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The Darwin 200 Project reached the Falkland Islands

Wednesday, January 10th 2024 - 11:26 UTC
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The Oosterschelde was the first Dutch commercial tall ship to sail to both the north and south poles and successfully tackle the infamous Cape Horn The Oosterschelde was the first Dutch commercial tall ship to sail to both the north and south poles and successfully tackle the infamous Cape Horn

Eight soldiers from the British Parachute Regiment are joining the Darwin200 project for a week as the global voyage retracing Charles Darwin’s famous journey on HMS Beagle passes the Falkland Islands.

The tall ship Oosterschelde is stopping in every major port where the 19th century naturalist, geologist and biologist made landfall, including 50 one-week stays along the way.

Beginning in August 2023 from Plymouth and finishing next year, Darwin200 aims to reconnect people across the planet with nature to build a more sustainable future.

Posting on Twitter, the Parachute Regiment said it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity to join the #Darwin200 Project”, made possible thanks to the Support Our Paras charity organization.

Darwin200 said of the conservation initiative: ”We are sailing a historic tall ship around the world following Charles Darwin’s voyage aboard HIMS Beagle two centuries ago.

“Using our ship as a floating laboratory and media platform, we will harness the legacy of Charles Darwin's passion for natural history to engage worldwide audiences and advance global conservation.”

In continuation of Charles Darwin’s work aboard HMS Beagle, the DARWIN200 ship will offer a unique platform to support 8 research projects into many of the world’s most critical environmental problems. Results will be displayed via live data feeds, results presentations, online lectures and interviews with the professional teams of researchers behind each initiative.

In 1831, at the age of 22, Charles Darwin stepped aboard HMS Beagle in Plymouth, England to being a five year journey around the world. DARWIN200 builds on Charles Darwin’s legacy to educate global audiences about the threats our planet faces and the inspiring conservation work that can save the natural world.

Oosterschelde is a three mast tall ship, and one of the world’s finest, fully restored historic tall ships and the largest sailing vessel ever to be restored in the Netherlands.

She is registered by the Dutch Government as a monument of great cultural and historical value. The ship is one of the oldest and most authentic ships in the international fleet of Tall Ships. Oosterschelde re-launched after a major refurbishment in 1996 and was re-commissioned by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of The Netherlands. She is a bastion of Dutch ship building and is described by the ship’s Director and Captain Gerben Nab as having had at least five lives, starting in 1917 as a cargo vessel.

Over the past 30 years Oosterschelde has welcomed thousands of sailors and adventure seekers on board including royalty, politicians, presidents and pop stars, even once hosting a birthday party for Sir Tom Jones!

Oosterschelde was the first Dutch commercial tall ship to sail to both the north and south poles and successfully tackle the infamous Cape Horn, a rocky headland on Hornos Island, in southern Chile known for its hazardous waters. During the pandemic when the world was locked down, a team of Dutch ship builders worked tirelessly to elevate Oosterschelde to the next level in preparation for DARWIN200. As part of the DARWIN200 voyage Oosterschelde will once again navigate Cape Horn, considered the Mount Everest of sailing.

The Oosterschelde before arriving to the Falklands spent time in Punta del Este, Uruguay's main seaside resort, located in the county of Maldonado which Darwin visited and collected elements for his natural evolution theory. He later visited what is now Puerto Madryn in the Argentine continent.

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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