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Published: January 1st 2020
It wasn't really the end of the world but the end of the Pan American Highway which covers 17,848kms to Alaska. It ends on a dusty dirt road so I hope the rest of it isn't like this.
After an 'average' crossing of Drake Passage again, 5-6 m swells and 40-50 knot winds, we called in to a sheltered spot by Cape Horn, which is really an island. A new monument to all the ships that have been wrecked and sailors who have been lost, was erected in 1992. Over 1000 ships have gone down. The worst year was 1905 when, of 130 ships who tried to round the Horn, 53 were lost. The space between the two parts of the monument show the outline of an albatross when viewed from a certain angle.
The poem on the monument reads: I, the albatross that awaits at the end of the world I am the forgotten soul of the sailors lost rounding Cape Horn From all the seas of the world But die they did not in the fierce waves, for today towards eternity, in my wings they soar in the last crevice
of Antarctic winds.
Carrying on to Ushuaia in Argentina we berthed in time to spend New Year's Eve in a stable ship. Everyone was issued with a top hat for the men and a tiara with a feather in it for the women. They were very effective despite being made of cardboard. The main theatre was cleared and dancing went on till well after midnight with champagne flowing freely.
It was a bit hard to get up this morning for our trip to the Tierra del Fuego National Park and a sail on the Beagle Channel. But we made it! We bussed to the park along with ten million other buses. The scenery was stunning but not much snow was on the mountains. One mountain on the border with Chile is owned by Chile above the snow line and below by Argentina. Lots of locals were out picnicking or camping which apparently is traditional for New Year's Day. I felt sorry for them with all these buses, vans and taxis throwing up dust.
Magellan named Tierra del Fuego the land of fire because he saw smoke rising from indigenous people's fire. The indigenous people, the Marpuchas, have
The monument to lost sailors
The gap between the two parts makes the outline of an albatross when viewed from the right angle.
long since disappeared. Lots of immigrants have arrived from Europe, especially from Wales.
Returning to Ushuaia by catamaran we called by a colony of cormorants, common old shags to us, and sea lions. The sea was beautifully calm and the temperature rose to 20 degrees.
Grounded in the harbour is a WWII tug the St Christopher, which saw service on D day and somehow made its way south. Also in Harbour were two Greenpeace ships.
We're currently sailing down the Beagle Channel named after the ship that Darwin sailed the world in, and shortly we will be in Glacier Alley on our war to the Straits of Magellan and Punta Arenas in Chile. Tomorrow we will learn more about Magellan.
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