Arrival at Cape Horn. 21st January 2013 .. 55:57.5S 67:13.1W

Matt Stafford and Rohan Buckley
Fri 25 Jan 2013 00:04

How surreal it is.  As always with trips like this it feels like only yesterday that we left for Antarctica and crossed the Drake Passage and now we have just arrived back having crossed it the second time.  Having sighted Cape Horn early this morning it signalled that we are back at the South American continent and the reality of having left Antarctica hit home to us all.  A real mixed bag of feelings as we on one hand have an incredible sense of accomplishment for what we have seen and done, and on the other a real sadness and almost feeling of loss knowing it is all behind us as we head back to civilization and the real world.  When we eventually return to Ushuaia at the end of the month we will have been away for almost 6 weeks, and 26 days of that was spent in the Antarctic Peninsular region itself.  A magical once in a life time trip that we have all thoroughly enjoyed.  The scenery, the wildlife, the pollution free air and crystal clear refreshing glacial freshwater will be missed.


The sail back across the Drake Passage went well with decent westerlies most of the way giving us a good time of 5 days to get across.  The quite rough seas and strong winds gave us some good days sailing but thankfully the Southern Ocean did not whip up and give us any of the extreme weather it us notorious for.  Ironically the passage across the Drake gave us some of the bleakest weather we have had all trip as we had low grey clouds and rain for the whole 5 days compared to the one day of rain we had in the Peninsular.


Sighting and then ‘rounding’ Cape Horn this morning was an event itself.  A milestone for all of us, for any sailor, and something we had all dreamt about since starting this trip.  We were also lucky that the conditions allowed a dinghy landing on the island, which enabled us to get yet another stamp in our passports and to visit the lighthouse and Albatross Memorial (to all the mariners that have lost their lives trying to round The Horn).


The plan now is to spend the next few days slowly heading north back to Ushuaia, maybe stopping at a few anchorages and Puerto Williams (Chile), on the way before having to be back for Kate’s flight on the 29th January.  Poor Kate has to return to the hustle and bustle of London and city life whilst we spend a week or so in Ushuaia prepping ourselves and the yacht for the next leg.  On and on…… watch this space… ;)


Matt, Rohan, Tina, Nigel and Kate…..