08 Jan 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: