FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 13, 2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 13 Mar 2005 UTC 54’28”S 062’33”W Map Ref 119

G’say all y’all from a dark and gently breezy South Atlantic. Still haven’t quite taken it in but we’re definitely here.

On reflection, having now seen Cape Horn in brilliant close up, I still think that the 10 mile stretch of coast between Tasman Island and Cape Raoul (in the south east corner of Tasmania)is the most spectacularly splendid bit of scenery I have ever seen, the more so if associated with Port Arthur, the colonial prison which is reached from the sea about half way along. For the convicts, brooding, desolate gleaming wet black rocky cliffs and the Isle of the Dead to greet them as they turned the final bend into Port Arthur must really have seemed like the very end of the world. For me, that association with the past and the massive grandeur of the volcanic formations that form that coastline are one of the reasons I still bang my head against the Hobart race.

Oddment for today: we pulled in the generator turbine to check it for chafe (stopped the boat this time…!) and found that one of the two blades had broken off about half way along its length. It seems to be a clean break and there’s no obvious impact damage although the other blade seems to have been grazed by something hard and rough. The turbine trails behind the boat about half a metre below the surface and unless there’s an uncharted rock just below the surface somewhere near the Horn, we haven’t been in less than 100 metres of water since we last checked it about a week ago. Very mysterious. The standard yachties’ insurance claim excuse of ‘submerged shipping container done it’ doesn’t compute (the boat would have hit any floating object first, and with enough force for us to have felt it) and I just can’t see what could have caused it. We will try and get it fixed or another one made in Stanley. In the meantime, we have streamed the coarse pitch turbine, but we’re going much too slowly for it to be effective. But it puts in a bit and it all helps.

Having difficulty contacting Sailmail Chile so will keep these short for the mo.

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