Documentary film maker Peter Rowe spoke to the Shellbacks on rounding Cape Horn as producer and director of a documentary segment for the Angry Planet series. He paired his talk with a showing of the "Fin Del Mundo" episode of his Angry Planet series.
The film expedition travelled to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, at the extreme southern end of Argentina, then took air travel some 50 km east on small aircraft to Puerto Williams, Chile, and thence to the Drake Passage.
The area is among the most inhospitable in the world; the flag at Cape Horn Island is so ravaged by winds it needs replacement every two or three days!
In Puerto Williams, the crew boarded the 54' ketch steel Northanger, an expedition-equipped ship that took them around the Cape and to the Holanda Glacier in the Beagle Channel. Navigating through stormy weather and waters littered with shipwrecks, the expedition explored the glacier, unfortunately showing the depletion caused by climate change.
Peter's presentation made for a deeper appreciation for both the fragility of even this hardened part of the world, and for the remarkable transits of Cape Horn made by mariners over the years, including Francis Drake on The Golden Hind (1798) and Charles Darwin on the Beagle (1831). Captain Bligh, on the notorious Bounty, gave up the effort to round the Horn in 1788, having made a mere 85 miles of headway in 31 days.
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