Friday 3 January 2014

Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel

An overcast sky greeted us today and the seas continued to be calm to moderate. Our smooth and easy ride continued toward Cape Horn.

This morning we had a discussion of Climate Change. This was not a formal full-blown lecture, just a few slides to warm us up for an interactive discussion session. The staff and passengers from several different nations contributed their observations on the changing climate and we discussed possible strategies for solutions or at least minimizing the effects and the rate of change.

By 1400 we were close enough to Cape Horn for us to see the bluffs and the buildings and the outline of the storied sculpture. The top of the monument has a vertical cut-out of a soaring Albatross separating the halves of the stainless steel diamond shaped sculpture.

While we were too far from the site to read the poem below the sculpture, here is the text:

“I am the Albatross that waits for you at the end of the earth.
  I am the forgotten soul of the dead sailors who crossed Cape Horn from all of the seas of
  of the world.                     
  But they did not die in the furious waves.
  Today they fly in my wings to eternity in the last trough of the Antarctic winds.”
                                                                                                       - Sara Vial

Tonight we rendezvous in Beagle Channel off the Argentine coastal station where we will pick up a pilot who will guide the FRAM to Ushuaia. We expect to be at the dock 0800. Then we must say good-bye to our fellow travelers and the FRAM staff that begin the next step in their homeward journey.