s/y Nine of Cups
Up the Argentine Coast
February - April 2006
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The pier at the municipal yacht club is in disrepair,but the
views are terrific.
From the top of the hill, a good view of Nine of Cups at
anchor in the harbor. She's center  and just to the right of
the red steeple.
Winter approached quickly. We woke one morning to
find snow on the mountains and frost on our noses. It was
time to head north. We made last minute preparations and
provisioned and off we sailed (ugh...motor-sailed).
The picturesque Faro del Eclaireurs is postcard perfect.
We were sailing in "loose company" with Noel Marshal, a
single handler, aboard "Sadko".The day was lovely as we
headed east out the Beagle Channel to our first anchorage
in Bahia Relegada.
From our anchorage in Relegada, a short, very pleasant walk brought us to
Estancia Harberton, the first estancia (ranch) in Tierra del Fuego and a lovely
place to explore. The estancia was established by a missionary Rev. Thomas
Bridges in 1886. He is well known for his work with the indigenous Yamana
people and developing an English-Yamana dictionary. His son, Lucas, wrote
"The Uttermost Part of the Earth", an amazing boyhood memoir of growing up
with the Yamana. The estancia is still run by the family, Tommy and Natalie
Goodall. Natalie is responsible for the development of the museum there and
for identifying and documenting much of the flora and fauna of the area.
The Museum Acashutun at the estancia offers a unique
collection of marine animal bones.
A local inhabitant of the estancia, a gray fox, poses for this photo.
Our day in Bahia Relegada was sunny and warm...obviously one
of the last warm days. As we progressed along the Beagle, the
weather changed drastically. We encountered high winds and a
reasonable blizzard in Bahia Aguirre and waited out the snowstorm
before heading into the Atlantic, through the Strait of Lemaire and
then turning north towards Mar del Plata, Argentina and some
warmer temperatures.
The entire trip from Ushuaia to Mar del Plata took 19 days. We
had a mix of blizzards, gales, big seas  and perfect sailing weather,
but at last we headed into Mar del Plata and some warmth..
Heading into Mar del Plata harbor, we
were greeted by an enormous Jesus
statue erected on the breakwater.
Marcie  referred to him ever after as the
"Big Jesus".
Mar del Plata, primarily a resort city, is
fairly large and an odd mixture of old
and new. Here an ornate church steeple
mingles with one story homes and
The local water tower blended well with
the local architecture.
A large sea lion colony lives near the breakwater. You
can hear them and smell them long before you see them.
The Mar del Plata coast is long and sweeping...great for surfing
as well as sunbathing.
Ushuaia, southernmost city in the world
Estancia Harberton
Mar del Plata
From Mar del Plata, we headed to Uruguay for
boat maintenance, but we plan to return to
Argentina  in July to do more inland travel.
continue with us to Uruguay, click here.
Heading North up the Argentine Coast
We arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina at the end of February, a 25 mile motor sail
up the Beagle Channel from from Puerto Williams. Ushuaia, touted as the most
southern "city" on the planet, is a beautiful little city surrounded by mountains.
We arrived in summer and enjoyed cool, but mainly sunny weather and long
days. After a month in the canals and Puerto Williams, it was a pleasure to
shop at a grocery store, buy an ice cream cone, eat at a restaurant, visit a
museum and generally enjoy the advantages of civilization again.
Want a closer look at one of the most
vibrant cities in the world? Come with us
Buenos Aires!
How about an Inland Tour of
Faro del  Eclaireurs  (the French name "Les Éclaireurs" means "the Enlighteners" or "the
Scouts") stands in the Beagle Channel about 5 miles from Ushuaia on the northeastern- most
islet of the five Les Eclaireurs islets, from which it takes its name. The brick-built tower is 22.5
metres (74 ft) above sealevel with flashing white every ten seconds. The lighthouse, still in
operation, is remote-controlled, automated, uninhabited, and not open to the public and guards
the sea entrance to Ushuaia. Electricity is supplied by solar-panels. It was put into service in
1920  and today  is probably the most photographed lighthouse in South America.
We spent a wonderful day touring the property and learning more
about the Yamana and the early settlers in the region. We took tea in
the afternoon at the tiny tea room and wandered the property till
early evening.
Before leaving Ushuaia, the crew took advantage of  a last
minute excursion on an expedition vessel to
Birds of South America