Expedition Antártica





mit SY "SARAH" (4 weeks)

1. DAY USHUAIA (54°56'S / 68°06'W) 
Beautiful view from the plane across the Beagle Channel and glaciers - we meet at the jetty of Afasyn- you choose your bunk and get familiar with the boat - last big shopping for 4 weeks - sailing across the Beagle Channel - we pass 'Isla dos Lobos': Sea Lions and Cormorants. 

2. DAY PUERTO WILLIAMS (54°56'S / 67°36'W) 
We anchor at 'Seno Lauro', the best natural harbour of this region - the wreck of the 'Micalvi' is our jetty and provides at the same time all harbour facilities: pub and shower - here are a handful of boats tied off already, getting ready for Antarctica or just coming down from the Chilean Channels - Yamana Indians - Martin Gusinde Museum - last shower at Micalvi. 

3. DAY PUERTO TORO (55°05'S / 67°06'W) 
Laid back Puerto Williams - 1200 inhabitants - high military presence but totally out of date - no private telephone lines - sailing the Beagle Channel - Puerto Toro: most southern settlement of the world - 50 inhabitants - dealing one bottle of whisky for a couple of buckets full of King Crabs - detailed weather analysis for the right moment to cross the Drake. 

It can get tough - Albatross and Cape Pigeon join the 'Sarah' - daily radio contact with the other yachts and Antarctic weather stations - reaching the Antarctic convergence zone: polar waters with greenish colour and lots of life - who sees the first iceberg? - continuous watch for growlers and icebergs.

8.-9. DAY MELCHIOR ISLANDS (64°20S / 630°00W ) 
We made it - we arrive at Antarctica: the coldest, loneliest, driest, most isolated, most peaceful of all continents, only two percent are not covered by ice - mountain ranges reach 2000 metres - Fur Seal colonies - Sea Leopards on floating iceshells - flashing white of the icebergs and crystal-blue polar water. 

Adelie-, Gentoo- and Chinstrappenguins - they can dive up to 300 metres deep and swim up to 36 km/hour - Crabeater Seals - navigation gets different because we can't see the real coastlines of the islands, so chart navigation is difficult. 

11. - 12. DAY PARADISE BAY (64°55S / 63°00W) 
Big chance to see whales: Minke and Humpback Whales - they often come close to the boat - Chilean station Videla , Cormorant colonies - Gentoo colonies - dinghy trips - incredible scenery 

13. DAY PETERMAN ISLAND (65°10S / 64°05W) 
LeMaire Channel: very narrow channel with 1000 metre high stone walls, sometimes a huge iceberg gets stuck in the middle of the channel - Petermann Island: many Sea Leopards and Sea Elephants. 

14. DAY VERNADSKY STATION (65°15S / 64°15W) 
The passage to Vernadsky is not charted, therefore we put the dinghy in front of the 'Sarah' and look for a safe passage - Vernadsky (Ukraine): 15 men in summer, 10 during the winter, former English station. Base members get a supply ship twice a year only - we bring eggs and cheese from Chile - sauna, pub, discussions. 

15.-16. DAY PORT LOCKROY (64°55S / 63°30W) 
We head north to one of the best anchorages of Antarctica - good chance to meet another yacht or cruise ship - at the English station we can post our polar post - good opportunity to hike up the glacier with our snow shoes. 

17. DAY PALMER STATION (64°45S / 64°00'W) 
If we are lucky we get permission to visit the American base - totally different set-up: thorough biology research - we could even phone back home - American atmosphere. 

We should see Humpback Whales: they are inquisitive and could easily stay for ˝ hour with us, we get the dinghy in the water, they approach us and come very close, they dive below the ''Sarah' and play. 

19. DAY ENTERPRISE ISLAND (64°20'S / 61°10'W) 
'Antarctic Marina': a wrecked whaling boat is our jetty - from the nearby waterfall we tap water and fill up our tanks. 

20. DAY GAMMA ISLAND (64°20S / 630°00W ) 
Last opportunity for extensive dinghy tours - preparation for the Drake - if the group wishes and the weather allowws it we can make a detour to Deception Island: the island is vulcanic, big parts are covered by black lava sand - ruins of an abandoned whaling station. 

We should see the passage with different eyes now; its all much more familiar - sea birds accompany us again - we head for Cape Horn.

25. DAY CAPE HORN (55°50'S / 67°18'W) 
"The classic aspect of Cape Horn is the cliff face to the southern headland. Well below its summit, the old lighthouse I saw burning back in 1977, still stands, but shines no more below the clouds. On exposed rocks, a mile offshore, the sea breaks heavily even on a calm day, as the rollers coming in from the Southern Ocean pile up on shelf water, 75 miles away to the south-west." (Skip Novak: 'Cape Horn cloaked in mystery') 
Cape of the ultimate challenge - many destinies and catastrophes have taken place here - symbol for the end of the world. - visit to the island: Chilean navy control post -passport satmps- chapel - monument - wildlife - deep tussock grass. 

Sail around Cape Horn - excursion to other islands of the Wollaston group - anchor at Bahia Scourfield. 

27. DAY PUERTO WILLIAMS (54°56'S / 67°36'W) 
Back to civilisation after 4 weeks of near isolation - showers and shopping - trekking - we pick up our Cape Horn certificates from the navy post. 

28. DAY USHUAIA (54°56'S / 68°06'W) 
Last sail across the Beagle - fresh bread and cheese - transport to the airport.