Fourteen years ago I first started to think about this place. I have to say that actually going around Cape Horn was much less dramatic than the many events on the voyage down here. Partly this is due to all the modern aids to navigation. We have engines and radios and weather forecasts that makes sailing much less dangerous than it was when this place first got its reputation. And today the Chilean Armada will not allow you to go around if the weather is not suitable. So even if you want to make it dangerous you're not allowed to... We got down to just north of Cape Horn on a wonderful calm sunny afternoon, but decided this was not the right setting for a Cape Horn rounding, so we stayed the night at anchor and went the next morning instead, when the weather was windy and the skies more dramatic. This way we got a fully day of really nice sailing, doing 11-12 knots in 25-30 knots of wind around the horn and all the way back up to Puerto Williams.
Sure, it's the southern-most marina. And it's about 95 NM from Cape Horn. But it's not only about the geographical location. The marina was created by taking an old Chilean navy supply vessel, the "Micalvi", and grounding it in the mouth of the small river that flows out to the west of the naval base. The vessel is acting as the mooring dock, and yachts raft up around it. The spot at the mouth of the river is very protected, so the prevailing strong winds are not so much of a problem. Internally the vessel has been rebuilt with an office, showers and a really cosy bar, where everyone drinks the local speciality Pisco Sour, a drink I personally find quite horrible.
Well, it's been over 12 years since I was last moored next to a glacier. And that was in Nagtivit bay on East Greenland. Practically on the other side of the planet. And now we're here. Quite a bit of water under the keel since then, as they say... On Greenland the weather was nicer, though. Here it's 2° C and raining most of the time... For those of you who have been looking at our environmental sampling and wondering why the water is not salt any more, I can tell you that there is a lot of rainwater and melting snow/ice flowing into this narrow bay. The water has almost no salt taste, but it's very murky and muddy.