Chilean Patagonia with Australis
There are few places in the world in which man feels as vulnerable and surrounded by a mystic aura of spirituality as Cape Horn. Its location between two oceans at 55°56’ South latitude and 67°19’ West longitude, along with the intensity of the climatic phenomena that occur there, make visiting Cape Horn a unique and incomparable experience. I have been on a trip from Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas, Chile sailing trough the Beagle Channel as well as the Magellan Strait on board of the Australis. Cape Horn has been the highlight of this trip due to the fact of being the southernmost point in the world and by far the worst in terms of weather. It is estimated that between the 16th and the 20th centuries more than 800 ships were lost in the stormy waters of Cape Horn, burying no fewer than 10.000 men of all walks of life and nationalities at sea. But not only Cape Horn. Tierra del Fuego is known also for glaciers. All of Chilean Patagonia and the westernmost parts of Argentine Patagonia were once completely covered by the enormous Patagonian Ice Sheet. Not only a reminder of the many ice ages that once ruled the earth, glaciers are of vital importance to humans as they store 75% of the world’s freshwater. And while the worrying speed of retreat of glaciers across the globe is an urgent challenge, visitors will be inspired by this region’s claim to fame as the land of glaciers. A trip to explore one of these many ice giants it is a must.