Recent Articles in Scrapbook

A miscellany of chit-chat, quizzes, and articles about the places we have visited

Before Our Very Eyes (Amalia Glacier)

Tilman didn’t think much of Puerto Bueno. For Sarmiento it was “a good port”, for Skyring it was “an excellent haven”, and for Edward Allcard it was “well-named” – but Tilman was unimpressed. A place which has long figured as the penultimate goal [or] the … springboard into the unknown is often given in one’s mind unwarranted attributes, says he; and he then explains how various places in the Himalayas which seem, from their position on the map, to be…

Tilman

At Puerto Bueno we turned away from the trail which Pedro Sarmiento laid out so many centuries before, and we also parted company with His Majesty’s survey vessel the Adelaide and with the pioneer yachtsman, Edward Allcard. Both the Adelaide and Allcard were intent on following the most direct path through the channels – the one effectively in the wake of the other, for Allcard had nothing but the Admiralty Pilot to guide him – but we, meanwhile, were keen…

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,…

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…

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…

Where do dolphins go when it’s raining?

  Ever since I first heard that it was possible to listen to dolphins and record their voices, I’ve wanted to do just that: ever since I first heard that dolphins ‘talk’, I’ve wanted to get my hands on a hydrophone. And pretty much ever since I first understood how privileged we ‘yotties’ are, in being able to wander whither we will and see the wonders of the world, I’ve wanted to share our adventures with someone who can make…

The Detour (The Chilean Channels – Part VI)

We ended last week’s offering with the story of a fight to claw our way to windward and the subsequent casual relinquishment of all those hard won miles. So, why this detour from the ‘main drag’, winding its way from the Straits of Magellan north through the channels to Chiloe? Whither away Mollymawk now?

Smyth Channel (The Chilean Channels – Part V)

From the Straits of Magellan we followed our heroes north into the Smyth Channel. More specifically, we were now sailing in the wake of the schooner Adelaide and one Lieutenant Skyring.