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The Discovery of the Magellan Strait (The Chilean Channels – Part III)

From the Beagle Channel several much narrower waterways wind their way north into the Magellan Strait, joining it just west of the infamous Cape Froward (the southernmost point of continental America). Arriving here, the traveller is no longer just trailing after FitzRoy and Darwin; he is sailing in the wake of dozens of heroes. Magellan was the first, of course. Or at any rate, he is believed to have been the first. According to a Venetian gentleman who was sailing…

Whaleboat Sound to Brecknock (The Chilean Channels – Part II)

The Chilean channels are famous for their wild beauty, but for the crew of Mollymawk the scenery is only part of the attraction. For us, the history of this region is equally alluring. To be sailing along the route first discovered by Magellan; to be anchored in the very place where the Beagle moored; to be traversing the sound where Robert FitzRoy searched so frantically for his stolen whaleboat – for us, these things add a special dimension to the…

Goodbye Beagle (The Chilean Channels – Part I)

If there’s anything on Chile’s Pacific coast – any place, or any sight – which exceeds the awesome beauty of the glaciers in the Beagle Channel, then we’ve yet to come across it; but, that having been said, this whole region is a fabulous wonderland of wild grandeur.

A Line Around the Prop

One day we must tell you about our new Olfi… Olfi is an action camera the size of a matchbox which takes pictures sharp enough to pin on your wall. Videos, too. And it costs a mere fraction of the big-name brand; and it’s Made in Wales! One day, we’ll let you know all about it and share with you some of our new Olfi pics, but for today I just want to tell you about an event which occurred…

Inspiration: Three Families Going their Own Way (part 3)

Last week we introduced you to the second of three families who have abandoned conventional living to do their own thing. The third family hail from Argentina and although they’ve been living aboard for many years they’re still breaking their last ties with home and haven’t yet embarked over any oceans. Charter Gringo This third liveaboard family are taking things to the opposite extreme from the Anasazis. Fernando and Barbara are more interested in comfort than speed and they prefer…

Inspiration: Three Families Going their Own Way (part 2)

Last week we introduced you to the first of three families who have abandoned the advised route, along the motorway, to pursue a more adventurous and footloose lifestyle; and now we want you to meet another such crew. Team Anasazi As someone once remarked after meeting the Mollymawks, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”. I like my cats unskinned… but you get my drift: There’s more than one way to go cruising with your kids. If Mike…

Inspiration: Three Families Going their Own Way (part 1)

When Caesar and Xoë and Roxanne were small we often used to encounter other liveaboard families. Now, we seldom do. It’s hard to say why this might be, but I think the problem is not so much one of funding as of fear. These days, people are more afraid to turn their backs on free health care, the national curriculum, and state pension schemes – and that’s what you have to do if you want to cruise. Both Nick and…

Introducing the Beaver

Walking though a woodland is easy – until we leave the path and try to make our own way. Having grown up in a land which is criss-crossed with ancient footpaths and other ‘rights of way’, I somehow take it for granted that the rest of the world must surely have been likewise tamed for my benefit; and so deeply ingrained is this expectation that when we moor the boat in some remote caleta in Tierra del Fuego and row…

Expeditions around Cape Horn

Ever since I wrote about the Cape Verdes we’ve had people contacting us to ask about charters amongst those islands… So, before I embark on this expose of chartering around Cape Horn and to the nearby glaciers I should like to make one thing clear: We do not do charters to Cape Horn. We do not do charters to the glaciers. In fact, we do not do charters. Not to anywhere. Never have; never will. But there are people who…

Ushuaia – a town in denial?

The prettiest thing about Ushuaia is its setting. But there are actually lots of beautiful mountains and bays all throughout the Beagle Channel, so how did this place come to be ‘the chosen one’? Why is there a city here? Ushuaia means something like East-facing Bay. The Yaghan indians who once lived on the shores of the Beagle Channel named most of the coast in this same manner; pretty much all of their place-names end in waia (bay) because their…