At Sea in Beagle Channel

Mar 09, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


After a quiet night spent at Staten Island’s beautiful Bahia Canepa Fjord, National Geographic Orion sailed west toward Beagle Channel and Ushuaia. The decision came down last night, however, that we would sail south to Cape Horn a day earlier, but only once conditions permitted. Waiting out the strong winds under the protection of the Wollaston Islands didn’t much bother us if it meant getting to tour the island at the end of the world (Cape Horn’s nickname) ahead of schedule.

One cannot underestimate the fierce conditions that make up the clime of this area, marked frequently by wind speeds as great as 40 to 50 miles per hour! We find ourselves in the southernmost latitudes to explore anew, to sail the routes of those who came to discover these torrential territories, and to see the legendary albatross gliding in the mist.

By dusk, we can see come in view of the lights of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. As we farewell the officials from Argentina who travelled with us and allowed the visit to the Nature Reserve Isla de los Estados, we are welcomed by officials from Chile. We are in new territory now and will sail into more southern adventures.

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About the Author

Gabriela Roldan

Naturalist

A native of Argentina, Gabriela has lived and worked for more than a decade in Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world. Her interest for travelling and a degree in tourism management from the Universidad de la Patagonia, led Gabriela to serve as a guide in all corners of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as lecturing widely on South America and Antarctica sharing her first-hand experiences and enthusiasm for the region.

About the Photographer

Ian Strachan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

One steady constant in Ian’s life has been the ocean. Born by the rocky shores of mid-coast Maine, his family repatriated to far north Queensland in Australia early on in his life where he became a dual-citizen and sparked his passion for exploring new environments. Living only an hour away from the Great Barrier Reef served to direct, if not focus, the exhilaration of discovery and set him on his current path. Returning to native soil for education, Ian was fascinated by altogether too many subjects, leaving him with a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Psychobiology, focusing on animal behavior and perception, and with minors in Astronomy, History, and Environmental Science.

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