Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Friday, March 22, 2013

Punta Arenas, Nao Victoria Museo

Day 763
Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas (Sandy Point in English) is the largest city of the Patagonian region (120 thousand inhabitants). And here one can see the full size copy of the Magellan ship "Victoria". Nao Victoria Museum was opened to visitors on October 1, 2011.

The museum is located 7 kilometres from the town and for some reason there is neither any advertisements nor signs- posts by the road. But if one looks towards the Strait of Magellan from the right place then the ship catches the eye from far already.


There were no visitors at the moment. The first impressions: the ship was small, the length about 20-meter, and the crew at the beginning of the voyage consisted of 42 members.




Great respect to the explorers of that time, who crossed the oceans 500 years ago on such small vessels.

The display introduced the reconstruction of the vessel. It had taken about three years (2006-2009) to find the original drawings of the ship and two more years (2009-2011) to reconstruct the vessel.


The next historic ship with arcs up. HMS Beagle was the ship where the captain of the second voyage was 23 years old Robert Fitzroy. The trip lasted for 5 years and Charles Darwin, who was then 22 years old, also took part in it.


And one more vessel that has played an important role in the history of Chile -


Large ships caught the eye from far already, but there was one more small and modest boat near the shore. In appearance it looked like as an ordinary lifeboat, but with a mast. Except that the story of that boat is far from ordinary rescue boats. Sir Ernst Shackleton was looking for men for the Trans-Antarctic expedition. As Scott and Amundsen had already reached the Pole, Shackleton decided to organize an expedition and overcome the Antarctic.

MEN WANTED: for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success. Pakkumisele saabus 5000 soovijat.

MEN WANTED: for Hazardous Journey, Small Wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success. The number of the applicants was 5000 The ship "Endurance" left the island of South Georgia on December 5, 1914, and headed to Antarctica, on January 18 the ship was totally imprisoned by ice. The ship drifted together with the ice northwards - until 282 days later the crew abandoned the ship.

On October 27, 1915 the journey over the ice began. Two lifeboats were taken with on sledges. Because of the difficult conditions of the ice - only 2 miles (3.2 km) were covered in three days and then the crew remained camping on ice. The drifting on ice continued for 164 days and n April 8, 1916 the boats were launched into water and they managed to reach the Elephant Island six days later. Since the Elephant Island was uninhabited the only way to rescue the members of the expedition was to travel on by boat to the island of South Georgia, located 1,300 kilometres away.

1300-kilometer trip was made by a rescue boat called "James Caird". The carpenter of the ship built the boat a bit higher and a mast was added. Shackleton took with food supplies only for 4 weeks , knowing that if they make a tiny navigation error of even one degree, they will pass the island and be lost.

April 24 the boat was in water and the 6-member team began their journey towards the Islands of South Georgia.

The journey

The island was reached 14 days later but the whaling station was located on the other side of the island. Shackleton and his two companions crossed the island's glaciers in 3 days, without a map and practically without any equipment, except some ropes, and finally reached the whaling station.

The rest of the crew was rescued from the Elephant Island on August 30, 1916, by that time they had spent 138 days on the island. All 27 members had survived, and this expedition of 635 days is considered to be the greatest survival experience in history.

This is a very brief and elementary summary of the famous voyage of Sir Ernst Shackleton

A longer and more detailed story is - Wikipedia and also there are several films about this adventure . Continues.

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