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Old 04-07-2017, 17:10   #16
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

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Guess we don't have many who have sailed Cape horn on here,,
hmmmm . . . a few.

We did a RTW in the southern ocean (including all 5 capes - even including skip Stewart island SW cape which many skip), but in multiple segments (not non-stop, separated by cruises north).

Cannot formally say we rounded horn because we did that 'coastal' (rather than 50 to 50), but we saw it a couple times.
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Old 04-07-2017, 17:37   #17
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

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hmmmm . . . a few.

We did a RTW in the southern ocean (including all 5 capes - even including skip Stewart island SW cape which many skip), but in multiple segments (not non-stop, separated by cruises north).

Cannot formally say we rounded horn because we did that 'coastal' (rather than 50 to 50), but we saw it a couple times.
Ditto... I've only day-sailed it a couple of times...
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Old 04-07-2017, 17:54   #18
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

I went round Cape Horn under Jury rig once (after sailing 1870nm with the boom as a mast...). Not much fun.
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Old 04-07-2017, 18:05   #19
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

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Ditto... I've only day-sailed it a couple of times...
Ive sailed past the Horn 6 times on my way to (or back) from the Antarctic Pensular, I don't think that counts as sailing around it, its not the 50s to 50s non stop. Though I've motored past it a few times on Container ships from NZ to Europe, not sure that counts either since we had no sails onboard...
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Old 17-07-2017, 11:35   #20
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

What would you consider the best weather window? ie. which months?
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:07   #21
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

With all this talk of being so far South, ya'll have me about ready to reach for my heavy fleece one-piece that I wear under my drysuit. That along with my fleece lined neoprene headgear.
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Old 17-07-2017, 14:28   #22
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

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What would you consider the best weather window? ie. which months?
The Austral summer...which ocean are you planning to start in?
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Old 17-07-2017, 15:06   #23
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

Atlantic in Maine or Annaplois

East to west
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Old 17-07-2017, 15:28   #24
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

***East to west*** south of the 4 Capes? That's different...

Now if you were going west to east what I would suggest would be leaving at such a time that would give you a reasonable expectation of being at the Horn and heading north up the Atlantic by late February.

That is based on 2 crossings from NZ to Chile in Jan - Feb, quite a few years spent in Patagonian Chile 'watching' yachts coming over from the NZ side and the larger half of my working life spent on commercial ships on the edge of the 40's. I've also read a cupla books.... a good starting point there for you would be reading Vito Dumas 'Alone Through The Roaring Forties' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_Dumas
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Old 17-07-2017, 15:54   #25
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

The Horn has fascinated me since I learned about the problems the sailing ships often had centuries ago. This is my understanding to date, I figure that exceptions exist:
West to east is much easier than east to west.
Winter is the toughest time...that would be the summer months of Europe and USA.
The Magellan Straights are a much gentler passage though they get skinny at times. Maybe a mile wide here and there?

It isn't that I want a rough time at the Horn. It just seems like a noteworthy challenge.

Moutissier bailed out before his second consecutive trip around the Horn. He was likely running out of provisions though. His global circumnavigation was extended into at least 1 1/2 times around the world. Great sailor though I think he was selfish in deserting his family like that.

Today I learned there are five capes. Yet Cape Horn is the only one that must be sailed, for a circumnavigation I think, unless one takes the Panama Canal.

Got to be sunken treasure around Cape Horn, so many ships went down. Discovery and recovery has to be next to impossible for sure.
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Old 17-07-2017, 16:21   #26
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

This is worth a watch...

The list of his other voyages at the end may be of interest to those who haven't heard of him before..

He is my hero... I even named my pingüino mascota after him...
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Old 17-07-2017, 16:33   #27
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

Plenty of good info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Horn
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Old 17-07-2017, 17:34   #28
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

Thoughts on strategies for boats which are too small/too slow to surf the big following seas down there? Drogues are one obviously, but it's nice to have proactive options as much of the time as possible.


As to the Straits, Mike Golding had a bit of a real estate argument down there. Not sure if they were able to save the boat or no. They were taking pro-mo shots of him from a helo, when he noticed that the water's color looked wrong, &, crunch!
Mercifully she was foam cored for positive floatation, as well as having 5 or 6 WT compartments.
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Old 17-07-2017, 18:50   #29
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

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The Horn has fascinated me since I learned about the problems the sailing ships often had centuries ago. This is my understanding to date, I figure that exceptions exist:
West to east is much easier than east to west.
Winter is the toughest time...that would be the summer months of Europe and USA.
The Magellan Straights are a much gentler passage though they get skinny at times. Maybe a mile wide here and there?


It isn't that I want a rough time at the Horn. It just seems like a noteworthy challenge.

Moutissier bailed out before his second consecutive trip around the Horn. He was likely running out of provisions though. His global circumnavigation was extended into at least 1 1/2 times around the world. Great sailor though I think he was selfish in deserting his family like that.

Today I learned there are five capes. Yet Cape Horn is the only one that must be sailed, for a circumnavigation I think, unless one takes the Panama Canal.

Got to be sunken treasure around Cape Horn, so many ships went down. Discovery and recovery has to be next to impossible for sure.
Winter can actually bring far more settled weather..... you just get not much daylight and its a trifle chilly... in the channels typically runs between -2C and +2C with a sea temp of about 8C.... and when it is bad its very very bad....

Whatever the season Magallanes isn't really a 'gentler' passage especially for a singlehander. The surrounding land tends to funnel the prevailing winds and increase their force. When the wind goes into the SW it can produce 'interesting' racha conditions along the northern shore of Isla Desolación and - if its from the north - you can get rachas coming off the high ground around Cabo Froward.

Easterlies are not unknown..

Two narrow and seriously tidal choke points , Paso Tortuoso and the Segunda and Primera Angosturas.

I've done the latter pair in one tide but its generally considered that you need two.... and then you have to find your way out past the gas production platforms before escaping into the Atlantic.

I doubt the most hardcase singlehanders could do it nonstop. Look how long it took Slocum when going the other way....

On a crewed boat where you are happy anchoring every night its a bonzer cruising ground.. singlehanded not so much.

5 Capes? I can only count 4.....

The view to the west from Paso Largo in mid May.... it took us 10 days to make 90 miles to the west... with a maximum temp of 2C
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Old 17-07-2017, 19:09   #30
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Re: Sailing the Fierce 50's

Ive done east to west a fair few times on containerships in winter. Its a right prick of a place to be in winter even on a 40000 ton box boat. We ended up keeping well north across the indian ocean. And Aussie bight. At the end of the day you just got to suck it and see.

On yachts crossing the Tasman east to west in winter I try to stay north, near 35 south if I can. You seem to miss the worst of the westerlies up around those lats, and it is much warmer. I play the fronts , go southwest in the NWers then tack and go NW after the front has passed and the wind has backed to SW. Summer 40-45 is more doable. If you get a mid lat low it can sometimes pay to dive south of it.
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