|LETTER from Eivind & Heidi _______Cape Horn ( Jan. 2007 )||
Finally ready to throw off for Antarctica
The windlass we were waiting for finally arrived, and the Captain got it mounted in place
rather quick. Empire was again stocked up for a long voyage. Our Swedish friends signed
off before Christmas. With fewer crew that originally planned, we were ready to set off for
Antarctica . Friday 7.th of January we left Ushuaia for Puerto Williams, Chile, a few hours
away. But, things did not go as planned (this time either)
It was quiet windy from west when we left, about 40 knots. Wind from behind and a grey
sky followed us in the Beagle Canal to Puerto Williams on a fast trip. Empire was doing
great speed, with only a small part of the genoa rolled out.
BUT only after a short while we could again hear the slamming sounds from the rudder.
Which we by now thought we had repaired. Unfortunately it was a quick decision to make,
that Empire was not going to the Southern Ocean, with that slack in the rudder bearings.
To be sure of the decision we contacted Technical Manager Are Wiig at Lunde Båt, who
confirmed our thoughts. Empire should not sail further south in the worlds toughest waters.
The atmosphere onboard was a little tense for a while, even though Mate & Captain did not
doubt that the decision was right. We had really looked forward to sail to Antarctic.There
was not much we could do to solve the problem in the nearest future. Our plans had to be
To sail along and close to the coast would mean less pressure on the rudder and bearings,
than in the stormy waters of the Drake Passage . We decided to sail around Cape Horn on
a good weather forecast and then continue north through the protected canals in Chile.
Eivind's son Peder is signing on in april and he will bring us the parts we need for the
After a calm night in Puerto Williams, with the zarpe from the armada in our hand we sailed
for Cape Horn. The 100nm from Puerto Williams to Cape Horn was free of problems of any
kind. We even had to use the engine because of to little wind.
Because of lots of swell and a bad anchor bottom it is not a good idea to leave the boat
unattended at Cape Horn. The Captain stayed onboard while Heidi took the dingy and
rowed ashore to the worlds southernmost Cape. A little gift for the light house is customary.
Heidi had brought a Norwegian flag and a pennant from the Oslo Motorbåtforening and one
from the Bavariaklubben. The flags were solemnly delivered to the lighthouse keeper.
Shortly after Heidi returned to Empire, the wind picked up. The Captain had time for a short
swim in the cold water before we hoisted the sails. Off course we had to pass the Cape
Horn both from east to west and from west to east, before we headed back to our
anchorage at Isla Lennox.
An old seaman myth tells that a sailor who has rounded the Cape Horn for westbond and for eastbond is allowed to pie in headwind. You can laugh, but hr has the RIGHT to do so... Nor the Mate or the Captain has tried so far, but be sure we will