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Pedro Sarmiento (Along Canal Sarmiento to Puerto Bueno)

So, now – finally – I’m going to tell you about Sarmiento. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa is commemorated in various places throughout Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia; and so he should be, for he was the first true explorer of this region. Magellan it was who found the passage through the tip of southern South America – but he failed to return from his voyage, and he didn’t even leave a logbook for us to peruse. One of Magellan’s officers,…

Trousers and The Man (From Caleta Dixon, via Canal Harriet, to Caleta Moonlight)

Once again, it was Tania who first spotted the dolphins. They were feeding at the back of Dixon Cove when we entered. Their tall, elegant fins immediately betrayed them as being from the species known in English as Peale’s – or, as I prefer to write it, Peales. Although they promptly disappeared – causing us to think that we had frightened them – on the following morning they came back and gave their strange visitor a thorough examination. And when…

Escape! (From Puerto Natales to Estrecho Collingwood)

Having renewed our visas by nipping into Argentina for a couple of hours, we were more than ready to leave the so-called port of Natales. Alas, the weather – and the authorities – had other ideas. Whenever the wind is above force six the Armada shut this place; you can come in, but you can’t go out. It might be argued that there is good reason for this nannying, because some of the local fishing boats are really not fit…

SSB v Sat Phone

Twenty years ago we got caught out in a big storm. We’d set out from Argentina on a zephyr of a breeze, bound for the Falkland Islands. A couple of days later the wind began to fill in – and it kept on filling in until the seas were the size of small mountains. Each mountainous wave, towering above our mast, was capped by a snowy peak several times the size of the boat; and wherever the mountains tumbled over,…

About Us

It might seem strange, but although we’re continually adding to this website, we seldom visit it ourselves. Thus it was that Roxanne, checking something out the other day, discovered that the crew list portrayed her as a gawky eleven year old. It was eight years ago that we put the ‘crew’ biographies on line, and none of us had been back there since. Pretty much the same goes for the pages describing the boat and our travels – they’re way…

From 57° to 57° in ’66

As regular readers will have gathered, one of our delights in sailing the waters of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia has been to think of the travellers in whose wake we are sailing: To picture Magellan himself battling along the Strait and finding refuge in coves along the way; to imagine Drake and Sarmiento, clambering up the rocks and stomping through the bogs in their puffy satin bloomers and silk stockings… We have also had a lot of fun following…

Mollymawk arrives in Puerto Eden

Mollymawk has just arrived in Puerto Eden after a journey of six weeks in the Chilean channels. Puerto Eden is actually only about 300 miles from Puerto Natales, which was the last place where we had contact with the outside world, and many yachts make this passage in a fortnight; in fact, some friends recently made the same trip in just four days! But Mollymawk is not in any hurry. We’re on a voyage of exploration – we want to…

Chatwin’s Brontosaurus (Puerto Consuelo – Part II)

For a visiting yachtsman, the biggest attraction of Puerto Consuelo is that it is a relatively safe anchorage; and it is only when the boat is safely moored that we can disembark and take a look at the place we’ve sailed so far to see. The holding at Consuelo is almost as bad as it is off Puerto Natales or at Laforest, but at least here, if you drag, you just end up on the shoal, astern. However hard it…

Puerto Consuelo (Part I)

The other day we told you about Puerto Natales, a town which doesn’t really deserve to be called a port. By the time one has travelled this far through the channels it has become evident that a puerto, in Chilean parlance, does not necessarily imply the presence of a quay or any other facilities appropriate to the berthing of a vessel, and it may not even mean a settlement. In fact, very few of the puertos in the Magellan Straits…

Puerto Natales

Christmas town – that’s Puerto Natales; or rather, to be more exact, this place is called Birth Port, and the birth referred to is apparently that of Jesus Christ. As the story goes, the man who named the place happened to be camped here on Christmas day – so it’s easy to see how that bit came about – but as for the designation as port…  this is just wishful thinking. In reality Natales is not so much a port…