In The Wake Of Joshua Slocum

The Strait of Magellan. Credit Bill Springer

I guess you could say that we all travel in the wake of Joshua Slocum, really. His solo sailing exploits around the world at the turn of the 20th century (and his charming books) captivated people in his day and age. In fact, he was the original “cruiser.”

Slocum on the HP pier in what may be a previously unpublished photo from a private collection. Copyright Bill Springer

And I know that I’m not the only dreamer who sat on the floor in the stacks of a school library, who was inspired to eventually head out on my own sailing adventures (instead of doing the research for the term paper on…of I forget the subject) by reading his tales of the Spray, and warding off hostile natives with tacks on the deck, and imaginary friends.

Slocum and Spray in Hyannis Port, MA in what may be a previously unpublished photo from a private collection. Copyright Bill SpringerS

So, to be here, in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the very banks of the Strait of Magellan that separates mainland South America from Tierra del Fuego (and that Slocum fought so hard to pass through) waiting for a weather window to embark on a very different adventure further south to the Antarctic peninsula with EYOS Expeditions is pretty special.

Punta Arenas is a cool, kinda forlorn place that’s the jumping off point for expeditions of all types to the tip of South America and beyond.

And what makes it just a little better is to know that my wife’s grandmother Virginia (who I had a chance to get to know and really love) had four large format slides taken of Slocum when he and his beloved Spray tied up to her beloved dock in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. I’ve still yet to find out if these shots have ever been published before (by anyone else but me of course) but that’s secondary to be reminded of the magic that happens when you leave the safety of land and sail over the horizon. Please, if you like the Slocum shots and want to share them, please contact me to ask for usage and please, please, please put the link to my story/site! That’s the only fair. 

These trees are everwhere here.

Stay tuned for more from the Southern Ocean.

And of course for the Strait of Magellan Sock of the Day!

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