|Chilean Fjords, Chile|
|Tidewater Italia Glacier - Beagle Channel, Chile|
|Darwin Channel, Chile|
|Romanche Glacier - Beagle Channel, Chile|
|Cape Horn, Argentina|
Strait of Magellan, Cape Horn, Chilean Fjords, Darwin & Beagle Channels, Chile (2/2-4/2010) - Cruising the Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn was an interesting experience with its abundant beauty and amazing history.
We first sailed through the Darwin Channel (see photos) named for Darwin’s expeditions in the 1830’s resulting in his first publication and the beginning of his famous conclusions of species development as adaptations to their environment. Then we passed through the Chilean side of the famous Strait of Magellan (see photo). The Strait of Magellan was once thought to be the most southerly point of the South American continent.
This navigable sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was named in honor of its first European discover, Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan, whose amazing voyage in service to the Spanish King was the first recorded global circumnavigation. Starting in 1519 with 265 sailors and 5 ships, Magellan died before one ship with only 18 sailors returned 1 ½ years later.
Later we cruised the beautiful Beagle Channel - again named after Darwin’s explorations in this area (his ship was named the Beagle). We continued cruising the Chilean Fjords passing by the amazing glacier row of six glaciers including Alemania, Romanche, and Italia Glaciers (see photos). Italia Glacier is one of the last remaining tidal flow glaciers (flowing all the way to the sea).
Also on this adventure, we had an early morning cruising by the infamous Cape Horn that rises to a height of 1,391 feet (see photo). This area around Cape Horn is notorious to be one of the most treacherous and hazardous ocean areas in the world with strong currents, huge waves, and strong winds caused by frequent storms. For centuries, many ships have been lost or damaged crossing this area of ocean. Continuing our luck, as with most of our travels, we had very nice weather and calm seas – probably the best anyone could image. Wayne was hoping to be able to tell you a more adventurous story of our Cape Horn crossing - barely holding onto the deck, etc.
Cape Horn derives its name from a small village in the Netherlands (Hoorn) where in 1616, Dutch sailors set out to sail around the end of South America. Formally, these important trade routes were locked up by the Dutch East India Company who held a monopoly on the Straits of Magellan - then thought to be the only way around because the island of Tierra del Fuego to the south was thought to be another continent.
Please also see our 7 other blog posts for beautiful Chile:
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