Final Destination – Ushuaia – So uthernmost City in the World
Postion: 54:48.819S 068:18.375W - Ushuaia
Date: 15 December 2011
After the ghastly bureaucracy in Buenos Aires, we were bracing ourselves for a resumption as we returned to Argentina (actually, technically we have never left Argentina as the Islas Malvinas, aka Falkland Islands, are of course Argentine). Sure enough as we entered the Beagle Channel on our way to Harberton, unseen eyes were upon us and we heard a call on the radio to “the white sailing boat near Punta Moat”. As we were right next to Punta Moat, we were white, and we had not seen another yacht for days it was clearly for us. It was the Argentine Coastguard. “Here we go” I thought, “Trouble”.
On the contrary, a young man speaking impeccable English wanted us to confirm who we were, where we had come from, and where we were going and when etc. I gave him all the answers, after which he said “Welcome, and if there is anything you should need, please call us on Channel 16”. Blimey! Since then we have had contact with the Coastguard a couple of times and they all start off with a polite “Good morning” etc. I can only assume that the Coastguard officials down south have all been sent off to charm school, but their counterparts in Buenos Aires have yet to go on that course. Or else, they are lulling me into a false sense of security……
We had a wonderful last day in Harberton. A high pressure system has settled over the Beagle Channel and it is warm and sunny with little wind. We went to the Harberton Museum and hadn’t realised that this was just a shop window for the serious scientific research carried out by Natalie and a team of students on the wildlife in the area. They have laboratories where they dissect and analyse each and every specimen of dolphin, porpoise, whale and penguin that they find, then share this data with other academic bodies around the world. Fascinating.
We then when went a long walk ending up at a river in which beavers had created a series of large dams and had their enormous nest(?) in the middle of one of the lakes they had created. Many of the surrounding trees had been felled by them and all the trees bore the marks of their razor sharp teeth. We didn’t see any of the beavers themselves – they are nocturnal and wouldn’t come out until about 10pm.
We upped anchor this morning at 7am and headed out into the Beagle Channel in a flat calm for our last 35 mile motor to Ushuaia, the southernmost City in the world and our final destination.
I’m a bit worried about Linda. She’s behaving oddly. She has taken to waddling about, saying “I can’t believe you sent it. Now everyone knows”, and then bursting into tears. I haven’t a clue what she’s on about.