Recent Articles in Scrapbook

A miscellany of chit-chat, quizzes, and articles about the places we have visited

Conquering Armies

Part Three of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Although we had zipped up the door in order to stay warm, the next morning when we awoke there was no condensation on the nylon walls of our roof-top tent. So arid is the air flowing over the Atacama Desert that the damp breath from four bodies was easily absorbed. We wriggled into our clothes, squirmed our way out of the door, and dropped down the ladder, one by…

Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea

Part Two of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Chile is a crazy country. Just look at the shape of it! If Britain is roughly triangular and France is a hexagon, Chile is a long thin squiggly thing. It clings to the western edge of the Andes, and sometimes it even tumbles into the sea, so that much of the lower half of the squiggle is only accessible by boat. Chile occupies an area no greater than France…

Amazing Grace – An Overland Adventure

One of the fundamental ideas behind our cruising lifestyle is that it’s environmentally sustainable – which is why, when Nick first mooted the idea of travelling overland in a campervan I was in two minds. On the one hand, having spent so many years hugging the coastline of this great continent of South America I was very eager to take a look at what goes on inland; but at the same time, I don’t like to do anything which pollutes…

A Cautionary Tale – and a rallying call to the Cruising Community

They left from Natal – three young Brazilians and a French delivery skipper, aboard a British-flagged schooner. The yacht was 72ft long and had once been beautiful, but she was no longer in tip-top condition. Throughout the previous week as they sailed north from Salvador the crew had experienced many problems with her – but what of that? For years the three Brazilian men had dreamed of making a passage across the Atlantic to Europe, and a few problems with…

Before Our Very Eyes (Amalia Glacier)

Tilman didn’t think much of Puerto Bueno. For Sarmiento it was “a good port”, for Skyring it was “an excellent haven”, and for Edward Allcard it was “well-named” – but Tilman was unimpressed. A place which has long figured as the penultimate goal [or] the … springboard into the unknown is often given in one’s mind unwarranted attributes, says he; and he then explains how various places in the Himalayas which seem, from their position on the map, to be…

Tilman

At Puerto Bueno we turned away from the trail which Pedro Sarmiento laid out so many centuries before, and we also parted company with His Majesty’s survey vessel the Adelaide and with the pioneer yachtsman, Edward Allcard. Both the Adelaide and Allcard were intent on following the most direct path through the channels – the one effectively in the wake of the other, for Allcard had nothing but the Admiralty Pilot to guide him – but we, meanwhile, were keen…

Pedro Sarmiento (Along Canal Sarmiento to Puerto Bueno)

So, now – finally – I’m going to tell you about Sarmiento. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa is commemorated in various places throughout Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia; and so he should be, for he was the first true explorer of this region. Magellan it was who found the passage through the tip of southern South America – but he failed to return from his voyage, and he didn’t even leave a logbook for us to peruse. One of Magellan’s officers,…

About Us

It might seem strange, but although we’re continually adding to this website, we seldom visit it ourselves. Thus it was that Roxanne, checking something out the other day, discovered that the crew list portrayed her as a gawky eleven year old. It was eight years ago that we put the ‘crew’ biographies on line, and none of us had been back there since. Pretty much the same goes for the pages describing the boat and our travels – they’re way…

From 57° to 57° in ’66

As regular readers will have gathered, one of our delights in sailing the waters of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia has been to think of the travellers in whose wake we are sailing: To picture Magellan himself battling along the Strait and finding refuge in coves along the way; to imagine Drake and Sarmiento, clambering up the rocks and stomping through the bogs in their puffy satin bloomers and silk stockings… We have also had a lot of fun following…

Chatwin’s Brontosaurus (Puerto Consuelo – Part II)

For a visiting yachtsman, the biggest attraction of Puerto Consuelo is that it is a relatively safe anchorage; and it is only when the boat is safely moored that we can disembark and take a look at the place we’ve sailed so far to see. The holding at Consuelo is almost as bad as it is off Puerto Natales or at Laforest, but at least here, if you drag, you just end up on the shoal, astern. However hard it…