ADVENTURE'S SOUTHERN OCEAN EXPEDITIONS
A Virtual Voyage to the Cold Southern Ocean
Regions of our planet; Cape Horn, Patagonia, Tierra Del Fuego,
Antarctica and South Georgia with over 1500 graphics. Over Five hundred
fifty pages of Information on culture, history, fauna, flora,
anthropology, geography, arqueology, Chile facts, kayaking, whale
watching, trekking and introducing:
Ultimate Adventures You Will Never Forget
Sailing to Cape Horn
Luxurious Cruisers from Punta Arenas or Ushuaia sailing to
Cape Horn &
Tierra Del Fuego
The Australis Cruisers)
DEL FUEGO FJORDS AND GLACIERS Trips
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Painting of yacht
rounding the Horn
Current Weather in TIERRA DEL FUEGO
People: People in Chile are really genuinely
friendly and helpful. They alone make a trip to Chile worthwhile.
Santiago: Just a few words to answer some common questions we get about
the capital city. It is about 15 miles from the airport, about a 20 to
30 minute drive. It has a number of districts but in most cases they
are all part of the city. Providencia and Las Condes and Vitacura
districts are very fashionable with good hotels, shops, restaurants,
bars. They are only minutes by cab from the "downtown" area. Most major
businesses are located in these districts.
Safety: Chile is actually a pretty safe place for the tourist. But in
Santiago, like any big city in the world, reasonable prudence is always
a good idea. Don't wear a solid gold Rolex, a Timex will do, don't
carry a large amount of cash, don't leave cameras and valuables exposed
in an unoccupied car...just be smart.
When the fleet of four boats in the Portimão Global Ocean Race round Cape Horn over the next few days, it will mark the first rounding by a race of 40ft yachts and the first race rounding by a Chilean team. A truly momentous achievement for the seven yachstmen.
Debate continues over the original discovery of the world’s southernmost cape: did Francisco de Hoces - the Spanish commander of the caravel San Lesmes – first site the rocky outcrop in 1526 after being swept south while trying to navigate the eastern entrance of the Straits of Magellan? If so, he predates the 1578 rounding of Sir Francis Drake by a little over half a century. However, since the Amsterdam merchant, Willem Shouten, formally named the place in 1616, Cape Horn has been a craved destination and right of passage for offshore sailors: a prime objective in sailing aspirations, part maritime bogeyman, part Holy Grail.
The Horn marks the northern limit of Drake Passage, a fearsome stretch of water between South America and the Antarctic continent where the Southern Ocean is squeezed through a narrow and relatively shallow gap: a concentration of wind and waves that can produce monstrous seas. The cape’s legendary status and fearsome reputation has filled the pages of many books, but the 'Long Drag Shanty' conveys a true sense of dread that the area can inspire:
Round Cape Horn where the stiff wind blows,
Round Cape Horn where there’s sleet and snow.
I wish to God I’d never been born
To drag my carcass around Cape Horn
Cape Horn has wrecked countless ships and claimed the lives of many sailors attempting to round this barren, rocky, outcrop; the southernmost, drowned peak of the Andes Mountains chain. One survivor of a Horn gale was Charles Darwin during the voyage of exploration that formed his theories on evolution. This experience totally demoralised the brilliant naturalist: 'The necessary discomforts of the ship heavily pitching and the miseries of constant wet and cold, I have scarcely for an hour been quite free from seasickness. How long the bad weather may last, I know not; but my spirits, temper, and stomach, I am well assured, will not hold out much longer.'
Darwin’s ship, the Beagle, came within minutes of foundering during the gale due to the captain’s insistence that all the ports for deck drains should remain closed. Fortunately, the ship’s carpenter chose to remain on standby with a handspike and saved the Beagle. Darwin’s dairy entry of Sunday 13th January 1833 records this event, just 20 miles west of the cape:
'Our horizon was limited to a small compass by the spray carried by the wind; the sea looked ominous; there was so much foam, that it resembled a dreary plain covered by patches of drifted snow. At noon the storm was at its height; and we began to suffer; a great sea struck us and came onboard; the same sea filled our decks so deep, that if another had followed it is not difficult to guess the result. It is not easy to imagine what a state of confusion the decks were in from the great body of water. At last the ports were knocked open and she again rose buoyant to the sea.'
Although Darwin was clearly in a poor condition during the storm, he was still able make observations: 'Whilst we were heavily labouring, it was curious to see how the albatross with its widely expanded wings, glided right up the wind'. These solitary creatures symbolise the Southern Ocean. Their ability to harness the fierce winds raging at the bottom of the world coupled with a habit of following yachts and ships through remote sea areas has formed a mysterious bond between sailors and albatross: a connection that is highly evident at Cape Horn. There are only five manmade structures on treeless Horn Island.
At the southern tip of the island sits an unmanned lighthouse marking Cape Horn and a second light is located above Point Espocon on the eastern end of the island. Behind the second light is a single-storey dwelling housing the Chilean lighthouse keeper and his family. Alongside the accommodation hut is a tiny chapel: a simple building constructed in timber, housing six pews and a plain, unfussy altar. Upon closing this building’s double doors on the gale outside, the quiet within the chapel is entirely unnatural. This almost supernatural aspect increases with the final structure; a massive albatross statue dominating the plain above the island’s southern cliffs. This diamond shaped, iron artwork features a cut-out silhouette of an albatross in flight: aligned north-south, the prevailing westerly wind moans through the statue’s void producing a primal and highly disturbing sound. Carved on the concrete base of the statue is a sombre and melancholy poem in Spanish. It is very difficult to turn one’s back on the giant albatross:
I am the Albatross Waiting for You
At the End of the World
I am the Forgotten Soul of Dead Sailors
Those who Sailed Through Cape Horn
From All Oceans in the World.
But they have Not Died
In The Furious Waves,
In My Wings they Fly today
To The Eternity
In The Last Crevice
Of Antarctic Winds
Sara Vial. December 1992
How to prevent sea sickness
Dozens of Yachts to Cape Horn -
(Span. Cabo de Hornos), promontory,
South Chile, in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, on Horn Island.
It marks the southernmost point of South America and extends into Drake
Passage, the antarctic strait connecting the South Atlantic and South Pacific
The rocky terrain of the cape rises to a height of 424 m (1391 ft).
strong currents, and icebergs make passage around the cape extremely
During the time of sailing ships, hundreds of vessels were wrecked
while "rounding the horn."
The Dutch navigator Willem Cornelis Schouten, the first to sail around
the cape (1616), named it for his birthplace, Hoorn, Netherlands.
Cape Horn Albatros Monument
Map of Cape Horn Area
A Monument to the navegators of the world who have rounded Cape Horn
Location: Horn Island (Isla Hornos), Cape Horn, Chile
The Cape Horn route became most popular following the California Gold
Rush in 1849. This route was considered to be preferable to crossing
the dangerous prairie of North America. After the opening of
transcontinental railroad in 1869, passenger traffic around Cape Horn
began to taper off in favor of the safer and quicker method of train
travel to cross the continent. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914
further cut back travel around Cape Horn. Today, many sailors choose
to travel the Cape Horn route simply for the challenge of it due to
the hazards involved.
Yachts and cruise ships to Cape Horn
CAPE HORN TOUR
(This may also be done along with the 7 day glaciers and fjords
This itinerary is from Ushuaia or also it can be from Puerto Williams,
You will board the sailboat at the Ushuaia Yacht Club (Club Afasyn), to
start the trip. We will sail towards the east through the Beagle
Channel, see its magellanic cormorants, imperial cormorants, giant
petrels and sea wolves. The Light House Les Eclaireurs will indicate
the changing of our course towards Port Williams, Chile, the world's
most Southern town.
Docked at the Micalvi Yacht Club, we will spend our first night in the
Life on board will allow us to learn the diverse tasks from the
kitchen, the order, taking on water and knowing some marine knots. The
spirit of collaboration always always present will help us to release
the anxiety of not knowing what will happen the next day.
After this first night in Port Williams, where we will be able to make
a long walk to visit Beavers and see the woods, then we will prepare
ourselves to depart towards the Glaciers area, with West course through
the Beagle Channel. We will be sailing this area for six days, which
offers safe bays or creeks for the anchoring at night and allows
landings, beautiful landscapes and long walks to enjoy.
"Setting sail." We will sail the length of the Beagle Channel,
heading sailing towards the east, alongside Navarino Island coast to
the fishing village of Puerto Toro where we will stay overnight,.
Then after waiting for good weather, we will enter the sometimes stormy
Nassau Bay, in the direction of the Wollaston islands and Port Martial,
the marine fauna is extraordinary. We may experience Williwaw winds.
And this is the moment, under good weather conditions to reach the
mythical Cape Horn, passing by Picton and Lennox Islands, whose eastern
flank holds hidden coves. The coves are an essential shield of
earth that shelters us from the almost always strong winds from the
west. By the 1900s, many expeditions found protection here, which
let them complete their anthropological and geographic missions.
We will stay overnight in Maxwell cove.
We will wait in Maxwell Cove for ideal conditions in which to round
Cape Horn. Just 15 miles separate us from the southernmost point
in South America.
The first opportunity will be taken - we will round Cape Horn. If
weather conditions permit, we will visit the personnel stationed at the
Chilean Naval Station, who take care of the lighthouse in this solitary
place. In the small wind-beaten Chapel Stella Maris, we will
remember the people of the sea, who in this desolate Cape, lost their
lives fighting the hostile elements of nature. At sunset, we will
anchor ten miles north, in Martial Cove.
After visiting the Cape Horn we will head back for Puerto
Williams and Ushuaia by the same route. Today's destination: Puerto
Toro. One hundred years ago, Puerto Toro was considered the
administrative center of the southernmost part of the Tierra del Fuego
archipelago. With gold fever over, Puerto Toro became the
tranquil hamlet it is today. Today, the local fishing fleet uses
the port as a base in the archipelago. With some luck, we will
enjoy "centolla," the prized southern king crab.
We will pass by a shipwrecked transport vessel, and along the length of
the coast, isolated estates. At sunset, Puerto Williams
will receive us again. In the Yacht Club Micalvi's bar, the new
"Cape Horners" will toast with the traditional pisco sour for their
Time to relax and re-pack luggage. One last stroll through the town,
empanadas for lunch. Our flight to Punta Arenas usually leaves
after lunchtime. Once again, we can admire an aerial view of our
stops: Navarino Island, the Beagle Channel, and the Darwin Range.
Alterativly we go back to the Club Alfasyn in Ushuaia.
Please be aware that the routes may change due to bad weather
On returning to Puerto Williams, the Chilean
Navy will make a certificate of "Rounding The
Horn" available to you for a small fee. The
natural phenomenon called "Williwas" which
sometimes exists in Tierra Del Fuego is a
strong wind up to 100 knots hat comes from a
sudden difference in atmospheric pressure and
can be a spectacle difficult to forget.
Cape Horn is the steep headland on Horn
Island, part of TIERRA DEL FUEGO, in southern
Chile. It is the southernmost point of South
America and extends into DRAKE PASSAGE.
After visiting Cape Horn, we backtrack to
Puerto Williams by the same route or by way of
Puerto Toro, visiting other points of interest.
Rounding it by ship in the old days of
sailing could be one of the stormiest and
most dangerous passages in the world.
Now we have weather forecasts, secluded routes
and protected coves to make it easier fort us.
The Cape was sighted by Sir Francis Drake in
1578, but it was named for the birthplace
(Hoorn) of the Dutch navigator Willem
Schouten, who first sailed around it in 1616.
The Strait of MAGELLAN lies to the North of
Cape Horn some 200 miles. It was discovered
in 1520 by Ferdinand Magellan is the
preferred route by all but the biggest boats.
False Cape Horn, located 56 km (35 mi)
northwest on Isla Hoste, another island of
the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, is
sometimes mistaken for Cape Horn that
has caused many a shipwreck.
may make a 7 night Cape Horn only expedition
or a 14 night Cape Horn/glaciers combination.
Voyages to Cape Horn and Tierra Del Fuego
glaciers begin in October and continue
The 15 day optional combination tour goes
directly to the glaciers of Tierra Del Fuego
instead of backtracking to Puerto Williams.
After arriving to the Northern entrance of
the Murray Channel we sail West. In this
navigation of the Beagle Channel, you will
find it possible to appreciate the beauty of
the northern coast of Hoste island and the
southern extreme of the island of Tierra Del
Fuego. A great many small bays unite here
with landscapes of unique beauty and we
cruise within about 10 miles from the City of
Ushuaia, Argentina which you will see across
the bay. During sailing you will have the
opportunity to see different expressions of
fauna such as: the world's largest birds,
condors and albatross, giant petrels,
penguins, wild geese and ducks, large
flightless "steamer ducks," seals, and
occasionally whales and Orcas
(We have seen less Killer Whales
since Ushuaia has tripled in size, but
with a little luck you may see some.)
We continue to the place where the Beagle Channel
divides in two branches and then to the picturesque
South Seas type Pot harbor (Caleta Holla).
This is located at the foot of the Holland
glacier on the Island of Tierra Del Fuego.
You may take an interesting 3 hour hike up
along the river and woods filled with Beaver
dams to the base of this beautiful glacier
named after a 19th century Dutch expedition
to the area. We weigh anchor very early again
to navigate along the northwest arm of the
Beagle Channel to Garibaldi fjord.
During this trajectory we pass Mount Darwin and
one may appreciate a succession of glaciers
located along the Beagle Channel at close
range. These glaciers are named France,
Italy, Germany, and Romanche. We sail north
abandoning the Beagle Channel to reach the
Garibaldi glacier at the end of the fjord. A
large quantity of blue and green floating ice
is characteristic of this place. We then go to the
Little traveled Southwest branch of the Beagle Channel.
During this trajectory you will see some of the most
marvelous scenery on earth - some say, even
better than Norway or Switzerland. If you
paddle, it should be done with caution
because of huge chunks of ice which sometimes
fall from the glaciers causing large waves.
If time and weather permit, we will see even
more out of the way coves, lakes, forests and
streams that are not on the itinerary.
End of glaciers tour
* NOTE : The itinerary above is contingent on the weather
and may change according to the discretion of the captain.
The combination tour is a very popular one
here and makes the best use of time due to
We have passengers email references available on request.
We have many other good sailboats and motor
vessels to Cape Horn.
Just send us a message for information on these.
Ready to do something unique,
adventurous?. A trip that will make
the adrenaline move through your body
like never before? Something only a true adventurer would do? Are you
of those Adventurers? If it is...
What you need to do to
join us on a unique adventure.
Simple, just contact us with a
rough outline of your
requirements and let me, Captain Ben, and my Crew to do the rest for
Finally there isn't much we cannot
cope with. Individuals
or larger parties. Just let us know. "Navigating the Beagle Channel
Ring us direct by Telephone at 5661-621010
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Sail in Tierra Del Fuego
by way of some
of the world's narrowest and most spectacularly scenic waterways. Your
cruise to Cape Horn and in the extraordinary fjords of TDF will show you marvellous high cliffs, deeply indented estuaries, thick emerald foliage & rugged mountains.
These number more than all of Scandinavia's, but Chile's
magnificent fjords and glaciers along the Beagle Channel
are practically unknown except to a few expedition cruisers
and sail boats.
These excursions are by land and sea and mark the same
course taken by Charles Darwin's ship the "Beagle", recapturing
Darwin's voyages at the "ends of earth", with it's awesome beauty
glaciers, fjords, waterfalls and wildlife.
From both sides of the glacier forged channel not more than
4 miles wide, the ice covered Andes rise up on both sides
before us as they come to meet the sea. This is the Darwin
mountain range from which are disengaged huge glaciers.
During this astounding adventure one also has the
opportunity to observe the area's rich flora and different
expressions of fauna such as: the world's largest birds;
condors and the albatross, giant petrels, Magellanic
penguins, Imperial cormorants, Antarctic Terns, wild geese
and ducks, large flightless "steamer ducks", red headed
woodpeckers, yellow winged finch, Chilean green parrots,
kingfishers, seals, sea otters, orkas and sporadically
We will navigate glacial etched flat water canals and
beautiful fjords outlined by exquisite dense green forests.
This trip will provide you with a rare glimpse at ancient
Yagan Indian settlements, artifacts and optionally a tour of
the Martin Gusinde Indian Museum in Puerto Williams.
You may hike, camp, go trout fishing and have enticing
barbecues of Patagonian lamb on the beach along the way.
You may participate, if desired, in sailing, docking and anchoring
during the cruise. Disclaimer
This voyage is for adventurers only.
You may encounter narrower beds than you may be accustomed
to, wind, cold and other unfavorable weather conditions.
Our passengers say that our sailing vessels a very comfortable
boat. However, it should be said that they are NOT the Queen Mary
Most of the islands in the southern tip of South America, including
Tierra del Fuego, are still as forested as the day Columbus waded
ashore the new world. At about 900 meters, the snow line is a
strangely uniform and defined division separating the island
into two very distinctive worlds.
Above, the slopes abruptly steepen and sharpen to hundreds
of jagged peaks with knife blade ridges and pinnacles all left
from the recently and still retreating from the last glacial period
10,000 years ago.
Below the treeline is another world, beneath a thick canopy
there are moss forests, fungus, along with peace and shelter.
**The isthmus which separates the Pacific and Atlantic
Oceans, Latitude S 55°58'02" (click)
**A Cape Horn Testimonial from
person in the Isthmus
According to the charts this is the boundary between
the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, barely 10 feet "separating" them.
Huge waves from both oceans crash on the left and right.
It's an amazingly ethereal experience, to be located
at such a singular location on the earth.
To the west (right) lays New Zealand some 8000 km
and to the East (North-East), the Cape of Good Hope 6800 km distant.
Around Cape Horn we've got to go,
To me way, hay, o-hio!
Around Cape Horn to Calleao
A long time ago!
2. 'Round Cape Horn where the stiff winds blow,
To me way, hay, o-hio!
'Round Cape Horn where there's sleet and snow.
A long time ago!
3. I wish to God I'd never been born
To me way, hay, o-hio!
To drag my carcass around Cape Horn.
A long time ago!
Back to Puerto Williams museum
Back to Tour of Tierra Del
fifteen day tour combination of Tierra Del
and of rounding Cape Horn is suggested, if you
have time, in order to maximize your visit here.
The glaciers and fjords of Tierra Del Fuego are
"All men dream: but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses
of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity,
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act on their dream with open eyes,
to make it possible."
T. E. Lawrence
Dear Captain Ben,
What an adventure! Not only did we 'round the Horn, we doubled it,
Although we were bucking through some hefty waves with the wind moaning
and the rain blowing sideways, wild horses could not have dragged any
off the deck.
The Victory did you proud, sailing through flying sea foam like the
splendid Cape Horner she is.
Cape Horn is one of the most dramatic places in the world.
I heartily recommend this voyage to anyone who is compelled to go on a
pilgrimage to the ends of the earth.