A Place Among Places
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A Place Among Places

A Place Among Places

A Place Among Places
This morning at 0430 local (UTC -5) we sailed under Cape Horn. I hesitate to say we round the Horn as we’ve yet to clear Isla Ana Nueva. With that Island astern and the unfettered South Atlantic ahead, we’ll call it rounded and celebrate. For now, however, we are still in her clutches.

I had so desperately wanted to see the place but it was not in the cards. With 35-40 knot westerlies set to sweep the place clean, there really was no choice but to get away and,as far out to see as possible.
I had no thoughts of rounding the Horn, canvas straining in gale force gusts all the while shaking my fist at the wind and daring her to blow harder. Truth be told I was high tailing it for cover and the only thing shaking were my knees as I wondered and hoped my gamble to cross the maximum wind gradients would pay. No, I was sneaking around the Horn trying not to be noticed.

Seeing it or not matters little. It is the place itself that speaks to your soul or not.
I stood in the rain and wind, looking north at a grey sky and sea and thought of all that had come this way. It is mind-numbing to know that you follow in the wakes of Drake, Schouten, Cook, Bligh, Vancouver, Darwin, Knox-Johnson, Moitessier, Dumas, MacArthur, Gooch, and Socrates to name only a few and leave dozens and dozens out that I am embarrassed to say I do not know. Looking south into the same bleak grey there is Shackleton, Amundsen, Ross, and Cream. There is no other gate into history and our shared past quite link this omen.
And then I thought not of all those who have come and gone, but of those that have stayed. Not by choice, but by accident, or illness, or some other misfortune that can only strike at the end of the world. They too enshrine this place and speak volumes to those who would listen.
And lastly I thought of all those who will come. Of those to whom this place will speak. Of those who come not as freight but of their own doing, using their own wits and determination. To those I would say hurry. Make haste not because this place will change but you surely will.

Date: 0430 8 Jan 2020
Days out: 72
Miles via log: 8871
Lat: 56 10S
Long: 67 17

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

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