Cape Horn & the Beagle Channel

Feb 16, 2020 - National Geographic Explorer

After an easy return crossing of the Drake Passage, we awoke to get a look at Cape Horn, the legendary tip of South America, feared by mariners throughout history. Today it was not so intimidating as the sun broke through in patches and the meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans undulated rather gently.

Traveling north towards the eastern entrance to the Beagle Channel, we were entertained with some presentations by the natural history staff and an interesting navigation. The channel contains many marine animals swimming about and today was no exception. The guests were fortunate to come across a group of sei whales, so we stopped for some impromptu whale watching. A special teatime was hosted by the hotel department at 4 p.m., and the Captain’s farewell cocktail party was underway as we came into view of Ushuaia. It’s been an enlightening, beautiful, and joyous trip to the White Continent.

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About the Author

James Hyde

Undersea Specialist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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