The Maritime Archaeologist


Fay Archive - Field Test No. 16

Magallanes, Chile

The horizon-dotting cacti have been replaced by dolphins, humpbacks and other whale species: we’ve reached the southernmost part of Chile; a stone’s throw away from Antarctica. “This is the last lighthouse on the Strait of Magellan; it is one of the most remote and isolated in the world,” explains Nicolás Lira, a maritime archaeologist who divides his main studies between pre-Columbian navigation and what remains of the whaling industry that grew exponentially in the Magallanes region at the turn of the 20th century.

The Chilean Diaries

The old San Isidro Lighthouse serves as the backdrop to our last stop on our Chilean adventure. A journey along this over 4000 km-long country with ever-differing landscapes, joined along the way by authentic yet fascinating individuals: Field Testers in the truest sense of the word, who put our jackets to the test as they provide us with a one-off glimpse of their unique country.

“Understanding our past to discover who we are today.”

“Being an archaeologist is very important to me. And being able to dive doing my job in this incredible place, is simply wonderful and perfect.” The scientific and environmental awareness-focused project - established together with Matteo and Miguel - aims to transform the lighthouse into a local museum that celebrates its local sea giants: the elegant and imposing yet equally fragile whales who - in this very area - were hunted in great numbers at the beginning of the 20th century.