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Amalia Glacier - Patagonia Chile

Amalia Glacier in Chilean Fjords

Today we are sailing in the Chilean Fjords toward the southern tip of South America. Sometimes called Skua Glacier, Amalia is a tidewater glacier, meaning that it flows through a valley and ends in the ocean. Amalia Glacier is located in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, which is the largest protected area in Chile, named after the republic’s first head of state.

Now you might find it strange to find a good Irish name like O’Higgins in Chile. And you would be right. There are not many Irishmen in this part of the world, but it turns out that O’Higgins' father was born in Ireland but later moved to Spain. He was a junior officer in the Spanish military and was sent to Chile which was then a Spanish territory. O’Higgins was born illegitimately and never actually met his father, although his father provided for his education while growing up. His father became the Spanish governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru.

At seventeen Bernardo O'Higgins was sent to London to complete his studies. There, studying history and the arts, O'Higgins became acquainted with American ideas of independence and developed a sense of nationalist pride.