Friday, December 21, 2018

The thrill of the Cape Horn challenge

 This blog cheered yesterday as determined Jeanne Socrates, 76, virtually zoomed past Cape Horn on her very brave rounding of the globe.
Then today, an email arrived from sailing enthusiast Maciej who says he has Loner (Hodder and
Stoughton), the book of my circumnavigation, and suggests I tell readers of the feeling I experienced as I rounded the Horn, of becoming a Cape Horner.
I borrowed Google’s great speech-to-text recognition program on the Chrome browser and read aloud a few sentences.
I had taken the traditional route to the Horn, from Plymouth down through the Atlantics, through the Roaring Forties into the Southern Ocean and then eastwards.

Turned over and a grounding

The chartered brave schooner, Spirit of Pentax, suffered from an overturning in the Southern Ocean, and a grounding in fog on Stewart Island.
The plan had been to circumnavigate non-stop, but I was obliged to get repairs at Perth, in Western Australia, and then Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island.
I returned to the Southern Ocean and raced through Christmas and my birthday towards the Horn. Loner takes up the voyage towards the end of the first week in January....

It had been blowing 30 knots but now it's over 40. A complete sail change is becoming quite a challenge to the stamina.
I thought I would recover with a cup of coffee but the cooker disagreed and a battle of determination followed. I think I didn't win. I had to turn the cooker off eventually; a skylight and a door had to be opened to get rid of the paraffin smoke.
They told me (on amateur radio) that the Whitbread round the world race is getting close to my position.


I have to reduce sails because the wind is now Force 9, but there is a gap between these very strong gusts and that inspires a fear that some of the Whitbread boats may come along and see us under-canvassed. ….
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


Post a comment

<< Home