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"
The story of Darwin's Ship
By Keith Thompson
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc
Puerto Williams is located on Navarino Island
Woolaya is on Navarino just in front of Smith Island (later named Button
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
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