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Eye of the Wind rounding Cape Horn

The Eye of the Wind rounding Cape Horn

Eye of the Wind diary entry - Cape Horn - Roderick Anderson

Tuesday 10 December 1991

  • 69 days since I joined the ship
  • 66 days since we left Sydney
  • 47 days since we left Auckland
  • noon position: 55 degrees 55 minutes south, 66 degrees 49 minutes west
  • days run noon to noon: 153 nautical miles

Up at 11.45 pm, on watch at midnight. Diego Ramirez light sighted a few minutes later and at 2 am when I took the wheel the islands were on our beam at about 9 miles. By 4 am land was clearly visible to port, high peaks covered in snow, and ahead the Hermitage Group and Cape Horn, 40 miles away. The sky is overcast, the sea black with white caps, the ship doing 8 knots (5 am). It is a dramatic and bleak scene and we are luck to be so close inshore in daylight after so many miles. The wind is from the north-west allowing us to steer a course very close to the Cape. At 5.10 we saw some hour-glass dolphins and rock-hopper penguins and a wave coming over the stern carried onboard a fish.

At 9.43 we passed Cape Horn at a distance of only 1.5 miles. By coincidence the World Discoverer cruise ship arrived at the same time and circled past us to take photos - probably the only time a sailing ship has been photographed so close to Cape Horn! A celebratory drink was had and group photos were taken.

The Coast is very rugged and beautiful and the day perfect. X got so drunk he was confined to bed. I went back on watch after lunch which consisted of tuna casserole and did little. At 1.43 pm we were 5817 miles from Auckland and 7075 miles from Sydney.

At 2 pm a call from Soren Larsen ruined the atmosphere aboard with the suggestion that we give up sailing, which we had stuck to as the only means of propulsion since Auckland, and motor from now on to meet deadlines. The crew voted against this. We will see what happens, but the feeling is that we should make the Falklands under sail if possible.

Had a nap at 4.30 but was called to go back on watch at 5.30 and took the wheel until 6 pm, then went to dinner which was curry and rice and cheesecake.

At 5.45 we saw killer whales a couple of hundred yards away.

Went below to sleep at 6.30 pm. A busy day!

Ina's remark according to information by Alan Campbell and Chris Roche: The picture is taken on 10th Dec '91 at the Horn from MV World Discoverer. For 42 no commercial square rigger rounded the Horn. The last commercial cargo to Cape Horn was carried in the Pamir on 11 July 1949. The grain cargo was landed at Avonmouth after the ship had reached the mark off Queenstown for orders to go to Avonmouth to discharge cargo after a 128-day journey.

The crew

The following sheets are scanned from Roderick Anderson's diary. Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

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Watch A:
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Watch B:
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Watch C:
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Approaching Cape Horn. Ocean Discoverer just in sight ahead
Ocean Discoverer approaching on starboard
Eye of the Wind and Cape Horn from Ocean Discoverer
Eye of the Wind off Cape Horn from World Discoverer
Approaching Cape Horn (Roderick anderson, Nicki Allen, Gary Wilson)
l to r: Ken Edwards, Roderick Anderson, John Taylor, Alan Roper
l to r: Alan Roper, Ken Edwards, John Taylor, Roderick Anderson, Robin Grigg
Roderick Anderson with Cape Horn astern
Eye of the Wind Cape Horn crew
l to r: Peter Howes, Tiger Timbs, Keith, Cathy Bird, Eric Herbert, Katrina Forrest, Chris Hall, Wendy Munn, Nicki Allen, Gary Wilson, Duncan Richards, Ross Pearce
Last view of Cape Horn astern

Text and pictures © Roderick Anderson

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