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Carly Hill lost overboard

A couple of days ago we received some terribly sad and shocking news: Our dear friend, Carly Hill, has been lost overboard from the catamaran Oryx. Oryx had recently crossed the Atlantic from Brazil to spend some time in Carly’s South African homeland. During this month-long adventure Carly’s family and friends were quite worried for her safety – and with some justification, I may say, for the passage across the southern end of the South Atlantic is no sunshine cruise.…

A Postcard from the Snowy South

Well, we were expecting to see some snow down in Tierra del Fuego; but we weren’t expecting to see quite this much! Mind you, we didn’t even know that it was snowing until we went on deck. Some of the people from the neighbouring boats had joined us for supper, and we were all snug and cosy in the cabin. That’s an Irish fellow by the name of Fiacra in the foreground. Notice that he’s actually wearing shorts! Our little…

A Postcard from the Uttermost Part of the Earth

FINALLY – after 19 years of faffing around – MOLLYMAWK IS IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO! Wa-hoooooo…! Trrraaa… (and other strange exclamations). Well, this event certainly deserves a trumpet fanfare! Can it really be 19 years ago that we got caught out in that hurricane-force storm and rolled the boat? What a day that was…! And how far-reaching were its effects! There we were – pootling across from Argentina to the Falklands, with every hope of spending Caesar’s fifth birthday in…

A Postcard from Puerto Deseado

One of the few safe havens on the Atlantic coast of Argentina is Puerto Deseado – a bleak, wind-swept rivermouth.  Founded as a wool port for the estancias of the hinterland, its nearest neighbour lies 200km (125 miles) away. In our view, the place should be renamed Puerto Desolado, for it is certainly a desolate spot. It was christened by one Thomas Cavendish, an English explorer following in the wake of Sir Francis Drake and Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan undertook repairs…

A Postcard from the Argentine Desert

I’m not sure what we expected from the Argentine coast south of the River Plate. Certainly, we knew that it was a windswept place, and we knew that there were few settlements. Having visited it twenty years ago, we knew that Valdez – the peninsula which shelters the famous whale breeding ground – is a waterless wasteland of rock and sand; but what we hadn’t realised is that the whole of the country from this point south is similarly dry,…