Recent Articles in Logbook

In which we tell of our adventures under sail

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…

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…

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.

Wat Pah Maha Somut

1 2 3 4 Day Four of our six day cruise in the Beagle Channel was spent anchored alongside Polarwind. In fact, by the time we had run back down the fiord from the glacier, on the previous evening, there was already another little charter yacht moored to Polarwind‘s other side – so, in fact there were three of us snugged away in the cove, all set to ride out the storm which was forecast to come our way on…

Sailing Lessons for the Sangha

1 2 3 4 Day Two – and the forecast showed a strong headwind pumping down the Beagle Canal. Glad to have the chance to set some sail and to show our guests how a boat is really supposed to travel, we set forth from our night’s refuge at first light. Oswaldo had planned on leaving at the same hour, but when we weighed anchor there was no sign of life aboard Polarwind. Even before we left the shelter of…

There is Suffering

1 2 3 4 The plane is landing. And I’m still tidying the cabin. I grab my wellies and pull them on; we leap into the dinghy, and Nick pulls hard on the oars. The creek is just 100 yards wide, but Puerto Williams airport is one of the smallest in the world. By the time we’ve landed and I’ve scrambled up the bank, the last of the passengers has already climbed out of the Twin Otter and is walking…

How the Buddha Came Sailing

Ever since I first heard the Buddha’s teachings, some three and a half years ago, I’ve fantasised about the idea of taking a couple of monks sailing. The Buddha and his monks and nuns dwelt in the forests of northern India, and the branch of Buddhism which resonates with me is the one which sticks closest to the life which he advocated: a life verging on the ascetic, with the monastic members of the community still camping out in huts…

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…