SEA STORIES A “cruiser” named… Charles Darwin

The inventor of the “theory of evolution of species” Charles Darwin at the age of 22 embarked on a 29-meter boat as a mere cruiser. His sailing around the world changed our lives.


Darwin, as soon as he boarded the Beagle, had to deal with a frightening seasickness. But after only a few days of living on board, he had already gotten used to it. In fact, in one letter he wrote, “Life on board is most pleasant, so quiet and comfortable; it is almost impossible to be idle, and this is no small thing for me.”

We are talking about the legendary five-year cruise around the world that Charles Darwin made pat from England on December 27, 1831 aboard the Beagle, a British navy brig converted to pleasure craft. The sailing ship was 90 feet (27 m) long, 24 feet (7.30 m) wide and weighed an impressive 235 tons.

Very slow but solid, it struggled upwind and rolled a lot. But the young Darwin, then 22 years old, got on so well there that, freed in mind from the constraints of the oppressive family, he elaborated through his naturalistic observations, the theory of evolution of the species that gave scientific explanation to life on our earth.

The official purpose of the Beagle cruise was to complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in addition to taking a series of longitude measurements around the world. In reality, as can be seen from the map, the journey touched or lapped the five continents. And Charles Darwin can be considered “ad honorem” the first cruise-driver in history.

He had no specific tasks; he traveled to travel, just like people who go on cruises today. Darwin embarked because the Beagle’s commander was looking for company, concerned about the burden of loneliness. The crew in fact consisted of rough sailors. And his travel narrative originally titled. “Journal of research about the natural and geological history of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle around the world under the command of Captain Fitzroy” is actually a beautiful tale full of curious annotations, stories of the sea and then-unknown peoples. Young “cruiser” Darwin tells of furious storms, cloudbursts, earthquakes and volcanoes, breathtaking natural beauty. An enlightening and enjoyable read.


Cover infographic taken from the book “Traveling with Darwin” by Luca Novelli, Fabbri Editori. Info on the volume HERE



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