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  #11  
Old 02-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post

Is it really Everest in reality, or is it just another body of water that can have good and bad weather and should be traversed with caution at the right time of year..
I'll go with the former, "Drake Passage" and "just another body of water..." don't belong on the same page, much less in the same sentence.... (grin)

OK, so I've crossed the Drake, and passed by Cape Horn once...

Aboard a 230’ ex-Russian “research vessel”, if that counts for anything… (grin)




Incredible part of the planet… Spent a few weeks between Ushuaia, the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula… Words or pics (mine, at any rate) can’t come close to capturing what it’s like, it one of those places that just has to be experienced… Especially Antarctica, that’s akin to travel to a whole ‘nuther planet, very difficult to wrap your mind around what you’re seeing down there…

From a sailor’s perspective, however, what was most impressive to me is how quickly and violently the weather can change… The way those lows can stack up around the Drake Passage is amazing. I was hoping we’d experience some real weather on the return to Cape Horn, but it turned out to be fairly tame for our crossing… But even local conditions in relatively protected spots, absolutely stunning how things can change, literally in an instant…

One must ALWAYS be on your guard down there, that’s for certain… Those conditions will not forgive any lack of preparation, and I’m sure Michael or anyone else who has sailed that region would agree, it’s one part of the world where one could always use a healthy dose of luck on your side, as well… (grin)

In answer to your question, this also needs to be said… There is, IMHO, a world of difference between the sort of “rounding of Cape Horn” done by RTW racers, or recently accomplished by Matt Rutherford, and the more typical “drive by” that SEQUITUR just made, and the majority of cruising boats who venture into that region typically perform… Understand, I don’t mean to diminish in any way that sort of accomplishment – hell, simply getting a boat within sight of the Horn is an awesome accomplishment, no question about it… But, I’m sure Michael would agree, cruising down through the Patagonian channels, and waiting for a window for a quick dash out to the Horn and back, is a whole different ballgame from staying offshore from 50 S to 50 S, or approaching the Drake Passage from seaward, as Matt Rutherford just did…

Make no mistake, Michael’s route posed considerable risks, perhaps even more overall than a classic W to E offshore rounding might… However, the coast of Chile/Patagonia has to represent one of the most dangerous lee shores on the planet, it’s highly probable you’d get pasted more than once on approach to the Drake Passage, and you’d better have a boat and crew that’s prepared for it…

Perhaps the best description I’ve ever read of the Drake Passage comes from Derek Lundy’s THE WAY OF A SHIP… A marvelous read, and a riveting account of how it must have been like to round the Horn in the old days…. Highly recommended…
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2012
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To be a "Cape Horner" you need to:
"Rounding the Horn, under sail, on a non-stop passage of more than 3,000 miles passing through the Latitude of 50 degrees South both East and West of Cape Horn grants sailors eligibility to apply for membership of the exclusive International Association of Cape Horners; a redoubtable organisation whose origins lie amongst those who rounded the Horn as professional seamen serving upon the tall ships of the Clipper era. There are no exceptions to the strict joining criteria whose membership now includes members of crews from several notable Round the World Yacht races and others who have shared the same unique experience - the 'Mount Everest' of ocean sailing."

Some more interesting information on Cape Horn:
Cape Horn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2012
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Nice posts Jon and Casey, it certainly clears it up. I was thinking along the lines of "wait and duck around" in my comment. There is clearly a huge difference, and it is the Everest of the sea for sailors.

Sure puts the pressure on though, regarding "doing it right", for those who dream of doing that someday.

Anyone here "done it right"?
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  #14  
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Seems amazing in the square rigger era those ships could sail from east to west around the horn. Would anyone know how the typical trip would go around the horn? Could they always make the passage or would they need to turn back east and go that way to their destinatioin like the Bounty. With the very stong prevailing westerly winds seems a square rig would be nearly impossible to get around.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Nice posts Jon and Casey, it certainly clears it up. I was thinking along the lines of "wait and duck around" in my comment. There is clearly a huge difference, and it is the Everest of the sea for sailors.

Sure puts the pressure on though, regarding "doing it right", for those who dream of doing that someday.

Anyone here "done it right"?
I would like to give it a try one day, but got two kids to at least get started into college (and they have just started elementary school) and need to work a little longer to get the finances in shape. Maybe if situation changes will give it a go sooner, but plan maybe 15 years down the road- if my health holds out till then. The boat I have is the one I plan to use, plan to do a non stop solo circumnavigation leaving from Hawaii (passing the horn, cape of good hope, south of Australia and NZ then back to hawaii)- just want to see what some of the Southern Ocean looks like.
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Old 02-08-2012
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using the frontal systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Seems amazing in the square rigger era those ships could sail from east to west around the horn. Would anyone know how the typical trip would go around the horn? Could they always make the passage or would they need to turn back east and go that way to their destinatioin like the Bounty. With the very stong prevailing westerly winds seems a square rig would be nearly impossible to get around.
I think there were square riggers and square riggers and sometimes you got lucky with the conditions. I suspect that the great majority of vessels trying to get around did but not easily or quickly. Remember that the constant train of depressions passing by would mean that you would get favorable spells for a day or so and then you would have to try to hold your position until the next depression came along a few days later. I suspect that some skippers would develop the knack for making sure that they were positioned to use the changing winds to their advantage.
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Old 02-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
.
.
.
Perhaps the best description I’ve ever read of the Drake Passage comes from Derek Lundy’s THE WAY OF A SHIP… A marvelous read, and a riveting account of how it must have been like to round the Horn in the old days…. Highly recommended…

Just want to put in a plug for Derek Lundy’s book THE WAY OF A SHIP.
If you enjoy reading books about sailing/cruising/voyaging the above is a must read!!.


Nothing to add in regards to the OP's question other than to say, if I do round the horn some day I will die a happy man.
Or die happy trying


John
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  #18  
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Originally Posted by johnnyandjebus View Post
Or die happy trying

John
Another reason to get my finances in order before I go....
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Old 02-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Seems amazing in the square rigger era those ships could sail from east to west around the horn. Would anyone know how the typical trip would go around the horn? Could they always make the passage or would they need to turn back east and go that way to their destinatioin like the Bounty. With the very stong prevailing westerly winds seems a square rig would be nearly impossible to get around.
here's one example:2 1/2 months!!

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  #20  
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That chart is amazing, cannot imagine.
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