The End of the World
Ushuaia is often referred to as "El Fin Del Mundo," The End of the World. Located at 54 degrees south, this port on the famed Beagle Channel is the jumping off point for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Surrounded by Magellanic subpolar forests at the base of the haunting Martial range, Ushuaia is windy, cold, and desolate—it's also magnificent and intriguing. The struggle against the elements can be seen everywhere, from the corrugated metal buildings to the abandoned wrecks lining the shores.
Ushuaia has a subpolar oceanic climate. In other words, it's cold, windy, and wet. I find few words as compelling and evocative as "polar" and "oceanic"—put them together and you've got yourself quite an adventure.
The End of the WorldUshuaia is a place of stunning beauty, a port at the end of the Beagle Channel protected by the towering Five Brothers.
The End of the WorldThe wreck of the ST Christopher. Ushuaia is the last resting place for ships like her. She's lived many lives: first built in 1943 as a U.S. Navy tug (ATR-1 Class), she was transferred to the Royal Navy (HMS Justice) and eventually sold to Leopoldo Simoncini of Buenos Aires as the St. Christopher. She's been abandoned since 1957. Shot with a Nikon D800E, 17-35mm.
The End of the WorldThe ST Christopher listing hard to Starboard. (Sony RX-1)
The End of the WorldThe ST Christopher briefly illuminated by the sun. As soon as I saw a break in the clouds, I hired a Taxi and raced between the two wrecks to capture the moment. (Nikon D800E 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldThe sun briefly emerged to illuminate the ship and mountains. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldBright light, down-sun. A lucky moment. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the World"Prohibido Pasar" means "Welcome aboard, photographers." (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldThe bridge of the ferry. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldIt appears that I wasn't the first person to enjoy her first-class accommodations. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldUshuaia harbor can be seen through the glassless portholes. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldThen the sun faded fast. Fortunately, photographer's seating is provided. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldBow-on. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)
The End of the WorldThe Beagle Channel beckons in the background. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)
The End of the WorldThe weather changes rapidly in Ushuaia. (iPhone 5)
The End of the WorldOutside Ushuaia's AeroClub is the Heinkel HD 24. She's seen better days. (Sony RX-1)
The End of the WorldSmall boats litter the fields. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)
The End of the WorldAn Argentinian DC-3. The first Argentinian plane to visit the South Pole. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)
The End of the WorldAs I was shooting the wreck of the ST Christopher, this guy ambles up to me and says, "The light's no good," while adding another layer against the freezing Southern Ocean winds. He had that been there look—that, and his thick South African drawl made me think either ship's crew or explorer. Well, I was about 25 percent right. Johann Lourens had just completed a one-year, 16,000-kilometer bike ride to Ushuaia. I suggested a portrait was in order. (Sony RX1 at f/2)
The End of the World
You could walk forever along the coastline of Tierra del Fuego. (Nikon D800E 17-35mm)
Christopher Michel is a photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. He has photographed some of the world’s most unusual places and people, from the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the edge of space aboard a U-2 Spy Plane.
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