Monday, 11 May 2015

HMS Beagle Replica (and this one's not lego)

Reading Darwin’s Beagle blog on Friday, I was struck by a thought as I saw the picture that the author had posted and read Darwin’s first sentence (having arrived back at the Beagle after several days exploring in-land):

“We arrived on board a little after noon; found the Beagle with her masts up, fresh painted & as gay as a frigate.”

That thought was: wouldn’t it be cool if someone reconstructed a replica of the Beagle.

Well, they are! At the Museo Nao Victoria in Chile. You can track progress at the official HMS Beagle Replica website. It’s slow going (having started a couple of years ago) but coming along:

In fact, the Flickr is showing more progress:

Construcción de la réplica del HMS Beagle 321 (1) Construcción de la réplica del HMS Beagle 321 (9)

I can’t quite tell what the plans are once it’s built, and whether it will sail around the world or stay in Chile. A Google Translate of the “Inicio” page says:

Replica 1: 1 HMS Beagle under construction in the city of Punta Arenas - Chile adds a range of activities, is a powerful attraction for the city and the region of Magallanes and can become a landmark worldwide for being the first time you rebuild this legendary ship. The project was established as a multidisciplinary dynamic platform covering tourism, science, education and training The scale replica of HMS Beagle will have navigation capability and this replica reproduces the characteristics that had the HMS Beagle along his second voyage (1831 - 1836), is a private project, so far, no state resources and counts as one form of financing with the resources generated by ticket sales museum admission. The project employs eight people directly, will occupy 240 tons of local wood, and has an estimated 24 months to complete term.

I think that means that it will be seaworthy but whether we’ll have to go to Chile to visit it, time will tell.

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