Cape Horn - Unsettled Sea

Cape Horn - Unsettled Sea (Illustration) Disasters Geography Visual Arts World History Tragedies and Triumphs

The waters around Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America, are frequently unsettled.  It is a dangerous place for the unwary.

What is it like to actually sail around Cape Horn?  Bernard Moitessier gives us a perspective in The Long Way:   

For the sailor, a great cape is both a very simple and an extremely complicated whole of rocks, currents, breaking seas and huge waves, fair winds and gales, joys and fears, fatigue, dreams, painful hands, empty stomachs, wonderful moments, and suffering at times.

A great cape, for us, can't be expressed in longitude and latitude alone. A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colours. A soul as smooth as a child's, as hard as a criminal's. And that is why we go.  (The Long Way, page 141.)

"The long way" is a good description of the journey mariners were forced to make when sailing from Europe to Asia (such as a trip, between 1615-16, from The Netherlands to India).  That is one of the reasons why people desperately wanted to find a "Northwest Passage." 

If there were a route through the Canadian Arctic, which could eliminate months of extra sailing, it would be far better (and safer) for all concerned.

Sir John Franklin was one of the men who wanted to find the seemingly elusive passage.  He, and his men, ended-up giving their lives to the endeavor. 


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 08, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


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"Cape Horn - Unsettled Sea" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 08, 2014. Feb 18, 2019.
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