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Expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, Cape Horn, Falklands & Tierra Del Fuego

On this virtual tour you may see: Majestic mountains dipped in snow... Crystalline waterways... Whales, seals, Soaring Andes condors... Ice-blue Glaciers that shimmer like jewels..

Below is an 1830 chart of the Island of Navarin
(now called Navarino)
Made by Captain Robert Fitz Roy when he had been
with the HMS Beagle for two years at the age of 25 years.

On this voyage he made the historic decision to take Jimmy Button and three other Yagan Indians back to England.

Fitz Roy said in his journal on Sept. 12, 1830:

" I shall procure for these people a suitable education, and after two or three years, shall send or take them back to their own country, with as large a stock as I can collect of those articles most useful to them, and most likely to improve the condition of their countrymen, who are scarcely superior to the brute condition"

quoted from:
HMS Beagle
The story of Darwin's Ship
By Keith Thompson
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc
ISBN 0-393-03778-9

Puerto Williams is located on Navarino Island

Woolaya is on Navarino just in front of Smith Island (later named Button Island)

Seal from the British Hydrographic
office for the 1834 chart below:
"Part of Tierra Del Fuego".
Date: 6 August 1834


Copy of Captain Fitzroy's Navigation Chart
of Navarino Island and it's surroundings in Tierra Del Fuego

This chart was made aboard the HMS "Beagle"
on the 1832 voyage with Darwin.

  • It is surprisingly accurate by today's standards. Part of this was due to the 22 gimbled Chronometers aboard the BEAGLE.
  • On the West end of the island lies Wulaia, the home of the Yagan Indian, Jimmy Button who returned there from england in 1832.

  •  Errors of Windhound Bay location, etc. had been corrected from the 1830 chart

  • Puerto Williams, the world's most southern town lies on the Southern shore of the North (Beagle) Channel at longitude 67 Degrees, 37 Minutes.

  • TIERRA DEL FUEGO, Fireland is so named for the hundreds fires that were seen on the beach which the Indians used to keep themselves warm and cook their main diet of mussels.

  • As early as the beginning of the18th century, an estimated 8,000 Yagan Indians lived here.

  • They paddled their flimsy Beech bark canoes out as far as the treacherous islands of Cape Horn and beyond.These nomads of the sea had lived here for perhaps ten thousand years.

  • Their shellfish middens may still be seen, some as high as 12 feet, lining the beaches.

    Below is part of an intimate October 4, 1833 letter from the then 28 year old Captain Fitz Roy to the 24 year old Charles Darwin just after leaving Tierra Del Fuego.They were good friends and generally respected each other , even though they had their differences :

    "But firstly of the first - my good Philos why have you told me nothing of of your hairbreath scapes & moving accidents? How many times did you flee from the Indians? How many precipices did you fall over? How many bogs did you fall into? How often were you carried away by the floods? and how many times were you kilt? That you were not kilt dead . I have visible evidence......

    P.S. I do not rejoice at your extraordinary & outrageous peregrinations because I am envious, jealous, and extremely full of all uncharitableness. What will they think at home of "Master Charles" ? "I do think he be gone mad". Prithee be careful....."

    Quoted from: HMS Beagle, The story of Darwin's Ship, By Keith Thompson

    Fitz Roy and Magellean were both strong Christians
    and that was one of their motivations to reach out so far.

    Compare Fitz Roy's charts with Magellan's charts 310 years Earlier

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