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The west side of the Sarmiento Canal is flanked by Madre de Dios Island, with towering limstone peaks that fall precipitously into the channel. The east side is interspersed with islands and eventually meets the Chilean mainland. Stunning Amaila Glacier is a marvelous splash of blue and white in a country that ancient explorers described as "where the soil is swampy, cold, and unfit for cultivation, and whose climate is thoroughly cheerless." Oh, if they had only looked around to see that penguins, seabirds and mighty whales find it all quite agreeable.