Winter in Fireland: A Patagonian Sailing Adventure

Winter in Fireland: A Patagonian Sailing Adventure

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By (author) Nicholas Coghlan

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  • Publisher: University of Alberta Press
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 30mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Alberta
  • ISBN 10: 0888645473
  • ISBN 13: 9780888645470
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 403,436

Product description

After assignments as a Canadian diplomat in Mexico, Colombia, Sudan and South Africa, Nicholas Coghlan and his wife Jenny unwind by sailing Bosun Bird, a 27foot sailboat, from Cape Town across the South Atlantic and into the stormy winter waters of the Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, and the Strait of Magellan. Coghlan recalls earlier adventures in Patagonia when, taking time off from his job as a schoolteacher in Buenos Aires in the later seventies, and with both Argentina and Chile in the grip of harsh military dictatorships, he and his wife explored the region over three successive summers. And now, as they negotiate the labyrinth of channels and inlets around snow-covered Fireland, he reflects on the voyages of past explorers: Magellan, Cook, Darwin, Slocum, and others. Sailing enthusiasts and readers of true adventures will want to add Coghlan's world-wise narrative to their libraries. Coghlan revisits their past adventures in Patagonia: Twenty-five years prior he was a school teacher in Buenos Aires; he and Jenny would lead trekking expeditions to remote areas in the South of Argentina and Chile while both nations were in the grips of military dictatorships. This time, as they negotiate the labyrinth of channels and inlets around Tierra del Fuego, Coghlan reflects on the voyages of past explorers - Magellan, Cook, Darwin, and others. Sailing enthusiasts and readers of true adventures will want to add Coghlan's world-wise narrative to their libraries.

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Author information

Nicholas Coghlan and his wife, Jenny, sailed around the world on their first boat, Tarka the Otter between 1985 and 1989. On his return he joined the Canadian Foreign Service and has written books about two of his postings: "The Saddest Country: On Assignment in Colombia" and "Far in the Waste Sudan: On Assignment in Africa." Following their adventure, Coghlan accepted a two-year posting as Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan. Now, he and his wife are living aboard Bosun Bird somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Review quote

"After tough assignments as a Canadian diplomat, Nicholas Coghlan and his wife Jenny decided to sail from Capetown, South African to Tierra del Fuego, South America as they reflect on the great voyages of Magellan, Cook, and Darwin." - Prairie Books Now Summer 2011 "This engaging travel memoir describes Coghlan and his wife's first trip to Patagonia in 1978, as well as their second voyage 25 years later in which they sailed from Cape Town to the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, skirting Tierra del Fuego to Puerto Montt. Along the way, he relates the experiences of past adventurers including Bruce Chatwin, James Cook, Charles Darwin, Ferdinand Magellan, Allen Gardiner, and Joshua Slocum." - Reference and Research Book News, October 2011 "For anyone considering venturing to this part of the world, or simply those that love armchair adventuring, this is a must-read. Not only does Nick Coghlan paint a vivid picture of the tenacity and slight insanity required to attempt winter cruising in this part of the world, he also delves into the rich maritime history that the likes of Chatwin, Cook, Darwin and Magellan left behind. Nick and his wife Jenny, experienced cruisers with a circumnavigation under their belts some 20 years previously, sail from Cape Town to the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, skirting Tierra del Fuego (Fireland). Progress is slow in their 27 foot sailboat, and their days are dictated by constant weather concerns, tricky navigation and the harsh yet beautiful terrain surrounding them. Both enjoy exploring and hiking ashore, giving the reader a full picture of just what it's really like to adventure in Patagonia." - Sue, www.noonsite.com, October 31, 2011 "[Nick Coghlan] combined the two qualities that make 'Winter in Fireland' a gripping read - an irrepressible spirit of adventure which took him into the most daunting situations, and an ability to describe his experiences in lucid prose. This book, following on his previous publications about Colombia and Sudan, places him solidly in the company of the best travel writers - those hardy souls who have explored the world's nether regions and lived to tell the tale." - Paul Durand, Just Ottawa, Nov 2011. "Coghlan will describe the day's sail, mentioning the landmarks, telling what happened to previous explorers, then talk about the interesting people who make their living on these forbidding waters at the bottom of the world." - Chas. Hague, Good Old Boat Magazine, December 2011. "This rugged region at South America's southern tip has lured hardy adventurers and sailors for centuries. Don't miss reading this tale of one couple's voyage in Bosun Bird, their Vancouver 27. Packed with carefully documented history and as much about adventures by land as by sea, it's a volume you'll want to keep permanently on your bookshelf." - Lynda Morris Childress, Cruising World, December 2011 "This book, following on his previous publications about Colombia and Sudan, places him solidly in the company of the best travel writers -- those hardy souls who have explored the world's nether regions and lived to tell the tale. [In Capetown, South Africa, Nick and his wife Jenny] conceived of the ultimate sailing adventure; around the tip of South America, through the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, then into the Pacific. This region, the "Roaring Forties", is beset by ferocious storms, numbing cold and unpredictable currents: the most difficult sailing area in the world. ... He talks of 8-metre waves and 50-knot winds, sudden squalls and always the freezing, wet cold. This is not hospitable territory... On March 1, after re-supplying and re-fitting, they depart Puerto Montt and the Chilean mainland, heading out into the Pacific... A perfect ending to a gripping adventure, written by a colleague who has mastered both sail and pen." Paul Durand, former Canadian Ambassador to Chile (and to Costa Rica and the Organisation of American States) and former Director General for Latin America at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, bout de papier, January 2012 "Leaving in 2005, they crossed the South Atlantic via Namibia and lonely St Helena, making a spectacular landfall at Rio de Janeiro. In ever heavier weather they then battled south down the coast of Patagonia through the Roaring Forties, to Latitude 55 South. They wintered over at tiny Puerto Williams, Chile: the southernmost permanent settlement in the world, on the shores of the glacier-lined Beagle Channel and only a few miles from Cape Horn. Setting off north again through the lonely Chilean Channels towards warmer climes, with sea-ice still choking many bays, they sat out winds of up to 90 knots and saw scarcely a soul in four months." Sail-World.com, January 21, 2012 In this adventure our captain takes his boat, and then his reader, from acquisition through renaming and refitting to the completion of a dream... In addition to relating stories about many of the people met along the way, the author includes or references considerable material explaining reasons for most of the names and places also encountered. I definitely finished this book with the understanding that cruising is considerably more of a tension filled adrenaline sport than common usage of the term would otherwise suggest. And thats surprising as everything untoward which happens in this journey is quite ably handled by the author and his wife. Ive read this book cover to cover, including the appetizing selected bibliography and some of the quite serviceable index. Id read it again, and Id urge you to read it too. Garth Miles, Currents Magazine, March 2012 "[Winter in Fireland] is a story by adventurers for adventurers. For someone planning their own trip south, this book would be useful as both a beginning resource and for its annotated bibliography that lists several books of sailing around South America. For others it will be an escape into worldly travel urges likely to inspire fantasies of visiting Patagonia for ourselves. Coghlan writes with the crisp syntax of a Captain's log and peppers his account with honesty and dry English humour." - Marina Parapini, Pacific Rim Review of Books, Vol. 8, No. 2 "[Winter in Fireland] is a story by adventurers for adventurers. For someone planning their own trip south, this book would be useful as both a beginning resource and for its annotated bibliography that lists several books of sailing around South America. For others it will be an escape into worldly travel urges likely to inspire fantasies of visiting Patagonia for ourselves. Coghlan writes with the crisp syntax of a Captain's log and peppers his account with honesty and dry English humour." Marina Parapini, Pacific Rim Review of Books, Vol. 8, No. 2

Table of contents

Introduction; Precarious Pyramid: The Economics & Politics of the CPP; The Quebec Pension Plan; Institutional Arrangements & Lessons for Alberta; Checking Out of the Hotel California: The Desirability of an Alberta Pension Plan; Alberta Opting Out of the Canada Pension Plan: Can it be done? Should it be done?; An Alberta Pension Plan: What Have We Learned?