Cape Horn

By Admiral G.A. Ballard, C.B. , published August 1945


This paper is a brief account of two winter passages round Cape Horn by HM Frigate Curacoa, westbound 55 days in 1841, and eastbound 39 days in 1842. The author contrasts the track of sailing vessels round the Horn and steam vessels through the Magellan Strait, reducing the passage by some 1300 miles. Using the log of HMS Curacoa, the paper highlights the hazards of rounding the Horn, including fog, gales, ice and wreck, particularly on the Diego Ramirez islets. The author also reflects on the additional hazard of earlier centuries – that of not being able accurately to ascertain longitude.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Ship Handling & Seamanship

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