Friday, April 27, 2012
Well, this is it. The last of the voyage photographs, and the only group that has pictures of native Patagonians. I wonder what the passengers on this voyage made of them. The one famous Patagonian that I know about is Jemmy Button. His real name was Orundellico and he was born somewhere around 1815, give or take a year or two either way. In 1830, Captain Robert Fitzroy of HMS Beagle, had a boat stolen by natives while exploring the southern tip of South America and the Straits of Magellan. When it wasn't returned, he took four natives as hostages. When the stolen boat still wasn't returned, he took the hostages back to England. One died of smallpox, but the other three, including Jemmy, made it to England and became minor celebrities. A year latter when Fitzroy was ordered on another voyage, this time carrying a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, the three surviving natives were given passage back to their homes. In 1855, Christian missionaries made contact with Jemmy Button's band and found that he still had a grasp of English. By 1859, the missionaries found themselves unwelcome and were killed. Jemmy was called to give evidence before a court in 1860. In 1864, Jemmy Button died.
Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom. "Indians in Smiths Chanel," "Smyth Chanel," "Smiths Chanel," "Evening Atlantic side," "Smyth Canal Smyth's Chanel difficult pass near straights of Magellan," "Straights of Magellan," "Smith's Chanel."
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
This grouping has the one really, really dull photo of the lot. Palm trees? Who takes pictures of palm trees when there are so many seascapes around. It also has the worst caption of the lot. Something unreadable, then Tal, Chili. I went to an online gazetteer and couldn't find anything even close. If it's the name of a settlement, it might be one that has faded from history. Maybe the settlement failed because of the palm trees. The top photo is of a town called Tocopilla, yet another small port in the Antafogasta section of Chili that has grown quite a bit since the photo was taken. In the 2002 census, 23,986 people. In 2007, an earthquake made 4,000 people homeless out of a population that had grown to 27,000. Tocopilla is also the hometown of film maker and artist, Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of cult classic, El Topo. The bottom photo...look beyond the sailboat, and the town that is off in the distance is Punta Arenas, misspelled Arrenas. Punta Arenas was founded as a penal colony in 1848. Today it's the capitol of Magellanes & Antarctic Chilena, and is the major resupply port for science stations in Antarctica.
Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom. "Tocopilla, Chili," "Straights of Magellan," "Straights of Magellan," "(Unreadable) Tal, Chili," and "Punta Arrenas near Straights of Magellan."
Friday, April 20, 2012
What would have been the best part of this voyage? The long days at sea, or port calls at small South American coastal towns? I'm just glad that someone who knew how to take a good photograph was a long for the trip. The first photo is of Talcahuana, Chili. According to the 2002 census, Talcahuana had over 250,000 people. On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 earthquake and tsunami hit the Chilean coast near Talchuana and made 80% of the population homeless. The mayor estimates that it will take at least a decade to recover. The port in the final picture is Gatico, like Caleta Coloso, seen in the first post from this collection is in the Antofogasta section of the country. It has less than 1,000 residents as of 2002. Click on the second photo in the column to get a better view of the steamship in the distance.
Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom, "Talcahuana, Chile," "Magellan Straights," "Straights of Magellan," "Evangelisten, West of the Magallen Straights," and "Gatico, Chili."
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Is it just me, or do others find the new Blogger set up to be needlessly complex and not all that good. Oh well, what can you do. The tech heads are our new rulers. I suspect, one day, we'll all have to pay tribute to the technically inclined. A little bow, touch the cap brim, and say, "Please sir, can you look with pleasure on my unworthy self."
So, back to the southern seas collection. Imagine a world, before air travel, before the Panama Canal, when getting cargo or passengers from one ocean to another required a voyage through the southern seas. The route from Atlantic to Pacific involved a trip through the Straits of Magellan. A narrow channel between the mainland of South America and Tierra del Fuego. The straits were protected from the harsh conditions of the open ocean, but still subject to bad whether, powerful and unpredictable currents, and shallow reefs.
Written on the backs of the photos from top to bottom, "Smythe Canal," "Smythe Canal," "Straights of Magellan," Gletseher Bar, Straights of Magellan, Crossing the Bar," Magellan Straights," and "German Sailing Ship." Note, a strait is a narrow channel between two pieces of land. Straight is, well a straight line. The photos may have been taken by a seaman, but one who didn't know the difference between the two words.
And why doesn't the spellls chekr wokr?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Post number 700, (I never thought it would last this long.) and it's time to visit the past. When I first started putting up these old photos, I wasn't getting a lot of visitation. In a good week, I was lucky to get a dozen or so hits, and it wasn't uncommon to not have any. Because so many of the early posts have gone unseen, I've decided to do a repeat from those early days every so often. At least every 100, maybe more often, but not that often. This snapshot of Olita Brown and her Dobro was put up on August 8, 2009, and then I wrote a very brief paragraph about the history of the Dobro guitar. This time, I'm just going to suggest that the viewer click on the image to bring it up in a bigger window and check out that wild dress she's wearing. I can't imagine it was store bought. Click on musical instruments in the labels to see the original post and get a very brief over view of the Dobro.