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The Magellan Strait

- a Trip to the End of the World -

- featuring the "Cross of the Seas"-

- wrecks -

- and the good ship M/T "Stolt Viking" -
 
 
 
 


M/T "Stolt Viking"
The M/T "Stolt Viking", -  safe at anchor somewhere at the South American coast -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)






The Magellan Strait, - including the inshore passages along the south Chilean Pacific coast coast -, is possibly the the most scenic trip a sailor can experience.
Very few people live here in this cold, dark and rainy environment, and therefore the peace and tranquility is only disturbed when occasionally a ship passes through the channels - - -

As a sailor I have had the good fortune of navigating these hostile, - but extremely beautiful waters -, many, many times on ships trading between the east- and west coast of the South American continent.
Therefore I have seen these waters during all seasons, - and in all kinds of weather, from snow storms, rain, mist and also in very rare glimpses of sunshine - - -
And always it has been a fantastic experience.
At certain places the channels are very narrow,- you can almost touch the vegetation on each side of the ship.  At other places the current runs so fast, that passage is impossible, - even for high powered modern ships. In those cases you just have to drop the anchor at a safe place, and wait for the time when the current changes direction, and then take the chance to pass through at the right moment, when the current is slowing down.
At other places you have to navigate the ship through some very narrow and crazy S-turns, - between the rocks and islands -, that leaves virtually no space for navigational errors!
A lot of ships do not make it - - -

During my many trips through the waters of this fantastic part of the world,  I have always had my cameras ready, and taken tons of pictures whenever possible.
Therefore it has been quite difficult,- or in fact impossible -, to select "the best" pictures to display,- because they are all "the best"!

Therefore I have just picked some shots from my last trip through the Magellan Strait in September 2001, when I served as Chief Engineer on the good ship "Stolt Viking"!
However, - I have the best intentions to show some more pictures from earlier trips through these very beautiful, but treacherous waters, - for example some pictures of the fantastic ship wrecks you can see in this remote part of the world, - ships that entered the maze of channels, rocks and islands, - but never managed to get out again - -

But for now, - please enjoy my impressions from a trip to the "End of the World", during September 2001, onboard the M/T "Stolt Viking" - - -
 
 



M/T "Stolt Viking"

Going through the inshore channels of the south Chilean coast towards the Magellan Strait, - possibly the most scenic water way a modern sailor can experience.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Magellan Strait
- often very near the rocks with numerous waterfalls coming out of the mist -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Magellan strait
- between mist shrouded rocks, in an untouched nature, where it is said that it rains 366 days a year -
- but it is always beautiful, - almost dreamlike, - and often cold -
(Phgotography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Magellan Strait
- with a very high degree of peace and tranquility when the weather is calm -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


M/T "Stolt Viking"
- on her way through the channels -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Magellan Strait
Mist drifting everywhere -
(Photography by karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Magellan Strait
- towards the "End of the World" -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Cape Froward
- finally there, - the "End of the World" -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)






Cape Froward really is the "End of the World".
This dark and misty rock is positioned on Chilean territory and marks the most southern point on the South American continent, - or for that matter-, the most southern point on ANY continent in the world!
To the south is only icy water, barren islands and rocks, - including the famous Cape Horn -, and from there the next stop is Antarctica, - - - - and eventually the South Pole.
On top of Cape Froward you can see a big cross, - the "Cross of the Seas" -, that marks this very strange and very special place, if the mist and the clouds do not cover the mountain and keep its secrets to itself!
 
 

--------------------
 
 

The Dangers of the Magellan Strait
 
 

Ships that never made it,
but came there to die at the "End of the World".
 
 
 


  The Wreck of the "Santa Leonor"
- photographed in the Smyth Channel at Isla Shoal, - the Magellan Strait -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)

DWT.: 12595 tons, - LOA.: 150 m., - Beam: 21,2 m., - Propulsion:  Steam Turbine, - 16,5 knots
Commissioned 1944 as "Riverside", - Renamed: 1947  "P & T Forrester", - 1957  "Mormacwave", - 1966 "Santa Leonor"
Wrecked in service for Grace Line in the Magellan Strait on march 31. 1968
 
 


  The Wreck of the "Santa Leonor"
- photographed in the Smyth Channel at Isla Shoal, - the Magellan Strait -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


   The Wreck of the "Santa Leonor"
- photographed in the Smyth Channel at Isla Shoal, - the Magellan Strait -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


   The Wreck of the "Santa Leonor"
- photographed in the Smyth Channel at Isla Shoal, - the Magellan Strait -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


  The Wreck of "Captain Leonidas"
- photographed at the Cotopaxi Bank, - about 48,46S/74,30W -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)

Note:
The wreck of the "Captain Leonidas" looks a lot more damaged than a simple grounding would justify.
Reason is, that after the ship was abandoned, the Chilean navy used her as target for practice shooting, and that is why the hull and superstructure look so messed up.
The extensive damage is simply caused by gun fire, and not related to the grounding itself - - -
 
 


   The Wreck of "Captain Leonidas"
- photographed at the Cotopaxi Bank, - about 48,46S/74,30W -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


    The Wreck of "Captain Leonidas"
- photographed at the Cotopaxi Bank, - about 48,46S/74,30W -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


   The Wreck of "Captain Leonidas"
- photographed at the Cotopaxi Bank, - about 48,46S/74,30W -, Jan. 19. 1986 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 

Click  HERE  for another scenic trip through the Strait -
 
 

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Updated:  Nov. 30th. 2004
               March 3. 2005
               November 29. 2005
               Aug. 28. 2006
               Feb.08.2007