Flying over Ushuaia


As expected, I HAVE NOT SLEEPED ANYTHING. I have not stopped going around and looking out the window (from which I see the port). Barely I have closed my eye 4 hours. I guess it's normal. As soon as the alarm went off, I jumped and climbed to the fourth floor of the Hotel Mil810 (COMPLETE ARTICLE ON ACCOMMODATION HERE) to have breakfast.

An important thing, very stressed, is to take a lot of vitamin before the Drake Pass. In this I have been several days, based on kiwi and orange. Today I will also take biodramina for the first time in my life for possible dizziness (I have brought 3 boxes, 2 with caffeine and 1 without it). It's 7 in the morning and by chance! THIS ENTERING THE MOLCHANOV IN LE PUERTO !! That little boat of expedition will be the one that will take us to the adventure ...

I do not want to spend the morning nervous and waiting, so after checking out (107 ARS, including the fees of some polar boots that I sent by UPS from Spain to not carry them in the rest of the trip and they arrived healthy and save) I'm going to fly over Ushuaia, the Tierra de Fuego National Park and the Beagle Channel. So I'm heading to the Aeroclub, which you can almost walk but I'm late (taxi 10 ARS). The temperature is ideal, 6ºC, although today it has dawned something more cloudy.

The views of the entire mountain range as soon as you take off are beautiful. We reach the Darwin's Antiplane, in an already Chilean area, flying over the Tierra de Fuego National Park, a true wonder of nature ...

But even more impressive is watching from the air the greatness of the Beagle Channel, which runs along the large Tierra de Fuego island from west to east, in addition to the Stewart, O'Brien, Gordon, Hoste, Navarino, Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands in the south. It has a shared part with Chile.

Omar is my pilot. He is already retired and does this by hobby. He is a true artist at the controls of the plane. For a while let me take her, since there is hardly any wind and the day is very calm ...

We continue east and turn again. Now we see from the air the city of Ushuaia, a Christmas postcard city tucked between the snow-covered Martial mountains.

It is time to land. From the control tower (which shares the Airport with the Aeroclub - which are different and perpendicular tracks in different places) they tell Omar that the wind has changed as we fly over Usuahia and that the direction of landing on the runway changes. Omar has already started the maneuver and cannot, but manages to control the plane very well by making a tail wind landing perfect. An artist!!

Time for farewells, tips (9 ARS), photos and diplomas ... you know, those things ...

The sun has risen. I do not think so. Although I am very loaded from this side of the shore there are some great photos ...

And now yes, the time has come. I have returned to the hotel (6 ARS the taxi) to keep the last things, to meet with the rest of the group and to start the I CHAVETAS EXPEDITION (haha)

Mother, family, friends and company... please, I don't want you to worry. I'm OK, you see that I'm having a great time and I've hardly had any problems. An important thing, I WILL NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS FROM THIS MOMENT. This means that I will not read you emails or comments or anythingThat on the one hand, and on the other, as we have been told, it is very likely that WE CANNOT SEND A SATELLITE EMAIL FROM THE BOAT UNTIL SUNDAY DAY 6 That would be the day I would send an email to the web to tell you about the Drake Pass and so on and it would be published automatically. So keep that in mind. In addition today both the Beagle Channel and the entrance to the port looks like an oil raft. You can even see the snowy mountains reflected in the water at times ...

Sandy (what a surprise you are friends with Angela, hehe, and that on your club you changed the bet of Antarctica, which had surprised me a lot), Yiya, Friends and family of Angela, Manel and Josep, equally for you, you will all have news from here if we are able to publish, do not worry either. I am the "yogurt" I will take care of everyone, hehehe

Remember everyone, that the boats are made to float, to sail, are safe ... and that surely everyone, as a child, has had a dream ... a white dream, with Commander Calypso, or the Admusen, Scott and Shackleton explorers. And now that dream comes true. He dream of sailing among icebergs, the midnight sun, the penguins, the whales, the multitude of petrels flying around the ship or the leopard seals or sea lions.

NOTE: From this moment, I will respect the format that I published at the time in "live" from Molchanov, with the ship's satellite email and in "Bitacora minidiary" format ...

******************** DAILY BITACORA HOME ********************

Thursday, December 3, 2009
18:37 Dock of the Port, Ushuaia
At 68º 17 'W - 54º 48' S

The general feeling that I perceive on the ship is that we go away from everything known. Almost incommunicado, farewell words, nervous laughs ... it is as if crossing the Drake Passage is heading to another planet, different from everything previously experienced.

He Professor Molchanov (COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE) is a small boat, of just 56 passengers on this trip (5 of the staff), who has traveled this route many times. It is composed mainly of 20 tribulants of Russian origin. However, right now we are sitting at the bar, and they have invited us to champagne and they have introduced the "expedition leader", the "boss hotel" and the "doctor" (who jokingly said that we did not raise it before 7 '00) and these are of Dutch and German origin, as the expedition company ,. The language spoken is English but it is understood very well or Josep and Manel are helping us.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see the range of ages and nationalities. I have already met the youngest boy, his name is Koen, he is 29 years old and he is Dutch (UPGRADE: Later he would meet a 20-year-old "Hawaiian", although he looked more). Like everyone else, he is fulfilling his life's dream. Spanish, to my surprise, we are 9 !! The second most represented nationality with the Dutch. In front there are 13 Americans, and behind, to a lesser extent, Belgians, Italians, Greeks, Malaysians, some Portuguese ... and no Japanese.

The loose ship moorings ... A little wind has risen in the Beagle Channel, but that is not a problem. It's already 18'51. We are separated from Antarctic lands almost 1000 km and 41 hours of travel. The adventure begins.

Thursday, December 3, 2009
22:31, in the middle of the Beagle Channel
At 67º 32 'W, 54º 54' S

What a feeling of loneliness and isolation. Sitting on the top of the abrupt ship, a multitude of albatrosses are heard singing. The wind, as if it knew that we are abandoning the protection of the Canal has just risen, letting us know, as if wanting to warn us of what awaits us.

There are still some travelers on board after a first dinner on board. All full of illusions. We look at the bottom and see the sun disappear behind the Chilean mountains at the height of Puerto Wiliams.

The doctor appears on the bow, and recommends us to take the pills and go to sleep. "Rock n 'Roll starts in 4 hours," he tells us. How bad it sounds. At that time we will spend the Cape Horn, the southernmost lighthouse in the world, leaving it on our right, to port. It is the beginning of the long journey that separates America from Antarctica and links the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic. It is a long wait and with the wind the cold gets into the last part of the body. I think I'll go to sleep. The beginning of the dream has begun

Isaac, from the Beagle Channel (Argentina)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 132 ARS (approx 26.4 EUROS)