On to Tierra Del Fuego

So next stop Tierra Del  Fuego ‘land of fire’. So called because the native
tribes used to us fires on land and in their canoes to keep them warm. It is
cold all the time, even in summer, those of you in the UK can feel smug
knowing that the temperature in Tierra del Fuego is currently reaching the
dizzy heights of 2 degrees (according to the local paper).

Specifically we are heading for the Beagle Channel. Here the local tribe was
called the ‘Yamana’. They didn’t wear clothes but they were small and fat
and covered their bodies in grease. Unfortunately since sailors started
sailing around the Cape Horn and up the Beagle Channel in the early 1800’s
the ~3000 tribes people were reduced to just 100 by tuberculosis, flu and
syphilis. Then the Spanish (who were at the time conquering the north of
Argentina) worked their way down and inbreeding now means that the Yamana
are no more. The Beagle Channel was named by the British navy when surveying
the coast in the 1830’s under the famous Captain Robert Fitzroy (accompanied
by the even more famous Charles Darwin). The Beagle was Fitzroy’s ship. Now
called the ‘Canal Beagle’, it forms the boarder between Chile and the part
of Tierra del Fuego owned by Argentina. This seems to be an even more touchy
subject than ‘las Malvinas’ and although the two sides of the Canal Beagle
are only 5 miles apart there is little or no ferry connection between the

On our way we will pass (but not stop at) a town called ‘Puerto Madryn’
originally established by Welsh People and rumour has it they still
speak a bit of Welsh there.

On-board Elinca we are settling down for another 8 or 9 days at sea. There
is wind on the horizon … lots of it! There are several big depressions in
the forecast and we are sure to hit at least one of them before the end of
the week. At the moment we’re not sure which one but we’ll keep you posted.
Should be calm for at least the next 3 days though so we’re having cottage
pie tonight… yum.

IN OTHER NEWS: as the Month of Movember is entering it’s final third the men
with Mos are looking even more ridiculously thick and bushy. The customs
officers at Mar Del Plata must just think that moustaches are all the rage
in Britain. We think they were very impressed.

Check out the Movember website and search “Adventure 2013”


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2 Responses to On to Tierra Del Fuego

  1. Barbara matthewman says:

    A relief to know that you managed to get away from the harbourmaster and set off on the next leg of your journey. I was worried the Argentinians might be behaving Argentinian with respect to the British.
    Apparently it snowed in Sheffield on Wednesday night! So we are moving into the thermals zone as well.

  2. The Beagle Channel looks amazing! What a treat to look forward to! Can’t wait to see your photos.

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