Under the Weather on a Rare Clear Day

Day 37, Grand World Voyage 2020

Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020; Puerto Montt, Chili Fjords

I thought I had successfully fought hints of a cold by taking zinc for a couple of days. My scratchy throat improved, as did my sniffles and sneezes.

Well, last night the symptoms came back with a vengeance, and by this morning my head was stuffed, my throat raw and my chest tight. Worse, my “cough to clear” wasn’t clear. So I found someone to take my place on a tour and headed to medical for the first time in more than 200 cruise days. The doctor agreed that it sounds like an infection and put me on antibiotics. Already I am feeling better.

I normally tough it out, but these coughs travel quickly around the ship. Every day we are getting a new warning note in the cabin: Cover Your Cough. Wash Your Hands.

Mainly I am disappointed to miss my tour. If it had been short, I probably would have gone. But this was an all-day tour along the shores of Lake Llanquihue, a boat ride on Lake Todos los Santos and a trip to Petrohué Rapids, “a gleaming succession of blue rapids against a backdrop of mountains, including nearby Osorno Volcano.” My big chance to see the Patagonian Andes on this trip.

As it turned out, I felt better for most of the day and probably would have enjoyed the tour. But the last thing I wanted was to feel miserable and constantly annoy everyone with a cough (which didn’t develop).

The report is that rain usually falls here almost every day, and this was a rare clear, warm, beautiful day. So I spent a lazy day on the quiet ship with a view of Puerto Montt and its volcano. I didn’t even go ashore, as I heard the only place of interest near the tender port was a craft market. It was a walk to the center of town. Even the circus didn’t tempt me.

For the past two days we have cruised north along the Chilean coast, sometimes cutting through channels within the hundreds of islands and other times in the surprisingly placid Pacific. As we go north, the temperatures rise; today is sunny and in the 60s here in Puerto Montt.

I spent much of the day sitting in the sun and fresh air of the Lido Pool deck, catching up on painting in my sketchbook. I’ll admit I have grown tired of my limited palette of grays from Antarctica. Of course the views were stunning, but it’s not easy to paint snow or to capture the immensity of the mountains at every turn.

I still haven’t figured out how to add a photo gallery to my blog site, so I will just share a bunch of sketches in no particular order to end this post.