What a wonderful day

There are those magical days that are so perfect that you sometimes have to pinch yourself to check that you’re not dreaming. One such day for me was our first day in Ushuaia.

A first sunset together the evening before, the whole crew around a table celebrating the fact that we had arrived on time, each on a different route, but all at the agreed time and with all our expedition luggage included.

Mountains, trees and beavers

On the morning of 31.01.24, we set off on a wonderful little hike through a fairytale forest with green-bearded trees, along streams and beaver lakes (spotting two magnificent specimens) against the magical backdrop of the surrounding mountain landscape.

Alma Yagan

A 30km drive on a dirt road brought us even closer to the end of the world to Alma Yagan’s little hut, a wonderful place by the sea, so harmonious and peaceful that relaxing and gratefully enjoying life is the only option. Alma and her small team cook with love and dedication using local ingredients, wild herbs and gifts of the sea (fish, shellfish, seaweed, etc.) to create the most delicious dishes, magically served in shells. The bar for cooking on board is now challengingly high…😉)

Harberton Bay

A visit to Harberton Bay is the third highlight of the day. Only a few people live here, there is a small museum and a café. And there is Pablo with two huge piles of wood for the winter on the street, which he has started to throw into his garden behind the fence. A spontaneous team effort quickly moves both piles to their new place and Pablo takes us into his house, offering coffee, buttered cookies and stories of life out there. A wonderful conversation juggling between three languages, with lots of encounters also taking place between the words.

A box with skulls

Finally, we visit Juan’s taxidermy hut, marvel at whale baleen, various jaws of marine mammals and have the “smell” from the “skull box” in our noses for quite some time.


Here at last! Arrived in Tierra del Fuego. After a seemingly never-ending journey..


The southernmost city in the world welcomes Gerhard and me (we met in Buenos Aires and were on the same plane) with a friendly mix of sun and clouds. Fortunately, our luggage is complete and we are greeted at the airport by Piotr, Karen and Jan – a warm welcome and reunion after nine months.

Ushuaia is not really beautiful, but the location is fantastic: the city lies on the Beagle Channel and grows up the adjacent hills, with an impressive mountain range just behind it. Opposite is the view of the Chilean peaks, rugged, jagged, sometimes still with a little snow here and there. 

You quickly get used to the grid system of the city, its buildings surprise with a very individual mix. Many of the houses are quite small, made of wood and sheet metal, simple, improvised, very individual. From the window of my accommodation for the first two nights, I have a sensational view of the city, the bay on the Beagle Channel and the harbor. Right down there is the Selma, which will be our home for the next seven weeks in a few days.

Cerro Susana

The next morning, I wake up to a sunny day. After breakfast together, we decide to hike up Cerro Susana, to the west of the city. Gerhard has rented us a car and is thankfully our driver. A short city tour first takes us to the western foothills of the city. The last few kilometers on dirt roads, the city thins out, with only a few remaining houses here and there. At some point the dirt road ends.. 

The ascent to Cerro Susana winds up the mountain on a small path, leading through wild jungle, green and lush, full of gnarled trees, often fallen over and covered in lichen. Orchids here and there and strange spherical orange shapes on the trees, a kind of parasite it seems. Later we read that it is a fungus called Indian bread. The higher we get, the sparser the vegetation and the more beautiful the view of the Beagle Channel and the town and the short airport runway on a small peninsula off the coast. 


In the evening, a first visit to the Selma at Club Nautico Afasyn on the jetty. The yachts are in the packet, I discover many familiar names that I have come across in the course of my search for a boat and skipper for this expedition – the Icebird, the Podorange, the Sonabia, even the Spirit of Sydney are here. I’m glad it turned out to be the Selma. She’s bright red and appealing, a beautiful boat, no frills, robust, pragmatic, just right for our plans. And although she looks small in the package on the pier, by my previous standards she’s also quite big.

I meet Piotr and the previous Polish crew, who are bustling in and around the boat, and we discuss the next few days and the things that need to be done, organized and discussed.


So now I’m actually on the way.

Started yesterday with countless good wishes, small practical gifts or talismans for the journey and said goodbye to my family and friends waving unexpectedly on the street. Thanks to the rail strike, which made the journey unpredictable, I even took a personal cab to the airport.

Now I’m sitting on a plane from São Paulo to Buenos Aires. Below me – hidden from my prying eyes by an airy blanket of clouds – Brazil passes by. I only catch a brief glimpse of the Atlantic coast. This is the second leg of the journey, after the first leg from Frankfurt to São Paulo, almost 12 hours of flying through the night. The third leg will then take me this afternoon from the Argentinian capital to Patagonia, to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the place that claims to be the southernmost city in the world. A title that the smaller Puerto Williams, located on the south side of the Beagle Channel in Chile, also claims for itself. Be that as it may, both are generally regarded as the gateway to Antarctica. Voyages, nowadays often referred to as expedition cruises, regularly depart from here for the White Continent.

We want to go there too, with our sailing expedition Sailing SOUTH 2024.

After almost two years of planning and preparation, the time has finally come. What was for a long time a long way off and in the stars, for the first year it was not even clear whether it would even be possible to get such an undertaking off the ground, is now suddenly imminent. A dream, an idea has become reality.

It still seems a little unreal to me and it will probably only slowly sink in when I arrive at Fin del Mundo, at the end of the world, looking out over the harbor and the Beagle Channel, the starting point of our trip. Who knows – maybe even when we have cast off and the wind is whistling around my nose as we stand on deck, leaving the city behind us in our wake.

Fortunately, there is still a week left in Ushuaia to arrive, to get away from everyday life, to leave the tension of the last few weeks behind and to slowly immerse ourselves in the journey. The overture, so to speak, before the real adventure begins.
A week in which all the other crew members of the team will gradually arrive, in which we can explore Ushuaia and its surroundings a little, but above all organize the last things, check our equipment, do the shopping, provision and stow away, get together as a team and get our ship, the Selma, ready to cast off for our one and a half month journey to the Southern Ocean.

Time to start packing

Happy New Year 2024!

The year – among hopefully many other joyful things and events – of our Sailing SOUTH 2024 expedition.
Time is running out – time to get the equipment and gear sorted for the first time … It’s still a bit too much, but that can still be reduced.
Fortunately, some of the equipment is already on board.

Bad News: Avian Influenza (HPAI) in South Georgia

Bad news from the other side of the world

Bad news from the other side of the world: bird flu (avian influenza) has unfortunately also reached the remote regions of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica – the highly contagious virus was first detected on South Georgia back in October. This is particularly sad and poses a dramatic threat to the unique wildlife there.

Unfortunately, this issue also affects our project, as many of the possible landing sites have been completely closed by the administration (GSGSSI). The map shows all landing sites in South Georgia that are normally accessible to visitors and their categorisation and closure according to the GSGSSI biosecurity manual (yellow = open, orange = closed to tourists / reopening possibly possible, red = closed to all until the end of the season).
Map: 20 November 2023, source: GSGSSI / Polarjournal

As things stand, the situation on site has deteriorated further and the number of landing sites still open has been significantly reduced. Even South Georgia’s main port of call, Grytviken, is currently closed (level 2 = orange).

Whether we will be able to realise our plan to sail to South Georgia and explore in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton as planned, or at all, is unfortunately up in the air at the moment.

Further information can be found here: