Cape Horn, Chile
March 9, 2018
51F Cloudy, rain possible
Our embarkation went very smoothly with luggage awaiting in a spacious cabin maintained by Ms. Andy, who kept us neat and tidy and replenished the tissue boxes often when I came down with the beastly cold! After the welcome briefing, usual lifeboat drill and Zodiac briefing, we set sail for Puerto Williams where we anchored for clearance into CHILE and took our two Chilean Pilots on-board---they stayed with us the entire voyage to keep us safe. After formalities were completed we continued towards Cape Horn.
"The evening was calm and bright, and we enjoyed a fine view of the surrounding isles. Cape Horn however demanded his tribute, and before night sent us a gale of wind directly in our teeth. We stood out to sea, and on the second day again made the land, when we saw on our weather-bow this notorious promontory in its proper form - veiled in mist, and its dim outline surrounded by a storm of wind and water,"
Charles Darwin's journal description of Cape Horn
Charles Darwin, in The Voyage of the Beagle, a journal of the five-year expedition upon which he based The Origin of Species, described his 1832 encounter with the Horn.
Early morning arrival - thankfully a beautiful day with quite calm sea and sunshine - how lucky we were.
The cape lies within Chilean territorial waters, and the Chilean Navy maintains a station on Hoorn Island, consisting of a residence, utility building, chapel, and lighthouse. A short distance from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture by Chilean sculptor José Balcells featuring the silhouette of an albatross, in remembrance of the sailors who died while attempting to "round the Horn". It was erected in 1992 through the initiative of the Chilean Section of the Cape Horn Captains Brotherhood.The terrain is entirely treeless, although quite lush owing to frequent precipitation.
On arrival off Cape Horn, our Captain, in cooperation with the Chilean Pilots and
our expedition leader Jane, assessed weather and sea conditions for Zodiac landings.
Above shows expedition team members heading ashore to determine all is OK
for a safe landing. . . . . . . the beautiful Albatross memorial visible on the hill. . . . . .
. . . . . and preparing for the 167 stair climb up the cliff!
View as we climbed the stairs, the ship at anchor, water quite flat, and a beautiful sunny morning to explore.
More steps to the memorial. . . . . . .
We met the Chilean lighthouse keeper and his wife - the children were studying.
When asked if the children liked living there he told us they have already requested he
sign on for another 2 year posting when this one is completed!
- The Chapel -
This first stop on our expedition voyage to the Chilean fjords was going to be
hard to beat - such a pleasant day as the strong winds and
big sea swells stayed away. . . . . .
. . . . . and we sailed away to dress up a bit for the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party
followed by an excellent Welcome Dinner.
Next day we would be cruising through the majestic sea, ice and landscape of