The expedition yacht Seal lies at anchor in a shallow bay on Isla Navarino, on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, while its crew of charter guests explores an isolated homestead. In the background, on the other side of the narrow channel named after HMS Beagle, loom the mountains of Argentina. Captained by Robert Fitzroy, the Beagle charted this remote part of Patagonia in the 1830s before heading up the South American coast to the Galápagos Islands. It was on this voyage that the ship’s naturalist, Charles Darwin, developed his theory of evolution.
Fitzroy too made a singular contribution to science, as a pioneering navigator and meteorologist who came up with the term “weather forecasting.” His charts of the South American coastline were so accurate that they were still in use well into the later years of the 20th century.
The Yagan people whose campfires led to this land at the tip of South America being named Tierra del Fuego are long gone, but this remains a grand place, governed by extreme weather and famed for its raw beauty; a cruising destination like no other.