Dennis Wright's Blog

The Wreck of the Santa Leonora

Posted in Travel by Dennis Wright on March 12, 2012

The cruise itinerary took us past the wreck of the Santa Leonora. It was very misty so I was quite pleased to get a usable photo.

There is a story to the demise of the Santa Leonora which was related by the captain over the PA as we passed the wreck. His story matches the explanation in the Kauer’s Korner blog, reproduced below:

Around 4:00pm we approach Isla Shoalon where the Santa Leonora was shipwrecked in 1964.

The ship was on her maiden voyage carrying Chilean pilots northwards through the area. She was a passenger ship of around 18,000 tons. At that time, aboard the bridge, helm orders were given using the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ instead of ‘port’ and ‘starboard.’ As they transited Shoal Pass the pilot and the captain were engaged in conversation and on completion of their talk the captain said, “Alright pilot!”

The nervous helmsman responded to what he thought to be a helms order and applied full right (starboard) rudder. The ship veered to starboard and mounted the nearby shallows at full speed.

Fortunately, no lives were lost. The passengers were rescued the next day. The investigation into the incident revealed that the use of the words ‘right’ and ‘left’ were the cause of the accident. As a result of that incident, all directions on the ship are given as ‘starboard’ (right) and ‘port’ (left).


Chilean Fjords – Amalia Glacier

Posted in Travel by Dennis Wright on March 12, 2012

The Amalia glacier is something like 2km wide as it reaches the sea and has a striking blue colour. You can see the upper stretches of it as it comes down the mountainside.

I was having trouble snapping Naomi with the glacier in the background. She either came out too dark or the background was overexposed. The ship’s official photographer came out with his DSLR and took a picture which had both us and the background correctly exposed. I was stumped until I realised he’d just used fill-in flash. I tried the same trick and my snaps were suddenly as good as his.

Chilean Dawn Aquabstract

Posted in Travel by Dennis Wright on March 12, 2012

Well I did say my blogposts would not be following a linear narrative. We’ve jumped a number of days to the cruise section of our trip. This picture was taken at dawn while we were cruising the Chilean fjords. The rosy dawn light was reflected in the zig-zag pattern made by the ship’s lateral wake. I spotted an opportunity for an abstract picture. It features a lot of water so I call it an aquabstract.

Cuzco Valley

Posted in Travel by Dennis Wright on March 8, 2012

Another journey, another series of blogposts. South America this time, starting in Peru.

This particular trip started over a week ago but it is only now that I am on board ship (the middle section is a Holland America cruise), with a few “at sea” days, that I have the time to start putting up some blogposts. The first few posts will be a retrospective, covering Peru, including Cuzco, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, and part of Chile. I will go straight in to some of the highlights so the narrative may not quite be linear.

Just to make the point, the first post covers day 4 which featured a visit to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Just to put timescales in context; Day 1 was Manchester to Heathrow, Day 2 was Heathrow to Lima via Madrid, and Day 3 was Lima to Cuzco where we just had enough time to visit one of the historical Inca sights, the Golden Enclosure or Qoricancha. Day 4 took in the trip to Ollantaytambo in the “Sacred Valley” that runs between Cuzco and Macchu Picchu and the town of Pisac which is basically a tourist market, if rather cleaner and better than most.

On the way from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo we stopped at a vantage point overlooking a town in a valley with glacier carved slopes and snow-capped Andes mountains in the distance. There was the usual clutch of locals selling traditional goods. The locals had a baby with them in traditional dress.

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