54:48.73S 68:18.56W. Saturday the 8th December 2012. Ushuaia.
We sailed from the Falklands in favourable conditions but that all turned against us a few days later when we hit the le Maire Channel. The le Maire Channel is the passage of water that separates the mainland of Argentina to the Island of Estados, and only in the best conditions she does not show her teeth in the form of strong tides, sharp and heavy seas that can often produce large standing waves that have been reported at 10 metres. When we sailed through it was not at its worst and we did not see 10m waves, but we had a tough time of it. It was bitterly cold and the wind and tide was against us right from the start and only with the help of the engine we made only an average of 1.5 to 2 knots going through the channel for nearly 30 hours until we reached the famous Beagle Channel. Even the Beagle Channel proved unforgiving as we had to continue to use the engine to make any head way through the adverse conditions. For quite a while we were very concerned we may not have the fuel to reach Ushuaia. Despite it all, and the wind direction improving enabling us to sail without the engine for much of the last day, we arrived in Ushuaia safe and sound on the evening of the 6th November, 5 days after leaving the Falklands and just in time to celebrate Tina’s birthday.
The Beagle Channel and then Ushuaia is everything we hoped and more. Spectacular scenery in all directions bombards us every day as we spend our time in Ushuaia prepping the yacht for the departure to Antarctica in a few days’ time. So much to do in so little time, and we are loving it…… Watch this space….
Rohan, Matt, Tina and Nigel….