Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so it seems appropriate for a Patrick to be reporting. And what a treat of a day it was, even for those with less-timely names. We began our sail through Chile’s Francisco Coloane National Marine Park by landing at Bahia Fortescue, the site of Magellan’s first steps on Patagonian land. A cross now stands at the site of the inaugural mass held in 1520, just ashore from a glorious kelp cathedral devotedly filmed by our dive team.

We sailed onward through snow and rain and sunshine and rainbows into the narrow fjords of this remarkable whale highway with humpback blows lining our path during lunch. We watched deep-diving humpback whales beneath snow-covered peaks, with one whale trumpeting loudly before its fluke throws, perhaps attempting to blow as hard as the winds that created lenticular clouds in the skies above.

After a delicious teatime, we ventured into Mussel Bay on Isla Carlos III, where marine otters, steamer ducks, caracaras, and kingfishers welcomed our Zodiac cruisers. And as I type, local Patagonian’s Eduardo and Santi are sharing about mates and grebes—just another day aboard National Geographic Endurance. Now, for the Kirke Narrows and Puerto Natales!