The owner-skipper, Pascal Grinberg was born in France in 1952 near the city of Bordeaux. He started sailing when he was very young so his experience spans more than 30 years of sailing, either as a professional skipper or cruising on his own boat. His sailing had taken him across oceans and to many countries when in 1985 he visited Spitzbergen in the Arctic, and became a high latitude enthusiast. After a second summer in Spitzbergen, he headed south, and has been sailing in the southern latitudes for the last 13 years.
"At the end of 1988 I arrived for the first time in this area with my little sail boat on my way to Antarctica. I was timidly following in the footsteps of a few predecessors who, like me, had succeeded in escaping the tropical attraction. I returned the following year and started getting to know the local people. The enchantment was such that I am still here. Sailing can be a bit hard at times, but no more than in the northern hemisphere at the same latitudes, and the places that the sailing gives me access to quickly dissolves any possible regrets. More often than not, sailing is done over inland waters, well away from offshore swells", he says.
"In 1994 I bought Fernande. I fitted her out to sail in this area. Fernande was built in 1979 originally for racing purposes. After 1985 she was used for cruising around the world. I bought and modified her so that I could bring her to the south for work. Since January 1995 I go sailing with people interested in sharing, in my intrusions into this almost uninhabited, often virgin corner of our planet which offers far more than Cape Horn, or the media vision of Antarctica", he adds.
Ushuaia, capital city of the Province of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and the southern most city in the world is the home base for Fernande. This small town is over a hundred years old and home to 45,000 inhabitants.
It was built on the northern shore of the Beagle Channel with the Darwin Cordillera at its back. Here you already notice the clean air and light which reminds you of the nearness of Antarctica, the great lungs of our planet.
Pascal has his own reasons for joining the flotilla to protest the transit of a nuclear shipment through Cape Horn. "With even the smallest understanding of what the nuclear industry is about I am completely against its use. We know how dangerous plutoniium could be and the consequenses of its use require a long term commitment beyond any of our lifetimes.
Equally there may exist risks that we still do not know of", he explains.
Cecilia is 38 and as born in Buenos Aires. When she was very young, she decided that city living was not for her, and in 1988 she moved to Ushuaia. She worked as a tourist and information guide for the Museum of the End of the World, as well as coordinating museum exhibitions. She has also worked as a teacher in a local school. She has two daughters: Malena and Catalina.
"I completely disagree with the nuclear industry and the consequenses that the use of plutonium causes to humanity. It does not contribute in any positive way to the rest of the world. If you know how you want to live, you also know how you do not want to live".
Cecilia is Pascal's partner of 2 years. When they go sailing, she is in charge of organizing the meals. "I am in charge of the food and I enjoy this very much. Feeding people represents such a basic thing, so vital It is a pleasure to be able to offer someone food to eat".