55 deg 57′ 09″ S
67deg 13 ‘ 02″ W
We left Melchior Island in a beautiful sunrise. Then the three and a half
day trip across the dreaded Drake passage to Cape Horn. It started with
ice watch at 3 am. and every five hours we were on for two hours. Dodging ice bergs 60 meters high and 200 meters wide. Think of a sky scaper that stretches the length of a train.
Again the cold was sucking all the energy out of us as we watched ice bergs and growlers pass by through the grey skies.
Reader I want to remind you that the boat is only 54 ft and contains 9
hefty adults ..the quarters are tight. One minute you are on ice watch with no land around and then you braced on the toilet trying to hold on and pull up your trousers at the same time. There were certain rules introduced for the guys. Consider the difficulty of holding on to your balance and your bits at the same time.
THe guys were allowed to stand up for their rights but they had to sit down for anything else. There was also the fear of flying out of the loo mid stream.
When off ice watch, time was spent either horizontal in your none to
clean bunk or in the saloon playing cheat and various other card and mind games.
The challenge was not only the cold and adapting to constant movement but also not to get on each others nerves which thankfully we didn’t. Actually as I am writing this it raised a discussion about how we have learned to adapt and let things go.
Last night we had a presentation of our best 20 Photos. Can you imagine
these photographers are all very serious and the results were terrific. One was more atmospheric, the other into nature, one into abstract, it was like walking into a national Geographic symposium.. Oh and Pat and I. But in fairness and far be it from me to boast but I think we did capture a couple of wonderful pictures.
Getting up this morning it was a 45 degree angle to get out of bed, crawl
to the saloon and try to eat. Charlie in the meantime managed to make soup. I have to admit most of the day was to crawl out to eat and then back to bed until about 3pm when we started rounding Cape Horn. The albatrosses teased us by flying up and disappearing as soon as you focused the camera at them.
To the non sailors I should explain that the Drake passage is the roughest
sea in the world to sail. Cape Horn is where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
meet, the turbulence around the shelf creates treacherous seas with often fatal consequences. Thousands of sailors have died rounding Cape Horn.
We were lucky at least on this day. We managed a difficult landing on slippery stones and having the feeling of constant movement in our ears from the past three days hard sailing. The wind was pounding as we climbed to the top.
There was a little bit of disappointment that the only souvenir we could get was a 2 dollar fridge magnet. Max said he wasn’t going to go out and buy a 600 dollar fridge for it.
We weighed the anchor and set off for the most beautiful hidden cove
‘Wollaston’ surrounded by trees, cascading waterfalls,towering mountains soaring albatross and the delicious smell of land. We even had a pod of black and white dolphins chasing us. (Commerson’s Dolphins) Henk celebrated Sarah’s 100th crossing of the drake. Considering that he has done it 100 times and he thought that this one was a rough one. I hope you are impressed!
We are now headed for the southern most town in the world, Puerto Toro.
(They better have more than fridge magnets for souveniors)