Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday (2/22/11) Cape Horn

After we left Ushuaia, we headed through the islands of Tierra del Fuego until we came to Cape Horn.  The weather was amazingly calm (in fact, the ship’s officers says that it is the calmest they have ever seen it).  Cape Horn was discovered in 1616.  The reason it was important is that the East India Trading company (Spain) owned the passage of the Magellan Straight and charged great sums of money to anyone who went through it.  [Note, in modern times, the straight is very narrow; big enough for the 300 ton ships, but not modern 90,000 ton cruise liners.]  So, others were motivated to try and find an alternate route. 
Anyway, Le Mehr was born in Antwerp and living in Amsterdam decided to try and find the route for the Dutch.  So, he outfitted two ships (The Unity and the Horn) to try and find it, sending his two sons on the voyage.  Eventually the Horn burned and so it was just the Unity looking for the passage.  They ended up finding Cape Horn (which is just a small island).  It is the southern most point of land in the world (except for the Antarctica continent).  Further south than South Africa and New Zealand.
We sailed around the island and noticed the cathedral rocks.  You can see Cape Horn in the distance on the right.

Eventually we came upon the tip of the island, the official point.  At that point, the bow of the ship was in the Atlantic Ocean and the stern was in the Pacific.

After breakfast, the ship had a Penguin Plunge.  Their ice carver created an ice penguin and they then placed the extra ice into the pool. 

Then they let people jump into the cold water and were given a certificate of accomplishment.  Neither Bob nor Julie were brave enough, but there were a bunch of Australians willing to do it.  Interestingly, there are about 200 or so Aussie’s on the ship and they definitely have a very different outlook on life.  Very laid back.  Very fun loving.  Aussie Aussie Aussie, oiu, oiu, oiu!!!

Throughout the day we attended more talks and then did trivia at 4:30.  Which reminds me.  Three days ago, we played trivia and teamed up with two people from Britain.  It was a great round and our team tied with another team for the win (30 points out of 34 possible).  We were both declared the winner and won the coveted Celebrity tee shirt.  In our second attempt, we only got second 27 out of 31 points.  It is amazing having two people from a different country and how our knowledge supports each other.

It was formal night and the show was the second production show.  The idea was a disco in the 70’s and then lots of songs from that era.  It was another fantastic show.


  1. Amazing trip! I love seeing all the photos along with your detailed blog!

  2. Thx for the posts! Really enjoying seeing this trip with y'all. Love all the history lessons too! :)