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Published: March 2nd 2015
Rounding the Tip of South America, Cape Horn, Chile….A Bunch of Rocks
So… we left the stark but beautiful Falkland Islands and our journey continued to the west and south as we begin to go “Around the Horn”. We’ve read about the adventures of seamen such as Magellan, Cortez and others as they attempted to go around the horn. We have heard that it can be clear as glass but more likely and usually the waters are rough, rough, rough. We are in a VERY large ship so are in hopes that we will make it without mishap.
As we go to sleep in our cabin we can feel the ship starting to rock. The captain has told us that the waters are exceptionally rough ahead and so he will change course and go toward the Argentinian coast to try to keep us in calmer waters.
This morning we awoke to 48 knot winds and 15 foot seas. The troughs between waves are huge! As we mentioned we are a large ship and we’re still rocking and rolling significantly. We are grateful not to be on the HAL Amsterdam on this trip as it is much smaller and
would really be shaking everything around. Because we are so big, we are just jerking back and forth all day-seriously. Up on deck 15 where our cabin is, the rocking can really be felt and it’s hard to walk straight. In fact you can’t. You walk down the corridors like a drunken person ;-) trying to avoid those coming toward you. But, this is not so rough as to cause any damage-no plates flying off tables, or such!
We have been through the edge of a typhoon in the North Pacific and through the “Roaring 40’s” between New Zealand and Australia, but this beats them all for rough seas! Despite this, it is not “scary”… just very rough and sort of awe inspiring thinking of the strength of Mother Nature and there is nothing we can do about it. The lectures, games, massages and ship activities go on as usual, but no one is allowed outside on any deck. We went to a Spanish lesson this morning and a lecture on Punta Arenas.
We are spending the day mid-ships on Deck 5 for the smoothest ride… which is not smooth at all. We have staked out a place
in the International Café and are reading and writing to you. A waiter just came by with cookies and milk ;-) We look outside and are amazed at the size of the waves and the wind. They have closed off all the outside areas including the pool deck.
The Commodore came on and just told us that he is doing everything in his power to get us to “Cape Horn” before dark so that we can see it, but… the waves and winds are making it difficult. We’ll just have to see.
Yea… we are here! Cape Horn, Chile! We are going to wait here for ½ hour just so that we can take pictures. Because we are in the lee of the Cape, the wind has calmed down to just a dull roar ;-), it is raining one minute and sunny the next. We are going up on Deck 16/17 to take photos.
We’re back and it whole experience was just amazing! A full rainbow greeted us at Cape Horn, Chile! There is not much to see per se… as our junior waiter, Goran, said, “It’s just a bunch of rocks” LOL True enough, but this
bunch of rocks has so much mystique and history. We can’t believe we are “Rounding the Cape”, the southern most part off the South American continent. There is a lighthouse and buildings with the Chilean flag flying on a bluff atop Isla de Horno, Cape Horn, almost to the tip of the “Bunch of Rocks” ;-) We take photos, battle the wind and rain a little and seek some shelter, although this is so much calmer than an hour ago. We turn around and head back the way we came toward the Beagle Channel, named for the English ship carrying Charles Darwin who explored this area. Next, Ushuaia, Argentina
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