Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The Cape Horn landing was scheduled at 7:00 am. As we approached the area, it was raining with a temp about 48 degrees. Cape Horn is an rrisland at the very end of South America. It was the sight of many fatal & disastrous shipwrecks in earlier years. The Atlantic & Pacific Oceans merge here and cause tremendous changing currents. The water area is referred to as Drake Passage. The "tourist spot" is atop a hill, and reached by climbing a set of 160 stairs! At the top of the hill is the famous Albatross monument, a memorial for the many sailors who have perished in the seas around Cape Horn. There is also a lighthouse and a quaint little chapel. Right now, the only inhabitants of Cape Horn are the lighthouse keeper, his wife and two small children. The lighthouse keeper is a member of the Chilean navy & appointed for a years' duty! Can you imagine the solitude!!
Our ship anchored, the rain stopped, the wind was minimal for the landing and the excursion was on! Margarita opted not to do the landing & climb to Cape Horn, feeling it would be more prudent to stay on board. Pancho told her later that she made a good decision, although she was very disappointed not to go. So my photos of Cape Horn are of the others leaving the ship in their zodiacs and of the monument from a distance!
Breakfast was served a little later after the excursion, and then there was a showing of a shortened version of a movie of the Ernest Shackleford Antarctic Expedition in 1916. What an experience of survival! I'm hoping to find a full version of the movie.
We all rested &/or packed after the movie. After lunch, we found , in our rooms, information on our disembarkation tomorrow morning. We can't believe the focal point of our trip is almost over.
We had one excursion left. A visit to Wuhaia Bay.
This afternoon we took a rather mild excursion to Wulaia Bay. Did our usual zodiac ride to the coast and had an introduction to the indigenous people of the area by our guide Patricio. We then walked around the coastal area. Quiet, sheltered area & a beautiful, very comfortable day.
Back on board, we prepared for dinner & did a little packing. Dinner was a farewell dinner followed by the captain's toast and then the drawing for the ship' "jack" (flag) and then an auction for the ship's chart of the sailing through Cape Horn area. We didn't bid, but it sold for $260. During dinner our ship anchored for awhile , felt like we were in revolving restaurant looking at the mountains. We then realized why the captain was stalling -- killing time to rendezvous with the sister ship Via Australis. Kind of fun to see both ships sitting together in the Bay Area! We were actually very close to Ushuaia and sat outside the port during the night. At some point the authorities came on board to process all the passengers' passports (they had been kept by reception when we boarded the ship. Now Chile processed us out and Arentina processed us in.)
Tomorrow we leave our home of four nights to head to Mendoza tomorrow.
Back to finish our packing