Ushuaia: 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.

(Christopher Michel)

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 World

Ushuaia is a place of stunning beauty, a port at the end of the Beagle Channel protected by the towering Five Brothers.

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The 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.

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The ST Christopher listing hard to Starboard. (Sony RX-1)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The 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)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The sun briefly emerged to illuminate the ship and mountains. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Bright light, down-sun. A lucky moment. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

"Prohibido Pasar" means "Welcome aboard, photographers." (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The bridge of the ferry. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

It appears that I wasn't the first person to enjoy her first-class accommodations. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Ushuaia harbor can be seen through the glassless portholes. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Then the sun faded fast. Fortunately, photographer's seating is provided. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Bow-on. (Nikon D800E, 17-35mm)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The Beagle Channel beckons in the background. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

The weather changes rapidly in Ushuaia. (iPhone 5)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Outside Ushuaia's AeroClub is the Heinkel HD 24. She's seen better days. (Sony RX-1)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

Small boats litter the fields. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

An Argentinian DC-3. The first Argentinian plane to visit the South Pole. (Leica M9, 50mm f/.95)

(Christopher Michel)


The End of the World

As 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)

(Christopher Michel)


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.

(Christopher Michel)

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