Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

March 22, 2013




 Source: Inconsequential, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons

My Blog Hop groups for FTSF provided the following prompt:

One time when I was bored out of my mind, I …  became a History Buff!

I had been ill, and was forced to stay at home. I had read everything I could lay my hand on (no Internet then!) and I was totally bored.

I was a teen high school student at that time, and I hated History, I didn’t like the teaching methods or the contents.

Well, the only available reading material in the house was a massive reference work on Chilean History. Three huge tomes, with at least two thousand pages each.

I settled down to wade through these tomes. I started on Page 1, Prehistory. It was fascinating! A couple of days later, I was hooked for life. I read the first two volumes at that date, and finished the third one some months later.

That was the start of a long journey which eventually led up to this Blog on Spanish America.

Through my readings, I have also come to understand the role of Chile in the Southern Cone of South America, and the unique position occupied by Chile due to the extremely long coast facing the Pacific Ocean. 



- Why the Drake Passage has that name: Sir Francis Drake, 16th century privateer, and his maritime explorations.

-Why the Beagle Channel has that name: HMS Beagle, the ship on which Charles Darwin sailed. The first survey of the Southern Cone was carried out from 1826 to 1830.

-Why there were so many corsair attacks along the coast of Chile: Elizabethan privateers in the 16th century.

-Why most of the towns in Chile have streets named Lord Cochrane: Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald and the first Vice Admiral of the Chilean navy, 19th century.

-Why there are areas in the Patagonia (Argentina) where Gaelic is spoken: Welsh settlers, displaced after the collapse of the Welsh coal mines, 1865 to 1912.

-Why British capital was invested to create the Pacific Steam Navigation Company - the PSNC - 1838 to 1965. The ships sailed mostly from Liverpool.

-Why Thomas Alva Edison designed a hydroelectric plant in Lota, just south of Concepcion, my home town: the Chivilingo Hydroelectric Plant came on line in 1897.

-What Darwin learnt when he visited the Southern Cone.

-Which great earthquake was described by Darwin in his journal: Concepcion Chile, 1835.

-Why my Scottish Great Grandfather visited Eater Island in 1887.

-Why this same Great-Grandfather (John Robert Stewart) provided the name for a Chilean island in the vicinity of the Beagle Channel: Stewart Island, named in the 1880 by the Chilean Navy. (See The Naming of a Chilean Island)

-Why the first naval battle of World War I took place near my home town: the Battle of Coronel, November 1st, 1914. 

-Why there is a neighborhood called California in Tomé, a small port just north of Talcahuano near my home town: the mill provided the prospectors with flour for making bread, during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s.

-Why the German warship Dresden remains sunk in Cumberland Bay, on the Chilean island of Juan Fernandez: scuttled in March 1915 due to capture by British war ship.  

-What happened at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, WW I, December 1914. 

-What happened at the Battle of the River Plate: first naval action in World War II, December 1939

-And more! 


Source: Gaston Cuello, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


Source: Vincent van Zeijst, CC BY SA 3.0. Flickr.


From topics like the above, I jumped to the history of the British Isles, and from there to World History, including the Americas. 

It’s been a fascinating trip through both fiction and non fiction! 

Many of these topics have provided material for my articles on  My home page there is You are cordially invited to search out these topics!


I have found that long and relatively complete historical descriptions and recounts are more motivating than short ones. 

History is not boring for me if I can grasp the general context, the why, the when and the what of all these topics.


 (This Blog is bilingual)

En mi grupo de entusiastas escritores y escritoras de diversos Blogs, se propuso el siguiente tema:

Si en algún momento de tu vida estuviste muy, pero muy aburrida, ¿qué hiciste?

Mi respuesta fue la siguiente: me transformé en una adicta del estudio de la Historia.

Comencé leyendo un voluminoso tratado de la Historia de Chile en tres enormes tomos. Al final de esa lectura, ya era adicta total. ¡Era fascinante!

Mis diversas lecturas me permitieron apreciar el rol de Chile dado su especial ubicación en el Cono Sur de de la América Hispana, con una extensa costa mirando hacia el Océano Pacífico.

Mis lecturas me han permitido comprender los siguientes temas:

-El origen del nombre del Paso de Drake, en las aguas del extremo sur del continente americano. (Siglo 16)

-El origen del nombre del Canal de Beagle (primeros años del siglo 19).

-La razón de los saqueos de corsarios y piratas en las costas de Chile (siglo 16)

-El motivo por el cual tantas ciudades de Chile tienen calles y avenidas que llevan el nombre de Lord Cochrane.

-La razón por la cual se habla el dialecto galés (Gran Bretaña) en un sector de Chubut, Argentina.

-La participación de capitales ingleses en la creación de la PSNC (Compañía Naviera del Pacífico), 1938 – 1965.

-La participación de Thomas Alva Edison en la instalación de la Planta Hidroeléctrica Chivilingo, en Lota, Chile, en 1897.

-Los conocimientos obtenidos por C. Darwin cuando visitó el Cono Sur.

-A qué gran terremoto corresponden los registros de C. Darwin en su Diario de Viajes.

-El motivo por el cual mi Bisabuelo escocés visitó Isla de Pascua en 1887.

-La razón por la cual este mismo Bisabuelo, de nombre John Robert Stewart, otorgó su apellido como nombre de la Isla Stewart que se ubica cerca del 
Canal de Beagle (década de los años 1880)

-Los antecedentes de la primera batalla naval de la Primera Guerra Mundial: la Batalla de Coronel, 1º de Noviembre de 1914.

-El origen del nombre de un barrio en Tomé, pequeño puerto cercano a Talcahuano, que se llama California.

-Los antecedentes del naufragio del Dresden, barco de guerra alemán, que yace en la Bahía Cumberland, archipiélago de Juan Fernández. (Pertenece a Chile)

-El desarrollo de la Batalla de las Islas Malvinas en Diciembre de 1914, Primera Guerra Mundial.

-El desarrollo de la Batalla de Mar del Plata, a inicios de la Segunda Guerra Mundial – Diciembre de 1939.


More about similar topics in a future post.    Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.


Words that go together!  * Make money   - * Break a window  - * Keep control   - * Get frightened   – * Go crazy 


Expresiones de uso frecuente: * De verdad! - * En casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo  - * Entre pitos y flautas 

How is your level of comprehension?   ¿Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?

© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)

I will be very happy to receive your comments! Just click the word “comments” lower down.