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The Boggy Isles

I used to think that bogs were rather drab and dismal places. They’re definitively damp, and nothing much grows there except… well, you know – boggy stuff. Some of that ‘stuff’ I identified tentatively as sphagnum moss, and the rest I dismissed as “some other kind of moss”. And who could possibly get excited about moss? Well, lots of people, as it turns out; and me too, eventually. It turns out that the flora of the Cape Horn National Park…

The End of the World is Nigh : The History of Cape Horn

The wind blew hard from the south-west, driving up great waves. Not since they left the northern hemisphere had the ship ridden seas this big – but far from being afraid or dismayed her captain was ecstatic. During the months that she had spent on the coast which we now know as Argentina the Endracht had seen plenty of strong winds, but always before the adjacent land had provided a lee. Now, evidently, there was no lee, or else how…

Cape Horn or bust!

Once upon a time, almost 27 years ago, a young and ridiculously carefree artist set out across the Atlantic Ocean. Skippering the brand-new, tupperware yacht which carried this maiden was a carefree Master Mariner – also young, but with a six year circumnavigation of the globe in his wake. The vessel had barely crossed Biscay before these two young and carefree hearts began to beat as one, but she was about half way across the pond by the time the…

Missionary Massacre – Part Five of a Tale of Exploration and Indians

This article is the last in our series of five about the first European interactions with the people of Tierra del Fuego. If you haven’t been following along you may want to start at the beginning. The Allen Gardiner set out from the Falklands, and on reaching Tierra del Fuego she sailed around the bottom of Isla Navarino and beat up into the bay at Wulaia. Aboard the boat, the missionaries must have been feeling a mixture of excitement and…

Wulaia and the Missionaries – Part Four of a Tale of Exploration and Indians

Somewhat belatedly… the fourth in our series of articles about missionary encounters with the Yaghan. If you haven’t been following along, check out the first, second, and third articles. The final instalment will follow shortly! The days being short during the southern winter, by the time we reached Wulaia the sun was already low in the sky. We had planned to spend some time exploring the Yaghan ‘hut circles’, but as we approached the bay, wending our way amongst the…