Saturday, December 17, 2011

Patagon Journal Takes Off; Cape Horn's in Dutch

A few months ago, I mentioned the fund-raising efforts of Puerto Varas-based Jimmy Langman to launch a print version of his bilingual Patagon Journal. As I watched the deadline approach and donation pledges appeared to be barely trickling in online, I have to admit that I was pessimistic that he would garner enough funds for this worthwhile project.
I’m delighted to admit that I was wrong. In an email I received a few days, Jimmy reports that he was “happy to report that the magazine is to leave Gráfica Andes printers in Santiago tomorrow and will be on sale at newsstands in Santiago and other cities and towns around Chile this weekend. The magazine will also soon be available at several other outlets in Chile, including the Patagonia and Andesgear stores throughout the country.”

Jimmy’s campaign, organized through Kickstarter.com, “successfully raised modest funding…including securing a major sponsorship deal with the Quiksilver Foundation. We recently received a small grant from the Weeden Foundation in the United States. That, coupled with a Herculean effort to sell some ads to a new magazine still not yet in print, has finally gotten this effort off the ground.”
I haven’t yet seen a hard copy of the 80-page magazine, but Jimmy has sent me a PDF version that shows the Journal’s promising content. Among the stories are his own extended interview with environmental philanthropist Doug Tompkins (whose wife Kristine I have interviewed and published recently in this blog), Jack Miller’s exploration of the truly remote Cordillera Sarmiento, and Evelyn Pfeiffer’s account of the Paine Circuit’s creation. The video above, narrated in Jimmy’s Spanish, provides an idea of the content.
Other articles include Héctor Kol’s analysis of the salmon industry’s travails and Tim Vandenack’s tale of hitchhiking the Carretera Austral (pictured above). The coverage is not exclusively Chilean – as witness Península Valdés and its great right whales, the new Glaciarium ice museum (pictured below) in El Calafate, and restaurants and book reviews, plus some stunning photography.
All in all, it’s a promising debut that will require dedication to expand its circulation – while the print media are still important in Chile, producing a newsstand magazine remains a demanding task. Readers can do their part by subscribing to Patagon Journal online, or purchasing it at Chilean newsstands.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Journal’s Editorial Advisory, but have no financial interest whatsoever in it. It is essentially an honorary position.

Cape Horn’s in Dutch
Known as Cabo de Hornos in Spanish, Cape Horn is South America’s southernmost tip, and notorious as a graveyard for sailing ships – to whose crews the wandering albatross sculpture atop Chile’s Isla Hornos pays tribute. The Cape’s original name, though, is Kap Hoorn, named by navigators from the Dutch city of Hoorn in the 17th century.
As the 400th anniversary of Cape Horn’s discovery approaches, Chilean and Dutch authorities are collaborating on a series of events to commemorate the role of sailors such as Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire (whose name graces the strait between the big island of Tierra del Fuego and its outlier of Staten Island; the latter was originally a Dutch name, since converted into Spanish as Isla de los Estados). At the moment, only the Chilean operator Cruceros Australis is authorized to put passengers ashore at Isla Hornos, on cruises between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, but Argentine operators continue to hope for future access – from Ushuaia, it would be just a day trip to stand at the tip of the Americas.

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