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These days, there are at least a couple of expedition companies that can take you around Cape Horn, when Mother Nature permits it, of course. The book I recently mentioned, Rounding the Horn, includes details about one such trip, specifically, on one of Skip Novak’s boats. The trip sounded great, by the way, and I was envious of the author having the opportunity to do it.

The route to The Horn during one those expeditions might look something like this:

Not to take anything away from those trips as they are still very-much hard core, in the traditional sense though, that is not what people typically refer to as “Rounding The Horn.” According to tradition, the definition of rounding The Horn is to make a passage from 50?S on one ocean (Atlantic or Pacific), sailing around The Horn, and then back up to 50?S in the opposite ocean. There are some who might even only count an Atlantic to Pacific rounding, the hard way, against the wind and current, but I suspect most people would still give serious props to those who completed a downwind rounding, west to east. I know I would!

Cape Horn!

I am presently reading the book My Old Man and the Sea, and where I am in it, the authors of the book, a father and son team, have just departed Easter Island on their way to The Horn. The book is a pleasant read, and I’m looking forward to continuing on with it to find out how they make out. Maybe it’s time to rewatch the movie Around Cape Horn!


  1. We’ve done it (on a large ship), and I can tell you that there is nothing there save for a sculpture of an albatross. It’s one of those things people do just to say they did it. The day we did it, just by chance, it was glass calm the whole way around. Our ship, incidentally, was Pacific-bound from the Atlantic (we boarded in Buenos Aires and went all the way to San Francisco) but we went around Cabo de Hornos counter-clockwise.

    That trip, by the way, where we got to spend only a day at each port, prompted us to vow to return in our own boat, where we can spend more time in the ports we liked, and also make some stops the big ships can not. We’re a bit behind you (maybe a year?), so I will be eagerly reading your logs as you go.

    My write-up on most of our stops begins here:

    and continues here:

    (bear in mind, if you read it, that we lived on a bus back then, not a boat as we do now)

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