Thursday, February 23, 2012


Noon Position: 49 03' S, 39 58' W, SOG 3.5, COG 035, Day's Run 128nm,
Weeks' Run 917nm. I've been thinking about the day that I rounded Cape
Horn. It was such a focal point of the trip up that point, all my
energy aimed towards it. Then suddenly there it was, rearing up dead
ahead out of the dawn. It seemed like such an appropriate way to round
the Horn - a gale the day before, clearing to beautiful skies as I
passed Tierra del Fuego. And then, all day long, the procession of
island and mountains to port, rising up out of the sea in turn like
dragon's teeth capped in snow. It was a vibrant day, full of life - the
seas alive with birds, albatrosses and cormorants and petrels,
everywhere circling and diving. Even alive with people - a fishing boat
the night before, a cruise ship and fishing boat headed to Ushuaia as we
left the clouds and land behind. Even the land seemed to quiver with
energy, spawning immense sheets of rain that drifted to sea in dismal
rows, obliterating the sun beneath a wall of darkness. And then, at
last, a final sunset to bid it all farewell, watching the sun sink over
Tierra del Fuego, just as it had risen over the Horn, and it was gone.
The next morning nothing remained to een hint at what had passed, no
birds, no land, just the unbroken horizon, stretching ahead 3500 miles
to Africa. South America may as well have been a dream, and was as
unobtainable, carried as Odyssey was on the rushing wind. Now there's
nothing, 9 days out and it might as well be a hundred, just an endless
blur of sun and squalls and wind and waves, receding down our wake into

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