Southwardson January 31st, 2013
We left Valparaiso yesterday evening and are heading south towards the next stop at PuertoMont, still in Chile, before we enter the fjords for which this area is rightly famous. The weather has been so very kind. When the skies have promised to be grey and depressing the sun has forced its way through to add sparkle to the ocean and lightness into the atmosphere. Chile has given us the extremes of the Atacama Desert to the vineyards of the valleys around Coquimbo. Today we pass over the area of the sea battle of Coronel. In late 1914 a squadron of British warships engaged in a fruitless fight with a much more powerful German fleet and as a result two British heavy cruisers, the Good Hope and the Monmouth were sunk with all 1600 hands. Later, off the Falklands, the situation was equalised with the destruction of the same German ships by a larger and more powerful British fleet. The German commander, Graf von Spee and his sons perished in the Scharnhorst – both names would come back to haunt the British in the next World War.
And so we head south towards our rendezvous with the Beagle Channel, the Straits of Magellan and the Argentines (who have denied us our visit to the Falklands!) in Ushuaia.