Beauchene Island / Falkland
by Wolfgang Schippke, DC3MF


Beauchene MapThe Beauchene Island is the most far offshore island in the Falkland-Group, located about 46 miles south-south-west of the southeast end of Falkland on a position of 52S55 and 59W12. The island consists of two parts, the southern part with a hill of an elevation of 82 meters, and a northeastern part with bare, steep-to rocks. Both rocks are connecten by a sandy promotion. It is about 1.5 miles long and 0.7 miles wide. The island are only inhabited by about 6000 sea lions and 4000 pinguines. Landing is only possible in calm weather on the east side but the anchorage is not save.Today the island is a nature-reserve. A group of ruined concrete houses stands on the west side of the island, which was inhabited between 1834 and 1837. The settlement was abandoned due to the difficult landing situation.
HISTORICAL NOTE:
The island was first discovered by Gauin de Beauchene, a France whaler in 1701 and named. Later on several sea lion hunters tried to stay on the island, but landing was reported to be impossible. In 1834 the American McArther landed and settlet 100 people on the island, but 2 years later no more sea lions were found here. The first scientific expedition took place in 1951, landing by Helikopter and stay for 1 month on the island. During the Falkland Island War, in 1982, an Argentinian military ship, run on the Mintary Rock, a submerget reef, about 2 miles further south, and in April 1982 a group of Great Britain soldiers climbed the island, and lived for about 4 weeks on the island.
For mor details compare W.Schippke,'Der historische Hintergrund des Falklandkrieges von 1982', München 1982