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Expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia,



    • Length 50 ft.

    • Beam 15 ft

    • Lifting keel gives 3 ft draft and 10 ft when down

    • Type French Damien II

    • Steel construction designed for Antarctic navigation


"Philos" on rumb line for Antarctica
with good weather in Goree Pass,
Tierra Del Fuego

Cape Horn - Chilean Fjords

After a morning spent in Ushuaia we will sail toward the East for an afternoon of down wind navigation to Puerto Williams, a chilian navy base, where we will have our passport checked by the Chilean customs. We will need about 2 days of navigation to get out of the Beagle Canal, cross the Nassau Bay often exposed to strong winds and reach the Wolaston archipelago, just north of Cape Horn island.

Back in the Beagle Canal, we will then sail (motor) against the prevailing winds, towards the West, to a succession of fjords and glaciers surounded by the ever lasting snow covered summits of the Darwin cordillera.
 If it is a beautiful day, with a good visibility, then you will have a fantastic and unforgettable sight... Moreover, you will marvel at the feeling of purity that releases itself from this natural sanctuary.

14 days cruise from Ushuaia to Ushuaia

lst day : Crossing of the Beagle Canal to reach Puerto Williams. This naval Chilean base deliver the entry to Chili and the Fuegean Canals . Distance 25 nautical miles.

2nd day : Departure of Puerto Williams. Sailing East toward the end of the Beagle Canal, and then South through the Paso Picton (between Navarino Island and Picton Island). Calling at Puerto Toro for the night.

3rd day : Sailing South to cross the Nassau Bay and reach the South of Wollaston Island, mooring at Caleta Martial (Herschel Island) for the night. Distance: 35 miles.

4th day : Sailing through the Franklin Canal, between Wollaston and Herschel Island, we will pass the famous Cap Horn around midday with chapain . Weather permiting, we will anchor at the South East of Cap Horn island the Chilean navy's camp and then land to visit the chilian navy base. This chilian family always makes us welcome and you may sign the visitors book, get your passeport stamped by the local post office and visit the church and the monument to the memory of all the sailors who died around this infamous cape. We will then sail 12 miles back to the very sheltered anchorage of Caleta Martial.

5th day : Crossing of Nassau Bay and back to Puerto Toro or Caleta Banner (North coast of Picton Island) . Distance: 35 or 53 miles.

6 th day : Back to the Micalvi bar, at Puerto Williams.

7th and 8th day : departure from Puerto Williams to the Darwin Cordillera; We will anchor for the night where allowed by the Chilian authority.

9th, 10th, 11th day: Sailing the north west branch of the Beagle Canal. Anchorage near the entrance of Garibaldi Seno.

12th day : motoring up the Garibaldi Seno until the front of the Glaciers (distance 10 miles). Mooring at Caleta Olla, an old indian camp site.

13th, 14th day : Back to Puerto Williams and Ushuaia via the south west arm of Gordon island.

Period : November to May

Best weather : In summer, from December to March: temperature from 10 to 20 degrees celcius , variable and unstable weather, possibility of strong wind. During autumn : from April to June, temperature from 0 to 15 degrees celcius, weather more stable.

Interest : Rounding of the Cape Horn, the wild splendor of the Patagonian Cannals and Chilian Glaciers.

Difficulty : The canals are protected from the swell and strong wind, but the day sailing around Cape Horn can be tough.


Philos is not a fast racer, because of her weight, but she can handle any storm. This Damien II type sailing boat has been specially designed and built for the french sailors Jérôme Poncet and Gérard Janichon after their first ice navigation, in the seventies. These yachts have been sucessfully used since 25 years in extreme sailing. Her strong rounded hull escapes from the tremendous pression of the fast ice. In fact she's the perfect boat to overwinter in the ice. Her moderate size alows her to come very close to any icebergs,  whales, birds,  seals, and  penguins. 

philos deck

Port of registration: Basel (Switzerland)
Registration No: 03543 
Radio call sign: HBY3393
Designer: Michel Joubert (French)
Constructor : Meta in Tarare, France
Year: 1980
Hull no: 1107
Material: steel
Model: Damien II
Bulkhead: 1
Type: Schooner
masts: 2
Length: 14.14 meters
Beam: 3.9 Meters
Draught: 0,90-3.00 Meters (lifting keel)
Sail area to the wind: 132 square meters
Fresh water Capacity: 1200 liters
Diesel Fuel Capacity: 1400 liters
Displacement: 24 tons
Engine: Perkins 4236 diesel, 54 KW.
Electronics: Radar, depth sounder, barograph, weather monitor, GPS, VHF and HF radios, 2 VHF handeld, Satelite Email GSC100 (philosexp1@damos.net), weather fax, laptop computer.
Anchoring: 3 anchors with 100 meters of chain and windlass.
Safety: 10 persons offshore life raft, 10 life jackets, 10 safety harnesses, 1 horseshoe buoy, 1 set of hand and smoke flares, 2 fire extinguishers.
Tenders: 1 rubber boat Zodiac with 15 HP outboard motor, 1 rigid dinghy with 10 HP outboard motor.
Interior: sleeps 5 guests (two cabins with doble bunk, 1 cabin with single bunk), bunk beddings and pillows are available but not the sleeping bag.
Leisure: books about the austral zone, compact disks, mini disks, tapes, fishing and diving gears, 50 meters fishing net.
Power supply: 220 volts, 250 watts.
Crew: skipper and cook.