Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Inca Tern

The ship has been to 3 ports in Chile, and before joining the ship we traveled to Rapa Nui Chile. The country has a lot going for it. A great exchange rate. They copyrighted the name Pisco, so Peru can’t use it, Patagonia is here, and they have Easter Island. Ok they did give me the we are going to shake you down look, when I was leaving the country last time, and I didn’t have the slip of paper they gave me when I entered…But the immigration man that didn’t speak English found another paper for me  to fill out, and since I had a pen that wrote in Spanish all was okay.

Chile also has low humidity and high mountains, that combination means Chile is a perfect place for world class celestial observations.

Tololo Observatory

From the port city of Coquimbo we boarded our bus for the hour plus ride to the dirt road that would take us to the Observatory. The dirt road was aboot another hour, but touring the observatory was well worth the trip.
Our guide for touring the observatory is one of the resident scientists.  He discovered a Comet a few years ago, and naturally named it after himself Gonzales.  Be sure to keep an eye out for it, he said it will be visible again in aboot 7000 years.
Tololo Observatory has two large telescopes and several smaller ones. The larger of the two is equipped with a 600 megapixel camera, and is regularly pointed at the very edge of the universe, studying dark matter. This place is cutting edge science.

At Tololo Observatory Looking Across The Andes To Gemini Observatory

It was a dusty ride back down the mountain, but soon we were in La Serena for lunch. We really never have to worry aboot missing a meal.
It was hard to stay awake on the bus ride back to the pier. The seats reclined, and these buses are more comfortable   than a 737-800
Back at the ocean one of the locals was feeding the sea lions, it was quite a feeding frenzy.

Apparently no one told him that feeding wild animals is not a good idea.

Back on board and strolling the deck to gather the motivation to climb the stairs back up to the 11 floor. Spotted on the mooring lines off the bow,  Inca Tern was taking a break.
 Inca Tern

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