PROOF of how far Argentina and Britain have come since the dark spring of 1982 was evidenced by a joint act of remembrance in the port of Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of the Americas.
Sailors from ice survey ship HMS Endurance joined Argentine counterparts in a moving ceremony honouring the dead of both sides from the Falklands conflict.
Not since the previous Endurance sailed into the port in Tierra del Fuego in January 1982 has a Senior Service vessel berthed in Ushuaia (Endurance remains the only RN ship to have visited Argentina after 1982).
In the Square Islas Malvinas and in front of a modernist memorial depicting the islands the two nations fought over, British and Argentine servicemen and women stood side-by-side as Enduranceâ€™s CO Capt Nick Lambert laid a wreath with an inscription in Spanish: From HMS Endurance to the fallen in the South Atlantic.
Britain and Argentina have come a long way since 1982, but there remains a long way to go.
Many Argentinians still lay claim to the â€˜Malvinasâ€™ â€“ a few veterans and locals protested over Enduranceâ€™s visit to Uchuaia â€“ just as most Falklanders remain staunchly British.
But as most sailors will tell you, the enemy is the sea, or as Rear Admiral Guillermo Estevez, CO of the Austral Naval Base, described the memorial service â€œmilitary honouring militaryâ€.
Capt Lambert told the Buenos Aires Herald: â€œWe hope this will be the beginning of a very good relationship between Argentines and Britons.â€
Enduranceâ€™s chaplain Steve Parselle added: â€œAs serving sailors itâ€™s a sombre privilege to pay our respects to all those who lost their lives in 1982.â€
Argentine survivors of the 1982 war were divided over Enduranceâ€™s visit and the joint ceremony. But local veteran Carlos Bonetti sound a conciliatory note.
â€œThe ceremony is a benchmark in the understanding of both peoples,â€ he declared, urging the countries to settle their differences over the islands amicably.
Away from the shadows of 1982, Endurance has completed her first spell conducting scientific experiments around Antarctica and is now carrying out a second spell of survey work.
Ushuaia is the departure point for many of the increasingly-popular Antarctic surveys which the Red Plumâ€™s research and chart work assists.
The crux of the 2005-06 deployment has to been to study the effects of global warming on the polar region, as well as helping British Antarctic Survey scientists to monitor the seal population of South Georgia.