On 29 January 1833, Charles Darwin sailed on the HMS Beagle through the strait now known as the Beagle channel. Sailing on this ship, Darwin came to his first ideas on evolution – for which he became famous. Nowadays this very channel forms the border between Argentina and Chile. We decided on our day off to retrace his ‘steps’ by taking a sailing trip in the Beagle Channel.

What a spectacular day for a breathtaking trip… A perfect sunny day of 15 degrees (which is the warmest its been in my 2 months here) with a gentle breeze – just enough to have our sailboat glide through the water at an adventurous speed. Just what I needed, a relaxing day on the water after the first weeks on campaign!

Let me try to best describe the feeling I had on this trip: Imagine being isolated, as far as you look you see no civilization, there is the smell of sea salt in the air, the sun baking down on you, crystal clear waters which are isolated by mountains towering above with their peaks still white with snow from the winter. Now add the distant call of seagulls, penguins swimming around your boat and a mother sea-lion calling her cub, who comes waggling over the rock, calling back at her. A truly majestic moment which I will remember for years to come.

Here are a few photos from the trip:


And a short video of a sea-lion mother coming out of the water. Also on the rock you can see sea-lion cubs of about 11months old (sorry for my shaky video – its slightly more difficult keeping steady on a moving boat…:D ).

About Markus Geldenhuys

Markus Geldenhuys was a PhD student at the Institute for Energy and Climate (IEK-7, Stratosphere) and a HITEC fellow. During his PhD, he was working on gravity waves observed by the infrared spectrometer GLORIA. He was responsible for forecasting, flight planning and data processing during the SOUTHTRAC Campaign.

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