Beagle Channel and Cape Horn

Mark Coger , Video Chronicler

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 12 Mar 2018

Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, 3/12/2018, National Geographic Orion

  • Aboard the National Geographic Orion
  • Patagonia

Today we sail! As we meander our way through the Beagle Channel where we were initially blessed with the warmth of sunshine on our catamaran cruise, we again got our dosage of vitamin D as we headed through towards Cape Horn. This was an unexpected delight, as the hotel staff hosted a late morning meal of delicious Bavarian bratwurst and Bloody Mary’s, which we were able to enjoy while warming our bones in the sun.

To occupy our minds as we digested the delicious dogs, Eduardo hosted a lecture about Patagonia and Cape Horn, describing the challenges that early explorers faced while trying to fight westwardly to deliver their goods to the Western Americas. This arduous journey around the cape could take sailors up to three months to complete, facing the relentless gale force winds.

We experienced many seasons as we sailed Cape Horn, the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago. With coordination of the staff and crew, we got to shore, which is no easy feat. One of our veteran naturalists had been waiting 17 years to get ashore here, after many previous bad-weather days not permitting access.

Our weather window was wonderful, arriving during placid seas before the rains came. But the silver lining had our onboard photographers glued to their cameras, as a double rainbow rose from the Pacific Ocean, framing the cape’s memorial. This made for phenomenal photo opportunities.

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