The rain was pouring as I stepped into the Museum. Shaking the chill away, I was amazed by the interior layout. Unlike the traditional hair-raising feeling of prisons, the outline of the Museum resembles the essence of army barrack. I was greeted by a polite Argentine lady at the entrance in a language familiar to me, English. In this Spanish speaking environment, finding someone who speaks the international tongue put me at ease. After securing my bag in the locker available for public, I was given a verbal tour of the Museum. Within Museo Maritime de Ushuaia lies four sections; the Maritime Museum, the Prison Museum, the Marine Art Museum and the Antarctic Museum. Entrance fee is 50 Argentine Pesos which came about around RM 49.
Maritime Museum section is segmented with miniature ships each telling their own tales. One of the significant histories of Ushuaia’s maritime would be the British ship – HMS Beagle where Beagle Channel’s name derived from. Under the command of Captain Robert FitzRoy, HMS Beagle first reached the channel on January 29, 1933 during its maiden voyage in surveying Tierra del Fuego. The Beagle Channel’s notorious 90 meters depth of treacherous rocks have been the sinking graveyard for ships over the years. The most recent report was the Logos in 1985, which is over a century from the first occurrence recorded in 1882. Among the vessels made it to the sinking list are the Monte Cervantes and the Sarmiento. Ironic as it is, there is a real half sunken ship on display near the Ushuaia port. Another feature in the Maritime Museum is the aborigine tribes, the Yamana canoe. The Yamana canoes are made from bark tree and served as a mode of transport around the islands of Ushuaia. Unfortunately throughout the years, the Yamana canoes have gone into extinction. The only pure Yamana canoe’s sole survivor in this world is in her 90s and proudly presented by the Maritime Museum.
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