“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Now Cape Horn

A Magellan Straits illustration from the old sailing classic of 1881, “A Voyage in the Sunbeam”, describing Lord Brassey’s circumnavigation in the 531-ton schooner in which he finally voyaged 550,000 miles. In 1967 Stormvogel found no naked Tierra del Fuegians …

by Richard Crockett

Oh for those carefree days of yore when one could almost sail on a whim and not be too concerned about work, leave and all the other things that keep us ashore instead of chasing dreams.

Well Kees Bruynzeel was one of the lucky ones who appeared to have the ability to always find time for his sailing exploits.

Today is a wonderfully detailed report on ‘Stormvogel’s’ “doubling of the horn” as he describes having done “both ways” passages of wild Cape Horn, but how the crew went ashore for sunbathing.

This is how Bruynzeel described their rounding of Cape Horn on 31 December 1967: “Last day of the year and a most memorable one! The favourable breeze holds on and in the early hours we see the typical shape of Cape Horn and, after breakfast, we go round! We are well ahead of our schedule, the weather is reasonable so we decide not only to round Cape Horn but also to climb it.

“Cape Horn is on an island, and on the lee side of it we find a smooth sea. We heave-to and with our dinghy and outboard, motor to the shore. lt is not easy to find a landing place through a wide field of kelp and on a rocky beach, but we manage.

“We find dense vegetation where our feet sink in knee-deep. lt is difficult to walk, but nice to lie on and enjoy the sun. So our shore party splits up – the ambitious group going to plant our flag on the Cape and the lazy enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime chance of sunbathing on New Year’s Eve Day on Cape Horn.”

What a way to end a year and start a new one!

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  stormvogel 1968 02 – SA Yachting – OCR