Puerto Deseado

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Puerto Deseado
City
Sights in Puerto Deseado
Sights in Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado is located in Argentina
Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado
Location of Puerto Deseado in Argentina
Coordinates: 47°45′S 65°55′W / 47.750°S 65.917°W / -47.750; -65.917Coordinates: 47°45′S 65°55′W / 47.750°S 65.917°W / -47.750; -65.917
Country  Argentina
Province Santa Cruz
Department Deseado
Government
 • Mayor Luis Ampuero (Justicialist Party)
Population
 • Total 10,237
Time zone ART (UTC-3)
CPA base Z9050
Dialing code +54 297

Puerto Deseado, originally called Port Desire, is a city of about 15,000 inhabitants and a fishing port in Patagonia in Santa Cruz Province of Argentina, on the estuary of the Deseado River.

It was named Port Desire by the privateer Thomas Cavendish in 1586 after the name of his ship, and later became known by the Spanish translation of the name. Today, the straggly town has a couple of pleasant squares, a former railway station and two museums, one with a collection of indigenous artifacts and one at the seafront with relics from the sloop of war Swift which sank in 1770, recovered after its wreck was discovered in the port in 1982. The coast boasts spectacular scenery and colonies of marine wildlife close to the town.

History[edit]

Puerto Deseado's old train station (2003)

The harbour, nearly 32 km (20 mi) long, was discovered in 1520 by the Spanish expedition commanded by Magellan. Other Spanish expeditions followed, including Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa. On 17 December 1586 the privateer Thomas Cavendish sailed into the estuary on his flagship the Desire of 120 tons, accompanied by the Hugh Gallant of 40 tons and the Content of 60 tons. He named the harbour Port Desire after his ship, and the point of land at the harbour mouth is still known as Punta Cavendish. They met only a few native Americans, who shot arrows that wounded some of the crew. After ten days Cavendish took his ships on their way, and returned to England in 1588. In 1591 Cavendish set out on another expedition with five ships, himself sailing as admiral on the Leicester Galleon, while the Desire was commanded by captain John Davis. They suffered problems in the winter at the Strait of Magellan so turned north, and on 20 May 1592 the Desire and the Black Pinnace lost touch with other ships and went into Port Desire to wait for Cavendish. He did not turn up, so in August they sailed to the nearby Penguin Island then south, but were caught by a storm and, forced to run before the wind, came on unknown islands, making the first provable sighting of the Falkland Islands .[citation needed]

In 1670 John Narborough visited Port Desire and claimed the territory for the British Empire, but no substantial attempt was made to assert the British claim against the Spanish claim to the region. Captain John Byron went on from there to claim British possession of the Falklands in the 1760s, and when the Spanish attacked there in 1770 one of the ships forced to flee was the sloop of war Swift which returned to Port Desire, but was shipwrecked on a concealed rock.

Antonio de Biedma founded the Nueva Colonia in 1780 in the area near present day Puerto Deseado, later shut down by Viceroy Vertíz.

In 1790 a fort was established at Puerto Deseado by the Real Compañía Marítima (Royal Maritime Company) of Charles IV of Spain, which served as a base for whaling until its abandonment in 1806.

Perhaps the area's most famous visitor came on the Voyage of the Beagle commanded by captain Robert FitzRoy, which brought the young naturalist Charles Darwin on 23 December 1833 for the first of several visits while HMS Beagle carried out its hydrographic survey.

Climate[edit]

Under the Köppen climate classification, Puerto Deseado has a cold semi-arid climate (BSk) with mild, warm summers and cold winters.

Climate data for Puerto Deseado
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.0
(98.6)
37.3
(99.1)
32.3
(90.1)
27.6
(81.7)
26.0
(78.8)
17.0
(62.6)
17.5
(63.5)
20.4
(68.7)
24.6
(76.3)
29.4
(84.9)
31.7
(89.1)
33.1
(91.6)
37.3
(99.1)
Average high °C (°F) 21.5
(70.7)
21.0
(69.8)
19.4
(66.9)
15.6
(60.1)
11.2
(52.2)
7.5
(45.5)
7.5
(45.5)
9.6
(49.3)
12.0
(53.6)
15.7
(60.3)
18.9
(66)
20.7
(69.3)
15.1
(59.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.1
(59.2)
14.8
(58.6)
13.2
(55.8)
10.2
(50.4)
7.0
(44.6)
4.0
(39.2)
3.9
(39)
5.1
(41.2)
7.0
(44.6)
9.6
(49.3)
12.6
(54.7)
14.0
(57.2)
9.7
(49.5)
Average low °C (°F) 10.0
(50)
9.6
(49.3)
8.2
(46.8)
5.6
(42.1)
3.0
(37.4)
0.6
(33.1)
0.6
(33.1)
1.2
(34.2)
2.5
(36.5)
4.4
(39.9)
7.3
(45.1)
8.6
(47.5)
5.1
(41.2)
Record low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
0.3
(32.5)
0.3
(32.5)
−2.0
(28.4)
−5.1
(22.8)
−8.0
(17.6)
−8.6
(16.5)
−9.7
(14.5)
−4.6
(23.7)
−3.3
(26.1)
−0.3
(31.5)
0.4
(32.7)
−9.7
(14.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 22
(0.87)
19
(0.75)
18
(0.71)
30
(1.18)
23
(0.91)
23
(0.91)
21
(0.83)
17
(0.67)
19
(0.75)
13
(0.51)
10
(0.39)
17
(0.67)
232
(9.13)
Avg. precipitation days 8 6 5 7 8 8 7 7 7 6 5 7 81
 % humidity 57.7 59.0 62.0 66.7 74.7 79.0 78.7 71.7 65.7 59.3 56.7 56.0 65.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 167.4 175.2 133.3 117.0 77.5 72.0 80.6 117.8 111.0 161.2 165.0 145.7 1,523.7
Percent possible sunshine 34.5 43.5 34.5 36.0 27.0 28.0 29.0 36.5 31.0 38.0 37.0 29.5 33.7
Source #1: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional[1]
Source #2: Secretaria de Mineria (extremes and sun 1951–1980)[2]

Tourism[edit]

Most of the tourism industry is based on touring the estuary to see the diverse fauna, such as the Commerson's dolphin or the Magellanic Penguin.

Economy[edit]

Puerto Deseado's economy is based on the fishing industry. There are several fish-processing plants by its coasts on "Avenida Costanera" and a high percentage of the population works on jobs related to industrial fishing such as stevedores, crane operators, fish cleaners and the like.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Datos Estadísticos (Período 1971-1980)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Provincia de Santa Cruz - Clima Y Meteorologia: Datos Meteorologicos Y Pluviometicos" (in Spanish). Secretaria de Mineria de la Nacion (Argentina). Retrieved January 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]