Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sailing to Chile. . . . . . . . .

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 
Garibaldi Fjord.


  1. So very unlike anything I have ever done or would ever do. I will enjoy hitching a ride on your coattails. Beautiful day you had and a good one for rounding the Horn. (I have met the author of a book written about a Maine sea captain and his wife who were going to San Francisco in the 1800s. Many of the sea captains’ wives and even their families traveled with them. Nowadays, Mainers mostly stay to home. 😉)

  2. Gorgeous! So happy the seas were calm here for you to be able to go onto the land and see the beauty surrounding you there. What a sweet little chapel too.

  3. Oh Mary. So moving. The ends of the earth.

  4. Dear Mary, Oh, this is so much fun. I think that we get to come along on your fabulous trip. Reading about it is almost as fun as experiencing it. Thank You.

  5. Mary, traveling the world with you is just the greatest!! I'm so glad the seas were calm enough that you could take us to the lighthouse. What a fun experience. It is great that Bob is along this time. Looking forward to more of your adventures and photos. Many thanks.
    Farm Gal in SW VA

  6. Absolutely stunning - what amazing views. And all those steps!!!

  7. Wonderful to see Cape Horn and on a fine day too. I have never seen or heard about the lighthouse and the albatross memorial - so interesting. The chapel is very special. Thank you for sharing.


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