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post #1 of 19 Old 09-14-2012 Thread Starter
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westabout round cape horn

hey everyone... alohaaa
just wondering if people go westabout round cape horn... the cornell book i got doesn't mention it as far as i could tell, seems like he suggests u go east with the prevailing westerlies at those latitudes...butttt... there always a way right? or maybe through one of those straights down there would that be easier? basically looking for best way (and times of year) going westbound from atlantic to pacific ocean without going through the canals...
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

you need to read the book by shay blighth it will give the reason why most people dont go around going west
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

William Bligh spent a month on Bounty trying to get around and finally went to Tahiti sailing 3/4 around the world the other way. Joshua Slocum went east to west through the Straight of Magellan - no easy task even with charts.

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post #4 of 19 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

If I remember correctly from all the books I have read about sailors rounding the Horn, it's always done west to east.

Back in the late 90's I was the third mate on a bulk cargo ship, we used to go from Brasil to Peru and back. The first time we did the trip, the Captain decided he did not want to spend the money for the Pilots in the Chilean Channels and we went around the Horn, oh boy he was sorry.... we ended up with a lot of damage, not only to the ship but two entire cargo holds completely flooded with the subsequent loss of cargo (corn). We never went that route, not east to west, nor west to east. I did the same trip with the ship several more times but we never saw the horn again, we always went through the Magellan Straight and the Chilean channels on more protected waters.

Somebody please confirm this: You not only have the prevailing westerly winds but the Pacific ocean level is higher than the Atlantic, making for a strong current, basically you will be sailing against the wind and "uphill"


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post #5 of 19 Old 09-17-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

At that lattitude, the prevailing westerly winds, and waves, travel right around the earth with nothing to stop them - and that's a serious amount of fetch! That doesn't mean there isn't a nice day off Cape Horn sometimes (eg. the footage of Cape Horn shown in the movie "Master and Commander" was taken from the deck of the "Endeavour" replica last time she went that way) but that's not something you deliberately want to sail against.

AFAIK the only practical way to go east to west in that part of the world is through the Patagonian channels where you might get some back-eddies in wind and current around the various mountain peaks and islands.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-18-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

I thought "Cape Horn to Starboard" was the traditional cry. Bernard Motessier once wrote a book about going round the other way. I think the fact that he felt the need to defend his decision to go with Cape Horn to port by writing a book further demonstrated that he was doing something different than the norm. Of course, I've never been around so......

Check out these books:
Cape Horn: The Logical Route ; 14,216 Miles Without Port of Call: Bernard Moitessier: 9781574091540: Amazon.com: Books Cape Horn: The Logical Route ; 14,216 Miles Without Port of Call: Bernard Moitessier: 9781574091540: Amazon.com: Books




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post #7 of 19 Old 09-18-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
hey everyone... alohaaa
just wondering if people go westabout round cape horn... the cornell book i got doesn't mention it as far as i could tell, seems like he suggests u go east with the prevailing westerlies at those latitudes...butttt... there always a way right? or maybe through one of those straights down there would that be easier? basically looking for best way (and times of year) going westbound from atlantic to pacific ocean without going through the canals...
Sorry to be blunt, but the simple fact that you're asking this question really must give rise to the question whether you're ready to tackle Cape Horn...

Of course it can be done East to West, many sailors have done so... The Pardeys, and John Kretschmer in a Contessa 32 are just 2 that immediately come to mind... Conditions will generally favor W to E, but the fact that most roundings on yachts are done that way is largely due to the fact that the overwhelming percentage of circumnavigations via the Great Capes, and virtually all RTW races, are done in an eastbound fashion...

Why do you want to go that route, just to avoid going thru the Canal? The only reason to go that way, IMHO, is a desire to sail in that part of the world... It is a SERIOUS place, has to be seen and experienced to even begin to appreciate, certainly not simply as an "alternate" route to the Pacific to the Canal...

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-18-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

Rounding the Horn from East to West is called doubling the Horn, and it's quite possible. Much harder though, I heard of sailors trying 2 to 3 times before rounding it.... I wouldn't want to fight the wind, wave and current..I think I would rather follow Moitessier's route.

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post #9 of 19 Old 09-18-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Sorry to be blunt, but the simple fact that you're asking this question really must give rise to the question whether you're ready to tackle Cape Horn...
You know, I would have to agree with John here. What he says should give you pause though your question is still quite reasonable if you're planning REALLY long term.

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Of course it can be done East to West, many sailors have done so... The Pardeys, and John Kretschmer in a Contessa 32 are just 2 that immediately come to mind... Conditions will generally favor W to E, but the fact that most roundings on yachts are done that way is largely due to the fact that the overwhelming percentage of circumnavigations via the Great Capes, and virtually all RTW races, are done in an eastbound fashion...
I had it backwards, and was thinking of the Pardeys and a couple others that I have read going around this way (slocum was one and it took him a LONG time). It's true that all the round the world races go west to east.

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John, is that photo a stock image or is that you rounding the horn??

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-18-2012
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Re: westabout round cape horn

I won't be in a position to circumnavigate for another 23 years at least, but I still think about these things and find them interesting to discuss. The photos linked to in a post about a month back, of the couple and their friend sailing patagonia, falkland islands, and that island on the northernmost tip of antarctica, showed me the beauty of this area and def put it on my bucket list as a place to visit. I can't find that link right now unfortunately...

And hey, don't forget, Magellan went east to west, though he may not have technically rounded the horn...
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