Tuesday, March 20, 2012


'Carronade' Rounding Cape Horn 1967 - Painting by Jack Earl (Cape Horns namesake is the small town of Hoorn on the shores of the IJsselmeer NL)

Cape Horn stands within one of the most inhospitable, loneliest and treacherous pieces of water on our planet. Once in the golden age of sail, before the creation of the Panama Canal, it was the only route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This area is the graveyard of over 800 ships and 10,000 sailors.

Three brave young men in the 'Carronade' (pictured above) rounded in 1967 but paid the price with a complete capsize in a hurricane - which luckily didn't dismast them - Its a wonderful story told in Des Kearns book 'World Wanderer: 100,000 Miles Under Sail.' - (a story for a future Blog posting perhaps).

Close to Cape Horn there is a memorial in the form of an albatross to the memory of all those who have perished coming this way:


I, the albatross that awaits for you at the end of the world..
I, the forgotten soul of the sailors lost that crossed Cape Horn from all the areas of the world.

But die they did not in the fierce waves,
for today towards eternity

in my wings they soar
in the last crevice
of the Antarctic winds.

Sara Vial
Dec - 1992


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