8 June 2020

Learn the story of the Russian sailor who was quarantined in Puerto Williams, the world’s southernmost city known for its hospitality

When Maxim Ozernoy set sail from France in September 2019 in his yacht Xanadu, the plan was to sail to Antarctica to celebrate 200 years since the arrival of the first Russian on the white continent. During the course of his trip, however, his boat experienced engine problems, so he stopped in Puerto Williams for repairs.

By this time, in mid-March, it was too late in the season to continue his voyage to Antarctica, so he decided to leave his yacht in Puerto Williams for the winter and return home to Saint Petersburg. However, it was at this precise moment that Chile declared a quarantine and closed its borders.

 

“When I travel, I generally stay one week in each place, but I’ve now been in Puerto Williams for over two months. I’ve had the opportunity to explore Navarino Island, enjoying nature and talking with people. It’s amazing! Puerto Williams is very laid back, peaceful and safe,” he remarked from his yacht anchored at the fishing wharf, adding that this was his first visit to South America.

Maxim spent the quarantine on his sailboat, but visited local markets to stock up on food. During these trips he was able to talk with people from the southernmost city in the world, whom he describes as very welcoming and friendly. “The people are fantastic. In spite of my inability to speak Spanish, many have approached me to offer help,” he said.

 

A few days ago, he was finally able to board a ferry to Punta Arenas and then fly to Santiago, where he boarded a special charter flight organized by the Russian Embassy to take him back home.

 

“I miss my family. They are all back at home. But this has been a great experience. I will come back in November or December to continue my journey. The geography and landscapes in this remote part of the world are incredible,” said Maxim. He added, “there is no doubt that I will return and I will do so gladly!” He sent this message from Santiago International Airport before heading back to Russia.

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