skies. Jon and Megan were scoping out places to hike in order to get the best views and Julia looked promising. We also realized that it might be the most blue sky day that we would get so we better tack a hike on to the afternoon to ensure we really got to enjoy the view across the canal and to scope out future hikes. The boys were happy to stay behind even though that meant working on some school work. One of the things about being alone together as a a family of four is trying to balance everyone's needs for connection and alone time. We are all a work in progress and the balance often goes astray, but we do try to give the kids some alone time for their developing independence as well as parent only time for our own sanity. The boys have also discovered podcasts and love to read so that helps us all have ways to do our own things in our small, shared space. We enjoyed the hike, the quiet, and the views.

Thursday the weather was ok but we had a somewhat quiet, low key day. D and Jon ventured out for a hike in the afternoon under overcast skies, and R and Megan stayed behind. The quiet days get easily filled with school work, chores, games and baking. The evenings often include a movie. We've gotten back into James Bond, and sensor out the sex scenes as the movies have moved into more R rated territory.

Friday proved to be nice weather with sun so we all went up the hill from the anchorage. It was a beautiful hike spread over a few hours. The boys are often reluctant hikers - they like the views, the interesting things that we see and the lunch stops, but there is often complaining and whinging all along the way up from one or both. We meandered up the hill, stopping to enjoy the view at various points on our way up. Along the way, we saw a number of turkey vultures - which was a bit disconcerting when they were flying and circling over us while gathering additional numbers. We got to a nice high view point and stopped to enjoy lunch. The parents sat in a separate spot due to the general complaining that had accompanied this particular hike. The boys hid the post lunch chocolate and then started teasing the parents. This ended up in D getting annoyed when Jon wouldn't promise any post-lunch dessert as he thought it had been left on the boat. So, D stormed off down the hill. R was concerned and tried to make things right. He volunteered to head down the hill to be with his brother and to smooth things over. Jon and Megan hiked some more to see the lake and enjoy some other views. D was apparently quite mad and made a number of bad choices while R worked hard to ensure that things would be ok when the parents returned. Eventually we were all back aboard and D's anger had subsided. As we went through the evening D decided he wanted some juice from the kids' juice flask that they had in their backpack and enjoyed at lunch. Well, the search of the backpacks showed that the flask was NOT on the boat! This meant that R had left it in the spot where the boys had their lunch, which was a bit away from the parent's spot. In his desire to make sure his brother was cared for he just never looked around his spot, and left the flask there. This is, of course, a thing that kids do and need to learn from - personal responsibility for their things and the things that they take out with them. It was especially unfortunate since he was really making a lot of other really good choices. Even so the writing was on the wall, R knew the life lesson was inescapable—he would have to hike up to retrieve the left item despite his aching feet and constant teenage hike complaining. It was already closing in on 7pm, but it is light out late, well past 9pm. Jon checked the weather and it looked like the next days were going to be rainy and windy which would make the hike that much more miserable and difficult, so the decision was made that R and Jon would go up the hill again that evening. R knew there was no escape and he took his anger and frustration and put them into action. He attacked that hill! His utter determination shined—he madly rowed the dinghy, left Jon to tie it up and change shoes, and stormed straight up the hill leaving Jon to try to catch up. Jon was impressed. In fact, R had the flask and was just starting to head back down when Jon reached him. He made R turn around, take a little time to appreciate the view from the top and to pose for a picture with his trophy held high. R's frustration had dissipated and they descended the hill together having a good discussion. They returned to the boat in 45 minutes flat. It was an impressive feat and R was quite proud that he did it and beat his father up that hill.

Saturday was mostly ok and the weather that was forecasted was slow to show itself so R enjoyed a lot of poking that he could have waited to hike only to be further teased that they could do the hike again to see if he could do it faster. Eventually the weather showed up and we spent a lot more time all together - more school work, more games, more chores and more togetherness. We all survived and kept an eye on the weather forecast for an opportunity to move on. Monday was also still a mixed day and more windy than expected. We decided the weather looked like there would be a suitable break the following day such we could venture up Seno Garibaldi to visit the Garibaldi Glacier.

Tuesday, we got a bit of a later start than planned as the gusts were a bit slow to settle out, but the sun came out and off we went. Last February when we ventured up to see Garibaldi it was a fabulous day; this trip was looking like it could go either way as the sun was out but we had building wind on the nose up the seno. However, when we turned the last corner to the glacier, the sun was shining and the wind dropped away to nothing. It turned into another wonderful glacier trip! We saw some good calving - though the desire to see something really big fall continues for all of us. Megan even captured some fun live iPhone pictures of the calving as well as some nice sunny pictures. We all thoroughly enjoyed watching the glacier, gathering ice and generally just had a great afternoon. After awhile the cloud cover returned, making the sun come and go and giving the impression that it was time to head back out. We traveled the 11 nm back out the seno and the 5 nm across to Isla Chair to anchor for the night. We anchored two nights there back in February and had forgotten just how splendid the view was back down the Beagle, towards the mountains of Seno Pia.

We wrapped up this week with a great day of glacier gazing and views over the Beagle Chanel. It looks like more weather is on the way so we shall see what week 4 holds, thanks for staying tuned.

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