Wednesday, December 19th 2012 - 06:32 UTC

Chilean Antarctic bases expect to host 250 scientists and over 50 projects

An estimated 250 scientists from several countries will be working at Chile’s Antarctic bases during the austral summer (December 21/March 21) in different projects such as global warming and climate change, reported the Chilean Antarctic Institute, INACH, based in Punta Arenas.

Retamales head of INACH, based in Punta Arenas

The number of projects totals forty from Chile and eleven from other countries as part of the XLIX Antarctic Scientific Campaign. Countries involved are Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Germany, US, South Korea and Venezuela.

The scientific research teams operating in the Margarita Bay will have the support from the Chilean navy vessel Aquiles that will also be surveying the area during 17 days, according to INACH.

Among the Chilean projects is one from biologist Angelica Casanova from the Concepcion University Biotechnology Centre who will study the impact of global warming on the native flora of Antarctica.

“We are satisfied and encouraged because the number of projects for this season has increased by 76%, which means we must be prepared for a better logistics and backup of the different teams in the field. A great challenge”, said Jose Retamales, head of INACH.

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1 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 01:24 pm Report abuse
With so much new change in the Antarctic environment it is right and sensible that more science/monitoring should take place in the region.

A good move.
2 Conqueror (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 02:58 pm Report abuse
@1 Yeah, great. They need to get in quickly. Before they only get limited access. General legal opinion is that the matter of the Antarctic will have to go before the ICJ before too long. Being the only body with the jurisdiction. And the Chilean and argie “claims” don't have a lot of hope. So they'll be packing their bags. And no-one will give a damn what LatAm “thinks”. Or is LatAm planning to find out how effective the Royal Navy is?
3 redpoll (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 03:48 pm Report abuse
Conks dont be so acid. At least the Chilenos are complying with the Treaty which is scientific research. How many other bases do that?
Chile had these ideas long before the Treaty was signed. As an example who rescued the shipwrecked sailors from Shackletons expedition nearly a century ago? The Chilean icebreaker Yelcho
4 Condorito (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 04:14 pm Report abuse
Redpoll: you beat me to it.

Conks: Chile, like the UK is a signatory to the treaty. But if / when that cake gets divided up, the UK would be smart to look to Chile as an ally.

To expand on Redpoll’s historical note: Shackleton’s men would have perished if the Chilean navy had not rescued them. Piloto Pardo made it through to them where previous attempts had failed. It is true now and then, if you get in to trouble in the southern ocean, you want the Chilean navy on your side.
5 redpoll (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:17 pm Report abuse
Yes Condorito Chile has a long and heroic naval tradition. Cochrane , Arturo Prat et al. That battleship Huascar being properly looked after? Its a world treasure
6 Clyde15 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:47 am Report abuse
Don't hold your breath. You mentioned “Cochrane. ” As Cochrane was a Scot and Conq. seems to have a pathological hatred of Scots and Latin Americans, you are now double damned.
However, I would not let it bother you. He enjoys ranting and is stuck in the 1890's
7 redpoll (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:03 pm Report abuse
@6 Aye he was and a doonhaimer an all if I remember right
8 Condorito (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:11 pm Report abuse
You are quite correct. Cochrane’s life story is fascinating, he was one of those intrepid Scots (and Irish) that made the British Empire. Our other national hero is O’Higgins – no prizes for guessing where his father sprang from.

Going back to Shackleton’s expedition, you would be hard pressed to find an English protagonist. The man himself was Irish, his second in Command was Australian, the expedition sponsor was a Scot. When he picked his best men to accompany him to seek rescue they were Scots, Irish and a Kiwi. The Aussie was left in charge of the men on the island.

It is a shame that Piloto Pardo’s rescue is not given its due place in this story. Shackleton made 3 unsuccessful attempts to rescue his men before he requested help from the Chilean navy. The only boat available to Pardo was the Yelcho which was totally unsuitable for the task. It didn’t have a strengthened hull, it was under powered and had low sides (it was built on the Clyde – even the boat was Scottish!). Being the 4th rescue attempt, they were closer into winter and the weather was worse than on the 3 previous attempts.

Shackleton attributed the success of the rescue to the extraordinary skill and intuition of Pardo. In recognition of this, the British government offered Pardo a £25,000 reward for his services. Pardo refused the money saying that he had only done his duty and fulfilled what was expected of him (Shackleton accepted a similar cash reward).
9 reality check (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:55 pm Report abuse
Cochrane was probably the greatest Frigate Captain of his time. What was it Boney called him? “Sea Wolf.”
10 Condorito (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:28 pm Report abuse
RC: Yep they called him “sea wolf” or “Le Loup des Mers”.
11 redpoll (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:51 pm Report abuse
Thanks condoito. Didnt know about Pardo and will look him up. Another little known character is Patrick Campbell, an eccentric Irishman and founder of the Uruguayan navy
Wasnt Cochrane the founding figure of four navies? Chilean, Peruvian. Brazilian and Greek? Memory slips at times!
12 Clyde15 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:29 pm Report abuse
The film of Shackleton's expedition starring Kenneth Branagh is worth seeing. Due praise was given to the Chileans for the rescue of his men.
Captain Scott's ship, RRS Discovery is a visitor attraction in Dundee and combined with a museum of Antarctic exploration.
The ship was built in Dundee using their experience of building whalers and, although not a good sailing vessel, she was designed to take the strains of being trapped in pack ice.
Aye, about 200 miles south of the Shetlands. The family seat is in Dundonald, in Ayrshire - 12 miles North of me.

In the reign of Catherine the Great, Lt Samuel Greig,( another Scot), was seconded from the RN to assist the formation and training of the Imperial Russian Navy. He did the job so well, he was appointed an Admiral and is regarded as the father of the Russian Navy.
My countrymen seem to have an affinity with the sea - or piracy.
Captain Kidd came from Greenock, on the Clyde.
John Paul Jones, from Abigland, on the Solway, helped form the USN Navy
13 redpoll (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 06:20 pm Report abuse
Hells bells Clyde John Paul Jones was a renegade pirate raiding his old homeland on the Solway ( tongue in cheek of course!). You know perfectly well what happens when two Sots meet at the end of the world?
They form a Caledonian Soety and raise a toast to the immortal bard on Burns night ( I dont like haggis and neaps but no matter)
Ofcourse if we pursue the Argentine claim to the Falklands, the same argument could apply to Scotland, all of the USA and Canada shold belong to Scotland as they “discovered” the place 100 years before Columbus ( refercences The Westford knight and Henry Sinclair ) Old Henry must have had a few problems as he was not only Earl of Orkney but pemier Jarl of Norway also and Lord High admiral to both the Scots and Norwegian navies at the same time. Bit dificult when it came to loyalties perhaps?
14 Condorito (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:07 pm Report abuse
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
15 redpoll (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
Condorito I think Burns Ode to a mouse is more appropriate to the present situation in BA
“wee slicket cowering timorous beastie
Oh what a panics in tha breastie”
16 Clyde15 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:20 pm Report abuse
You are only encouraging Nos. to increase his already bloated vocabulary................or how about
“wee sleekit cow'rin tim'rous beastie” ----- add an Argentinian name of your choice !

Burn's birthplace is only 2km from my house !
17 redpoll (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 08:00 pm Report abuse
Och dinna fash yersel aboot oor Nozzy, He snorts Theaurus and he breakfasts on a diet of dried dictionaries. Nowt but a wee horny golloch. If he has the apetite for it well we'llteach him the Doric and if thats nae enough Geordie and Welsh an all .
Alloway? Hope there aint and witches on the brig for Christmas
18 ManRod (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:34 am Report abuse
well, there was not only Cochrane, but also Williams and son Admiral Williams (which we still have a frigate called after him). John Williams Wilson (father), born in Bristol/England entered the Chilean Navy as a young lad and climbed the ranks very successful. He received the mission from President Bulnes to occupy the Magellan strait in order to prevent “other” (hehe) nations to do it first... He accomplished this mission successfully in 1843, building up Fort Bulnes. His son Juan Williams Rebolledo (then born in Chile 1825), fought in the south american war against the spanish (1865) and in the War of the Pacific (1879-83), conquering several ports from the peruvian/bolivian alliance. He became a big figure in the Navy, reaching the rank of an counter Admiral. The Almirante Williams ship is nothing less than the current flag-ship of the Chilean Navy...
19 Condorito (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:47 am Report abuse
Well with new year approaching, I will soon be seeing the new year in with a bottle of my favorite, treasured Scotch - Laphroaig.

Slangevar to you all!
20 redpoll (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:43 pm Report abuse
Thanks manrod for the reminder about Williams. There are two books I have by H.W.Wilson, now long out of print “Ironclads in Action; Naval Warfare 1825-1895” and its sequel “Battleships in Action” which are give a pretty unbiased and detailed account of naval actions in South America during that period and I have done a fair amount of research on subject with a view to publishing a more up to date book on the subject. One of the bye ways I am trying to translate are the letters exchanged between Captain Grau and Arturo Prats widow, a real example of old world courtesy between enemies. However the extremely flowery Spanish they are written in makes them difficult to translate into Victorian English without making them lose thier flavour and content.Any ideas? Is there a good translation you have encountered?
Condorito: Slainte mhor! If you are quck about it you may be able to replinish your supply of Laphroiag in Bariloche for free. But you will probably need a Kevlar bullet proof vest as a neccessary accesory!
21 ProRG_American (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 04:10 pm Report abuse
Careful there Chile. You must ask permission before embarking on these ventures on Queen Elizabeth Land
22 redpoll (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:04 pm Report abuse
Permission from whom? No permission required under the Treaty
23 ManRod (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 03:35 am Report abuse
Redpoll, this is what I have found so far:

”Monitor Huascar
Al ancla, Pisagua, 2nd June 1879

Dear Madam:
I have a sacred duty that authorizes me to write you, despite knowing that this letter will deepen your profound pain, by reminding you of recent battles. During the naval combat that took place in the waters of Iquique, between the Chilean and Peruvian ships, on the 21st day of the last month, your worthy and valiant husband Captain Mr. Arturo Prat, Commander of the Esmeralda, was, like you would not ignore any longer, victim of his reckless valor in defense and glory of his country’s flag. While sincerely deploring this unfortunate event and sharing your sorrow, I comply with the sad duty of sending you some of his belongings, invaluable for you, which I list at the end of this letter. Undoubtedly, they will serve of small consolation in the middle of your misfortune, and I have hurried in remitting them to you.

Reiterating my feelings of condolence, I take the opportunity of offering you my services, considerations and respects and I render myself at your disposal.
(Signed) Cpt. Miguel Grau“

Laphroaig, really a good turfy one... I call a bottle my own in my current and permanently changing ”collection“. Not to miss neither: Glenfarclas (”only” a 10 Years one), a maginifcant 12y Singleton of Dufftown which surprisingly I fell in love with, 12y Glenmorangie for every ocassion and drinker and never fails to be liked/loved, 12 years Highland Park, 12 years Glenlivet... THE whisky that tought me apreciation for Single Malt Scotch and an Old Pulteney 12y, which reminds me of salty sea side air...
24 redpoll (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 01:05 pm Report abuse
Thanks for the translation. Its not quite there yet but almost! I particularly liked the dignity with which the lady replied. Not a whisky connoiseur I fear, missed that bit of my education
Desde los pagos de Carlos Gardel, Bom Natal!
25 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 11:32 am Report abuse
Cochrane's story was indeed fascinating, he was one of these larger than life Scots who despite being an over achiever and war hero fell out with the British establishment and spent much of his life fighting to clear his name, in the end successfully. Similar to the long Tommy Sheridan legal saga today, or George Galloway's vindication over Iraq and New Labour
26 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
or indeed Paul Revere. The hero of the American War of Independence in every US schoolchild's education, he is a work of fiction by Longfellow in 'The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere'.

A necessary fiction in the birth of a nation about to be riven by the Civil War, but historians know that he never finished the ride, was captured by the Scots (the British), and was subsequently court-marshalled for cowardice and insubordination in the Penobscot fiasco of 1779.

We all need our heros and, if they don't come naturally, we manufacture fiction into fact in our historybooks.
27 redpoll (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 08:49 pm Report abuse
Yes Geoff Most of our national heroes have at least some basis in fact though I have my doubts about King Arthur and Robin Hood !
28 Clyde15 (#) Dec 25th, 2012 - 12:26 pm Report abuse
Stretching the point here. The difference being that Sheridan was convicted of perjury by a jury. If they had believed his story then he would have been acquitted. As for George Galloway, his interest is self promotion.
29 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 02:20 pm Report abuse
#28 “If they had believed his story then he would have been acquitted”

As they almost certainly would have, if they'd known then what we know now about the News of the World...
30 Clyde15 (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 06:43 pm Report abuse
I hold no brief for the News of the World but are you saying the accusations of perjury are based on false witness statements.
If so, you should inform the police and supply them with your information on the subject.

I apologise to the rest of the posters for going off subject about a parochial matter.
31 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 09:53 pm Report abuse
#30 There have already been arrests along these lines, including Andy Coulson and Bob Bird, former overall and Scottish editors of the NotW. Tommy's Cochrane moment will come methinks...

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