Tierra del Fuego
This portion of the trip began on November 14th when we arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina (Ushuaia is pronounced oo-sh-why-uh). From there we spent half a day in a bus visiting Tierra del Fuego National Park. In the evening, we boarded the cruise ship Terra Australis. On November 15th through the 17th we spent our time cruising the various fjords and passages on the west side of Tierra del Fuego. The cruise ended at midday on the 17th after a visit to the magellanic penguin nesting grounds on Isla Magdalena.
The area of Tierra del Fuego is known for its cold, wet and rough weather. Fortunately for us, the weather for the cruise wasn't bad. A few spatterings of rain, some wind and even a little sun, made for a good trip over all. The roughest parts of the route, Desolada Bay and Cockburn Channel, were traversed at night when everyone was in their cabins and hopefully asleep. These passages are open to the west and can take the full brunt of the prevailing westerly winds off of the Pacific Ocean. All I can say is that I was glad that I was on motion sickness medication during the cruise!
One sad note, I have recently heard that the Terra Australis sank in the middle of the night sometime in the spring of 2002. The cause was due to a fire which started in the engine room and spread to the kitchen. It is reported that one of the cooks was killed in the fire. Twenty-seven passengers were on board at the time. Details are still sketchy, but I will update this page if more information is learned. Looking back on our time on the Terra Australis it seems odd to think that we were amoung one of the last groups to have been on board.
The map of Tierra del Fuego shows the routes that were traveled and the places that were visited.
Click on the place names or map symbol to learn more about that area and to view pictures.