Cape Horn

Cape Horn

Overview

Cape Horn is the southernmost headland
Headlands and bays
Headlands and bays are two related features of the coastal environment.- Geology and geography :Headlands and bays are often found on the same coastline. A bay is surrounded by land on three sides, whereas a headland is surrounded by water on three sides. Headlands are characterized by high,...

 of the Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of southern Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and is located on the small Hornos Island
Hornos Island
Hornos Island is a Chilean island at the southern tip of South America. The island is mostly known for being the location of Cape Horn. It is generally considered South America's southernmost island, but the Diego Ramírez Islands are farther south...

. Although not the most southerly point of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, (which are the Diego Ramírez Islands
Diego Ramírez Islands
The Diego Ramírez Islands are a small group of lesser islands located in the southernmost extreme of Chile about south-west of Cape Horn and south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands, stretching north-south . Their land area is little more than...

) Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica...

; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route
Clipper route
In sailing, the clipper route was the traditional route sailed by clipper ships between Europe and the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. The route ran from west to east through the Southern Ocean, in order to make use of the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties...

, by which sailing ship
Sailing ship
The term sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the sailing adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large...

s carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and iceberg
Iceberg
An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice...

s; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard.

The need for ships to round the Cape Horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 in 1914.
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Encyclopedia

Cape Horn is the southernmost headland
Headlands and bays
Headlands and bays are two related features of the coastal environment.- Geology and geography :Headlands and bays are often found on the same coastline. A bay is surrounded by land on three sides, whereas a headland is surrounded by water on three sides. Headlands are characterized by high,...

 of the Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of southern Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and is located on the small Hornos Island
Hornos Island
Hornos Island is a Chilean island at the southern tip of South America. The island is mostly known for being the location of Cape Horn. It is generally considered South America's southernmost island, but the Diego Ramírez Islands are farther south...

. Although not the most southerly point of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, (which are the Diego Ramírez Islands
Diego Ramírez Islands
The Diego Ramírez Islands are a small group of lesser islands located in the southernmost extreme of Chile about south-west of Cape Horn and south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands, stretching north-south . Their land area is little more than...

) Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica...

; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route
Clipper route
In sailing, the clipper route was the traditional route sailed by clipper ships between Europe and the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. The route ran from west to east through the Southern Ocean, in order to make use of the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties...

, by which sailing ship
Sailing ship
The term sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the sailing adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large...

s carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and iceberg
Iceberg
An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice...

s; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard.

The need for ships to round the Cape Horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 in 1914. However, sailing around the Horn is widely regarded as one of the major challenges in yachting
Yachting
Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

. Thus, a few recreational sailors continue to sail this route, sometimes as part of a circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the globe, and almost all of these choosing routes through the channels to the north of the actual Cape (though many take a detour through the islands and anchor to wait for fair weather to actually visit Horn Island or even sail around it to replicate a rounding of this historic point). Several prominent ocean yacht races
Yacht racing
Yacht racing is the sport of competitive yachting.While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motorboat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; model yachting; and navigational contests Yacht racing...

, notably the Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. It is named after its current owner, Volvo...

, the VELUX 5 Oceans
VELUX 5 Oceans Race
The VELUX 5 OCEANS Race is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed in stages, managed by Clipper Ventures Plc since 2000. Its current name comes from its main sponsor, VELUX, a Danish company. Originally known as the BOC Challenge, for the title sponsor BOC Gases, the first edition was...

 and the Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years....

, sail around the world via the Horn, and speed records for round-the-world sailing are recognized for following this route.

Geography and ecology



Cape Horn is located at 55°58′47"S 067°16′18"W, on Isla Hornos in the Hermite Islands
Hermite Islands
The Hermite Islands are a group of Chilean islands in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. They form part of the Commune of Cabo de Hornos in Antártica Chilena Province of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region, at the southernmost end of South America...

 group, at the southern end of the Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

. It marks the north edge of the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica...

, the strait
Strait
A strait or straits is a narrow, typically navigable channel of water that connects two larger, navigable bodies of water. It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not...

 between South America and Antarctica. The dividing line between the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 oceans runs along the meridian of Cape Horn, from Tierra del Fuego to the Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60°S latitude and encircling Antarctica. It is usually regarded as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions...

. It is located in Cabo de Hornos National Park
Cabo de Hornos National Park
Cabo de Hornos National Park is located in the Cape Horn Archipelago, which belongs to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, in the Antártica Chilena Province of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region. It was created in 1945 and includes the Wollaston Archipelago and the Hermite Islands. The park covers...

.

Cape Horn was originally given the Dutch name "Kaap Hoorn", in honour of the Dutch city of Hoorn
Hoorn
-Cities :* Purmerend * Enkhuizen * Alkmaar * Amsterdam * Lelystad * Den Helder * Leeuwarden -Towns :* Edam...

; in a typical example of false friends, the Hoorn became known in English as "Cape Horn", and in Spanish as "Cabo de Hornos" (which literally means "Cape of Ovens"). It is commonly known to English-speaking sailors as The Horn.

The cape lies within Chilean territorial waters, and the Chilean Navy maintains a station on Hoorn Island, consisting of a residence, utility building, chapel, and lighthouse; A short distance from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture featuring the silhouette of an albatross
Albatross
Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes . They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific...

, in honour of the sailors who died while attempting to "round the Horn".

The terrain is entirely treeless, although quite lush owing to the frequent precipitation. Cape Horn is the southern limit of the range of the Magellanic Penguin
Magellanic Penguin
The Magellanic Penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus, is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil where they are occasionally seen as far north as Rio de Janeiro. It is the most numerous of the Spheniscus penguins. Its nearest...

.

Lighthouses



There are two lighthouses near or in Cape Horn. The one located in the Chilean Navy Station is the more accessible and visited, and is commonly referred to as the Cape Horn lighthouse. However, the Chilean Navy station, including the lighthouse (ARLS
Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society
Founded in 2000 by Jim Weidner, K2JXW, the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society is devoted to maritime communications, amateur radio, lighthouses, and lightships. Its members frequently travel to lighthouses around the world where they operate amateur radio equipment at or near the light. Collecting...

 CHI-030, 55° 58.0' S 67° 13.0' W) and the memorial, are not located on Cape Horn itself (which is difficult to access either by land or sea), but on another land point about one mile east-northeast.

On the real Cape Horn there is a smaller 4 m (13 ft) fiberglass light tower with a focal plane of 40 m (131 ft) and a range of about 21 km (13 mi). This is the authentic Cape Horn lighthouse (ARLS
Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society
Founded in 2000 by Jim Weidner, K2JXW, the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society is devoted to maritime communications, amateur radio, lighthouses, and lightships. Its members frequently travel to lighthouses around the world where they operate amateur radio equipment at or near the light. Collecting...

 CHI-006, 55° 58.46 0' S 67° 16.0' W ), and as such the world's southernmost traditional lighthouse (there exist a few minor aids to navigation farther south, including one in Diego Ramírez Islands
Diego Ramírez Islands
The Diego Ramírez Islands are a small group of lesser islands located in the southernmost extreme of Chile about south-west of Cape Horn and south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands, stretching north-south . Their land area is little more than...

 and several in Antarctica).

Climate


The climate in the region is generally cool, owing to the southern latitude. There are no weather stations in the group of islands including Cape Horn; however, a study in 1882–1883 found an annual rainfall of 1,357 millimetres (53.42 in), with an average annual temperature of 5.2 °C (41.4 °F). Winds were reported to average 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph), with squalls of over 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) occurring in all seasons.

Contemporary weather records for Ushuaia
Ushuaia
Ushuaia may refer to the following:*Ushuaia, a city in Argentina.**Ushuaia Department, an administrative division**Ushuaia River**Ushuaia International Airport**Colegio Nacional de Ushuaia, National School of Ushuaia....

, 146 kilometres (91 mi) north, show that summer (January–February) average temperatures range from highs of 14 °C (57 °F) to lows of 5 °C (42 °F); in winter (July), average temperatures range from 4 °C (40 °F) to −2 °C (29 °F). Cloud cover is generally high, with averages from 5.2 eighths in May and July to 6.4 eighths in December and January. Precipitation is high throughout the year: the weather station on the nearby Diego Ramirez Islands
Diego Ramírez Islands
The Diego Ramírez Islands are a small group of lesser islands located in the southernmost extreme of Chile about south-west of Cape Horn and south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands, stretching north-south . Their land area is little more than...

, 109 kilometres (68 mi) south-west in the Drake Passage, shows the greatest rainfall in March, averaging 137.4 millimetres (5.41 in); while October, which has the least rainfall, still averages 93.7 millimetres (3.69 in). Wind conditions are generally severe, particularly in winter. In summer, the wind at Cape Horn is gale
Gale
A gale is a very strong wind. There are conflicting definitions of how strong a wind must be to be considered a gale. The U.S. government's National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are...

 force up to 5% of the time, with generally good visibility; however, in winter, gale force winds occur up to 30% of the time, often with poor visibility.

Many stories are told of hazardous journeys "around the Horn," most describing fierce storms. In sea chanteys and other songs, "Cape Horn" is frequently rhymed with "never been born."

Political



Cape Horn is part of the Commune of Cabo de Hornos
Cabo de Hornos, Chile
Cabo de Hornos is a Chilean commune located in the south of Tierra del Fuego archipelago, in Antártica Province, Magallanes Region. The municipality of Cabo de Hornos, located in the town of Puerto Williams, also administers the Antártica commune...

, whose capital is Puerto Williams
Puerto Williams
Puerto Williams is a Chilean port, located on Isla Navarino facing the Beagle Channel. It is the capital of the Chilean Antarctic Province, one of four provinces located in the Magellan and Chilean Antartica Region...

; this in turn is part of Antártica Chilena Province
Antártica Chilena Province
Antártica Chilena Province is the southernmost and one of four provinces in Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region . The capital is Puerto Williams...

, whose capital is also Puerto Williams. The area is part of the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region
Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region
The XII Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions...

 of Chile.

Puerto Toro
Puerto Toro
Puerto Toro, founded 1892 by Governor of Punta Arenas Señoret is a hamlet on the eastern coast of Navarino Island, Chile.It belongs to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, in Antártica Chilena Province of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region...

, a few miles south of Puerto Williams, is the closest town to the cape, and the southernmost town
Southernmost settlements
Southernmost settlements are cities, towns, weather stations or permanent military bases which are further south than latitude 45° S. They are closely related to the Southern Ocean or either the Roaring Forties or Furious Fifties.- Southernmost city :...

 in the world.

Sailing routes


There are a number of potential sailing routes around the tip of South America. The Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
The Strait of Magellan comprises a navigable sea route immediately south of mainland South America and north of Tierra del Fuego...

, between the mainland and Tierra del Fuego, is a major — although narrow — passage, which was in use for trade well before the Horn was discovered; the Beagle Channel
Beagle Channel
thumb|right|300px|Aereal view of Beagle Channel. The Chilean [[Navarino Island]] is seen in the top-right while the Argentine part of [[Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego]] is seen at the bottom-left....

, between Tierra del Fuego and Isla Navarino
Isla Navarino
Isla Navarino is a Chilean island located strategically between Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, to the north, and Cape Horn, to the south. The island forms part of the Commune of Cabo de Hornos, the southernmost commune in Chile and in the world, belonging to Antártica Chilena Province in the XII...

, offers a potential, though difficult route; and there are various passages around the Wollaston and Hermite Islands to the north of Cape Horn.

All of these, however, are notorious for treacherous williwaw
Williwaw
In meteorology, a williwaw is a sudden blast of wind descending from a mountainous coast to the sea. The word is of unknown origin, but was earliest used by British seamen in the 19th century...

 winds, which can strike a vessel with little or no warning; given the narrowness of these routes, there is a significant risk of then being driven onto the rocks. The open waters of the Drake Passage, south of Cape Horn, provide by far the widest route, at about 800 kilometres (500 mi) wide; this passage offers ample sea room for maneuvering as winds change, and is the route used by most ships and sailboats, despite the possibility of extreme wave conditions.

Shipping hazards


Several factors combine to make the passage around Cape Horn one of the most hazardous shipping routes in the world: the fierce sailing conditions prevalent in the Southern Ocean generally; the geography of the passage south of the Horn; and the extreme southern latitude of the Horn, at 56° south. (For comparison, Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas is a rocky headland in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is the geographic southern tip of Africa and the official dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 at the southern tip of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 is at 35° south; Stewart Island/Rakiura
Stewart Island/Rakiura
Stewart Island/Rakiura is the third-largest island of New Zealand. It lies south of the South Island, across Foveaux Strait. Its permanent population is slightly over 400 people, most of whom live in the settlement of Oban.- History and naming :...

 at the south end of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 is 47° south.)

The prevailing winds
Prevailing winds
Prevailing winds are winds that blow predominantly from a single general direction over a particular point on Earth's surface. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on the Earth's surface. A region's prevailing and dominant winds...

 in latitudes below 40° south can blow from west to east around the world almost uninterrupted by land, giving rise to the "roaring forties
Roaring Forties
The Roaring Forties is the name given to strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 49 degrees. Air displaced from the Equator towards the South Pole, which travels close to the surface between the latitudes of 30 and 60 degrees south, combines...

" and the even more wild "furious fifties" and "screaming sixties". These winds are hazardous enough in themselves that ships traveling east would tend to stay in the northern part of the forties (i.e. not far below 40° south latitude); however, rounding Cape Horn requires ships to press south to 56° south latitude, well into the zone of fiercest winds. These winds are further exacerbated at the Horn by the funneling effect of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 and the Antarctic peninsula
Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. It extends from a line between Cape Adams and a point on the mainland south of Eklund Islands....

, which channel the winds into the relatively narrow Drake Passage.

The strong winds of the Southern Ocean give rise to correspondingly large waves; these waves can attain enormous size as they roll around the Southern Ocean, free of any interruption from land. At the Horn, however, these waves encounter an area of shallow water to the south of the Horn, which has the effect of making the waves shorter and steeper, greatly increasing the hazard to ships. If the strong eastward current through the Drake Passage encounters an opposing east wind, this can have the effect of further building up the waves. In addition to these "normal" waves, the area west of the Horn is particularly notorious for rogue waves, which can attain heights of up to 30 metres (100 ft).

The prevailing winds and currents create particular problems for vessels attempting to round the Horn against them, i.e. from east to west. Although this affects all vessels to some extent, it was a particularly serious problem for traditional sailing ships, which could make very little headway against the wind at the best of times; modern sailing boats are significantly more efficient to windward and can more reliably make a westward passage of the Horn, as they do in the Global Challenge
Global Challenge
The Global Challenge was a round the world yacht race run by Challenge Business, the company started by Sir Chay Blyth in 1989...

 race.

Ice is a hazard to sailors venturing far below 40° south. Although the ice limit dips south around the horn, icebergs are a significant hazard for vessels in the area. In the South Pacific in February (summer in Southern Hemisphere), icebergs are generally confined to below 50° south; but in August the iceberg hazard can extend north of 40° south. Even in February, though, the Horn is well below the latitude of the iceberg limit. These hazards have made the Horn notorious as perhaps the most dangerous ship passage in the world; many ships were wrecked, and many sailors died, attempting to round the Cape.

Discovery



In 1525 the vessel San Lesmes commanded by Francisco de Hoces
Francisco de Hoces
Francisco de Hoces was a Spanish sailor who in 1525 joined the Loaísa Expedition to the Spice Islands as commander of the vessel San Lesmes....

, member of the Loaísa Expedition, was blown south by a gale in front of the Atlantic end of Magellan Strait and reached 56° S where they thought to see Land's End.

In September 1578, Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

, in the course of his circumnavigation of the world, passed through the Strait of Magellan into the Pacific Ocean. Before he could continue his voyage north his ships encountered a storm, and were blown well to the south of Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

. The expanse of open water they encountered led Drake to guess that far from being another continent, as previously believed, Tierra del Fuego was an island with open sea to its south. This discovery went unused for some time, as ships continued to use the known passage through the Strait of Magellan.

By the early 17th century the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 was given a monopoly on all Dutch trade via the Straits of Magellan and the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

, the only known routes at the time to the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

. To search for an alternate route and one to the unknown Terra Australis, Isaac Le Maire
Isaac Le Maire
Isaac le Maire was a merchant for the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie and later for the Austraalse Compagnie. He is best known for his constant strife with the VOC, which ultimately led to the discovery of Cape Horn.Isaac le Maire was born in 1558 or 1559 in Tournai...

, a wealthy Amsterdam merchant and Willem Schouten
Willem Schouten
Willem Cornelisz Schouten was a Dutch navigator for the Dutch East India Company. He was the first to sail the Cape Horn route to the Pacific Ocean.- Biography :Willem Cornelisz Schouten was born in c...

, a ship’s master of Hoorn, contributed in equal shares to the enterprise, with additional financial support from merchants of Hoorn. Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire was a Dutch mariner who circumnavigated the earth in 1615-16. The strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados was named the Le Maire Strait in his honor, though not without controversy...

, Isaac’s son, went on the journey as “chiefe Marchant and principall factor,” in charge of trading aspects of the endeavor. The two ships that departed Holland at the beginning of June 1615 were the Eendracht of 360 tons with Schouten and Le Maire aboard, and the Hoorn of 110 tons, of which Schouten’s brother Johan was master. It was Eendracht then, with the crew of the recently wrecked Hoorn aboard, that passed through the Le Maire Strait
Le Maire Strait
The Le Maire Strait is a sea passage between Isla de los Estados and the eastern extremity of the Argentine portion of Tierra del Fuego....

 and Schouten and Le Maire made their great discovery:
“In the evening 25 January 1616 the winde was South West, and that night wee went South with great waves or billowes out of the southwest, and very blew water, whereby wee judged, and held for certaine that ... it was the great South Sea, whereat we were exceeding glad to thinke that wee had discovered a way, which until that time, was unknowne to men, as afterward wee found it to be true.”

“... on 29 January 1616 we saw land againe lying north west and north northwest from us, which was the land that lay South from the straights of Magelan which reacheth Southward, all high hillie lande covered over with snow, ending with a sharpe point which wee called Cape Horne [Kaap Hoorn] ...”


At the time it was discovered, the Horn was believed to be the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego; the unpredictable violence of weather and sea conditions in the Drake Passage made exploration difficult, and it was only in 1624 that the Horn was discovered to be an island. It is a telling testament to the difficulty of conditions there that Antarctica, only 650 kilometres (400 mi) away across the Drake Passage, was discovered only as recently as 1820, despite the passage having been used as a major shipping route for 200 years.

Trade route




From the 18th to the early 20th centuries, Cape Horn was a part of the clipper routes which carried much of the world's trade. Clipper ships sailed round the Horn carrying wool, grain, and gold from Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 back to Europe; much trade was carried around the Horn between Europe and the Far East; and trade and passenger ships travelled between the coasts of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 via the Horn. The Horn exacted a heavy toll from shipping, however, owing to the extremely hazardous combination of conditions there.

The only facilities in the vicinity able to service or supply a ship, or provide medical care, were in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

. The businesses there were so notorious for price-gouging that damaged ships were sometimes abandoned at Port Stanley.

While most companies switched to steamers and later used the Panama canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

, German steel-hulled sailing ships like the Flying P-Liner
Flying P-Liner
The Flying P-Liners were the sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz of Hamburg.The company was founded in 1824 by Ferdinand Laeisz as a hat manufacturing company. He was quite successful and distributed his hats even in South America...

s were designed since the 1890s to withstand the weather conditions around the Horn, as they specialized in the South American nitrate trade and later the Australian grain trade. None of them were lost around the Horn, but some, like the mighty Preußen
Preußen (ship)
The Preußen was a German steel-hulled five masted ship-rigged windjammer built in 1902 for the F. Laeisz shipping company and named after the German state and kingdom of Prussia...

, were victims of collisions in the busy English channel.

Traditionally, a sailor who had rounded the Horn was entitled to wear a gold loop earring — in the left ear, the one which had faced the Horn in a typical eastbound passage — and to dine with one foot on the table; a sailor who had also rounded the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 could place both feet on the table. A sailor who had sailed around Cape Horn was also able to brag by showing off his tattoo of a full-rigged ship.

One particular historic attempt to round the Horn, that of HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty , famous as the scene of the Mutiny on the Bounty on 28 April 1789, was originally a three-masted cargo ship, the Bethia, purchased by the British Admiralty, then modified and commissioned as His Majesty's Armed Vessel the...

 in 1788, has been immortalized in history due to the subsequent Mutiny on the Bounty
Mutiny on the Bounty
The mutiny on the Bounty was a mutiny that occurred aboard the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty on 28 April 1789, and has been commemorated by several books, films, and popular songs, many of which take considerable liberties with the facts. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against the...

. This abortive Horn voyage has been portrayed (with varying historical accuracy) in three major motion pictures about Captain William Bligh
William Bligh
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMAV Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers...

's mission to transport breadfruit
Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

 plants from Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

 to Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

. The Bounty made only 85 miles of headway in 31 days of east-to-west sailing, before giving up by reversing course and going around Africa. Although the 1984 movie portrayed another decision to go round the Horn as a precipitating factor in the mutiny (this time west-to-east after collecting the breadfruits in the South Pacific), in fact that was never contemplated out of concern for the effect of the low temperatures near the Horn on the plants.

The transcontinental railroads
First Transcontinental Railroad
The First Transcontinental Railroad was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected its statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska The First...

 in North America, as well as the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 that opened in 1914 in Central America, led to the gradual decrease in use of the Horn for trade. As steamship
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

s replaced sailing ships, Flying P-Liner Pamir
Pamir (ship)
Pamir was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949...

 became the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn laden with cargo, carrying grain from Port Victoria, Australia to Falmouth, England in 1949.

Many modern tankers are too wide to fit through the Panama Canal, as are a few passenger ships and several aircraft carriers. But there are no regular commercial routes around the Horn, and modern ships are rarely seen.

Recreational and sport sailing


Despite the opening of the Suez
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and Panama Canals, the Horn remains part of the fastest sailing route around the world, and so the growth in recreational long-distance sailing has brought about a revival of sailing via the Horn. Owing to the remoteness of the location and the hazards there, a rounding of Cape Horn is widely considered to be the yachting equivalent of climbing Mount Everest
Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

, and so many sailors seek it out for its own sake.

Joshua Slocum
Joshua Slocum
Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. He was a Canadian born, naturalised American seaman and adventurer, and a noted writer. In 1900 he told the story of this in Sailing Alone Around the World...

 was the first single-handed
Single-handed sailing
The sport of single-handed sailing or solo sailing is sailing with only one crewmember . The term is usually used with reference to ocean and long-distance sailing, and particularly competitive sailing....

 yachtsman to successfully pass this way (in 1895) although in the end, extreme weather forced him to use some of the inshore routes between the channels and islands and it is believed he did not actually pass outside the Horn proper. If one had to go by strict definitions, the first small boat to sail around outside Cape Horn was the 42-foot (13 m) yacht
Yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...

 Saoirse, sailed by Conor O'Brien with three friends, who rounded it during a circumnavigation of the world between 1923 and 1925. In 1934, the Norwegian Al Hansen was the first to round Cape Horn single-handed from east to west — the "wrong way" — in his boat Mary Jane, but was subsequently wrecked on the coast of Chile. The first person to successfully circumnavigate the world single-handed via Cape Horn was Vito Dumas
Vito Dumas
Vito Dumas was an Argentine single-handed sailor.In 1942, while the world was in the depths of World War II, he set out on a single-handed circumnavigation of the Southern Ocean. He left Buenos Aires in June, sailing Lehg II, a 31-foot ketch named for the initials of his mistress...

, who made the voyage in 1942 in his 33-foot (10 m) ketch
Ketch
A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts: a main mast, and a shorter mizzen mast abaft of the main mast, but forward of the rudder post. Both masts are rigged mainly fore-and-aft. From one to three jibs may be carried forward of the main mast when going to windward...

 Lehg II; a number of other sailors have since followed him. including Webb Chiles aboard "EGREGIOUS" who in December 1975 became the first American to round Cape Horn single-handed. On March 31, 2010, 16-year old Abby Sunderland
Abby Sunderland
Abigail Jillian "Abby" Sunderland is an American sailor who, in 2010, attempted to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.-Early life:...

 became the youngest person to single-handedly sail around Cape-Horn in her attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Today, there are several major yacht races held regularly along the old clipper route via Cape Horn. The first of these was the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race
Sunday Times Golden Globe Race
The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race, held in 1968–1969, and was the first round-the-world yacht race...

, which was a single-handed race; this inspired the present-day Around Alone race, which circumnavigates with stops, and the Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years....

, which is non-stop. Both of these are single-handed races, and are held every four years. The Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. It is named after its current owner, Volvo...

 is a crewed race with stops which sails the clipper route every four years. Its origins lie in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race first competed in 1973-4. The Jules Verne Trophy
Jules Verne Trophy
The Jules Verne Trophy is a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew provided the vessel has registered with the organization and paid an entry fee. A vessel holding the Jules Verne trophy will not necessarily hold the...

 is a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht, with no restrictions on the size of the crew (no assistance, non-stop). Finally, the Global Challenge race goes around the world the "wrong way", from east to west, which involves rounding Cape Horn against the prevailing winds and currents.

The Horn remains a major hazard for recreational sailors, however. A classic case is that of Miles and Beryl Smeeton
Miles and Beryl Smeeton
Miles Smeeton and Beryl Smeeton were a pioneering couple of cruising sailors, recipients of numerous sailing awards, prolific authors, and founders of the Cochrane Ecological Institute, a Canadian non-profit responsible for successfully reintroducing the swift fox to North America.-Biography:Miles...

, who attempted to round the Horn in their yacht Tzu Hang. Hit by a rogue wave when approaching the Horn, the boat pitchpoled (i.e. somersaulted end-over-end). Although they survived, and were able to make repairs in Talcahuano
Talcahuano
Talcahuano is a port city and commune in the Biobío Region of Chile. It is part of the Greater Concepción conurbation. Talcahuano is located in the south of the Central Zone of Chile.-Geography:...

, Chile, they attempted the passage again, only to be rolled over, and dismasted for a second time, by another rogue wave, which again they miraculously survived.

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.

Literature and culture


Cape Horn has been an icon of sailing culture for centuries; it has featured in sea shanties
Sea shanty
A shanty is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. Shanties became ubiquitous in the 19th century era of the wind-driven packet and clipper ships...

 and in many books about sailing. One of the classic accounts of a working ship in the age of sail is Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834. A film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946.- Background :...

, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Richard Henry Dana Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts, a descendant of an eminent colonial family who gained renown as the author of the American classic, the memoir Two Years Before the Mast...

, in which the author describes an arduous trip from Boston to California via Cape Horn:
Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, in The Voyage of the Beagle, a journal
Diary
A diary is a record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone...

 of the five-year expedition upon which he based The Origin of Species
The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the...

, described his 1832 encounter with the Horn:
Alan Villiers
Alan Villiers
Captain Alan John Villiers was an author, adventurer, photographer and Master Mariner.Born in Melbourne, Australia, he first went to sea at age 15 and sailed all the world's oceans on board traditionally rigged vessels, including the full rigged ship Joseph Conrad...

, a modern-day expert in traditional sailing ships, wrote many books about traditional sailing, including By way of Cape Horn. More recent sailors have taken on the Horn singly, such as Vito Dumas
Vito Dumas
Vito Dumas was an Argentine single-handed sailor.In 1942, while the world was in the depths of World War II, he set out on a single-handed circumnavigation of the Southern Ocean. He left Buenos Aires in June, sailing Lehg II, a 31-foot ketch named for the initials of his mistress...

, who wrote Alone Through The Roaring Forties based on his round-the-world voyage; or with small crews.

Bernard Moitessier
Bernard Moitessier
Bernard Moitessier was a renowned French yachtsman and author of books about his voyages and sailing....

 made two significant voyages round the horn; once with his wife Françoise, described in Cape Horn: The Logical Route, and once single-handed. His book The Long Way tells the story of this latter voyage, and of a peaceful night-time passage of the Horn: "The little cloud underneath the moon has moved to the right. I look... there it is, so close, less than 10 miles (16.1 km) away and right under the moon. And nothing remains but the sky and the moon playing with the Horn. I look. I can hardly believe it. So small and so huge. A hillock, pale and tender in the moonlight; a colossal rock, hard as diamond."

And John Masefield
John Masefield
John Edward Masefield, OM, was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967...

 wrote: "Cape Horn, that tramples beauty into wreck / And crumples steel and smites the strong man dumb"

A memorial presented in Robert FitzRoy
Robert FitzRoy
Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

's bicentenary (2005) commemorates his landing on Cape Horn on 19 April 1830.

Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song entitled "Ghosts of Cape Horn."

'Rounding the Horn'


Visiting Cabo de Hornos can be done on a day trip by helicopter or more arduously by charter power boat or sailboat - or by cruise ship. "Rounding the Horn" is traditionally understood to involve sailing from 50 degrees south
50th parallel south
The 50th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 50 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 on one coast to 50 degrees south on the other coast, the two benchmark latitudes of a Horn run, a considerably more difficult and time-consuming endeavor.

Further reading

  • Around Cape Horn: A Maritime Artist/Historian's Account of His 1892 Voyage, by Charles G. Davis and Neal Parker. Down East Books, 2004. ISBN 0-89272-646-6
  • Cape Horn. A Maritime History, by Robin Knox-Johnston. London Hodder&Stoughton ISBN 0-340-41527-4
  • Cape Horn: The Story of the Cape Horn Region, by Felix Riesenberg and William A. Briesemeister. Ox Bow Press, 1994. ISBN 1-881987-04-3
  • Cape Horn and Other Stories From the End of the World, by Francisco Coloane. Latin American Literary Review Press, 2003. ISBN 1-891270-17-6
  • Gipsy Moth Circles the World, Sir Francis Chichester; International Marine, 2001. ISBN 0-07-136449-8
  • Haul Away! Teambuilding Lessons from a Voyage around Cape Horn, by Rob Duncan. Authorhouse, 2005. ISBN 1-4208-3032-5
  • Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives - A Deck's-Eye View of Cape Horn, by Dallas Murphy. Basic Books, 2004. ISBN 0-465-04759-9
  • En el Mar Austral, by Fray Mocho. University of Buenos Aires Press (La Serie del Siglo y Medio), 1960. An incredible account of the southern tip of South American by an Argentine Journalist.
  • High Endeavours, by Miles Clark. Greystone, 2002. ISBN 1-55054-058-0 An account of the lives of the author's god-father Miles Smeeton, and his wife Beryl, including a couple of spectacular trips to the Horn.
  • A world of my Own by Robin Knox-Johnston. An account of the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world via Cape Horn between 1968 and 1969.
  • Expediciones españolas al Estrecho de Magallanes y Tierra de fuego, by Javier Oyarzun. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica ISBN 84-7232-130-4.
  • Storm Passage by Webb Chiles. Times Books ISBN 10-0812907035
  • The Last of the Cape Horners. Firsthand Accounts from the Final Days of the Commercial Tall Ships, edited by Spencer Apollonio. Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, Inc. 2000. ISBN 1-57488-283-X
  • Cape Horn - a maritime history by Robin Knox-Johnston

See also

  • Beagle conflict
    Beagle conflict
    The Beagle Conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978....

     affecting the nearby Picton, Lennox and Nueva
    Picton, Lennox and Nueva
    Picton, Lennox and Nueva is a group of three islands on the extreme south of South America, in the Chilean commune of Cabo de Hornos in Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region...

     islands
  • Cabo de Hornos, Chilean commune in Antártica Chilena Province
    Antártica Chilena Province
    Antártica Chilena Province is the southernmost and one of four provinces in Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region . The capital is Puerto Williams...

     of Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region
  • Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve
    Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve
    The Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve is located in the extreme south of Chile and comprises marine areas, islands, fjords, channels, forests and moorland. It covers an area of approximately 49,000 km²...

  • Cape Horner
    Cape Horner
    Cape Horner is a term that denotes a captain of a sailing ship which has sailed around Cape Horn and is a member of the Association Amicale Internationale des Capitaines au Long-Cours-Cap Horniers....

  • Cape Leeuwin
    Cape Leeuwin
    Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia.A few small islands and rocks, the St Alouarn Islands, extend further to the south. The nearest settlement, north of the cape, is Augusta. South-east of Cape Leeuwin, the coast...

    , the Australian landmark on the clipper route
  • Garcia de Nodal expedition
    Garcia de Nodal expedition
    The García de Nodal expedition was chartered in 1619 by King Philip III of Spain to reconnoiter the passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, rounding Cape Horn, south of Tierra del Fuego, just discovered by the Dutch merchants Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten. It was a successful...

    , the second passing around Cape Horn
  • Patagonian Expedition Race
  • Diego Ramírez Islands
    Diego Ramírez Islands
    The Diego Ramírez Islands are a small group of lesser islands located in the southernmost extreme of Chile about south-west of Cape Horn and south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands, stretching north-south . Their land area is little more than...


External links