Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DIRE STRAITS

Victoria the only one of his five ships to return
Hernando Magellan Railcar
1480 - 1521

Several decades ago NAUTICAL LOG had a maritime consulting firm named Magellan Enterprises.  Magellan was a excellent navigator who for some strange reason sailed close too but never really made serious discoveries on his way to the Phillipines.  Magellan Enterprises had much the same luck, however one contract did lead to NAUTICAL LOG  meeting a Chilean lady, we have now been married for 42 years with children and grandchildren - so one never knows.

Of course the Strait of Magellan runs along the coast of Patagonia, through southern Argentina and Chile in the area known by Chileans as the Chilean Antarctic Territory.   It is also the name of a Sea, Space, and recently Posts of rather liberal-socialist political and economic opinions, Blog called "Strait of Magellan".  However there is not anything about the Strait of Magellan in that Blog.   If you would like to know something or all about this important channel go the Chilean Navy Hydrographic Service at  www.shoa.cl/  it is available in Spanish and English.  The Chilean HS navigation chart for the area is No.11100 Estrecho de Magallanes, 2007 being the latest edition, and that should be corrected up to the most recent Chilean 'Notice to Mariners' before it is used to navigate.  The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office  www.ukho.gov.uk/ also produce charts covering the region, these can be found in BA Folio 97, there is an automatic BA 'Notice to Mariners' update service available.  The Folio 97 charts should be used with NP6 South America Pilot Book, Volume 2 that details the region.


The Strait of Magellan runs SW from the Atlantic Ocean at 53° 30' South Latitude - 68° 30' West Longitude to 54° S. - 71° W. then NW to the Pacific Ocean at 53° 30' South Latitude - 74° 30' West Longitude.  In the NAUTICAL LOG navigational library there is a copy (in Spanish and English) of Alberto Mantellero's "Yachtsman's Navigator Guide to the Chilean Channels."  Rear-Admiral Alberto Mantellero, Armada de Chile (Ret) is highly experienced both as a Southern seas naval officer and Magallanes pilot.  His book even has drink and food recipes the Chileans do not mess around with the important things of life - sea, drink, food.  Buen Provecho!


Good Watch.

Armed pirates are holding 400 of our fellow seafarers captive off the coast of Somalia.  Finally the European vessels led by the British Merchant Navy can obtain a license to carry their own armed guards.  This is actually nothing new as in the early 20th. Century right up to World War 2 British vessels trading in the Far East carried Sikh guards as protection against South China Sea pirates.  While on the Indian coast in the 1950's and 1960's it was quite usual to employ Gurkha watchmen who travelled from Port to Port with the ship. 

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