Day 43, Saturday Mach 20, 1999

More.jpg (19312 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Neil Hunter's email:

Well we are finally here. The Cobo de Hornos, Cape Horn, or Horny, or "the rock at the end of the world", is less than 10 miles away looming large to port with the other islands scattered around on the horizon. The sun is coming out and the island looks awesome, like the site of the "One Tree" in Thomas Covenants travels.

Moments like this one comes up with weird ideas like building a restaurant on it with attached bed and breakfast and calling it "the restaurant at the end of the universe on the rock at the end of the world". Must talk to the Chilean authorities about it when I get back.

There are birds of all descriptions around and, what I call "Dolphin Orca", but which may be some sort of very small whale, playing around us.

Have had a wash and put on clean clothes for this very special occasion. Unfortunately the wind has gone NE so I can't actually lay the rock and stop for lunch but should get pretty close. Even had a shave, or rather half a shave and am now announcing a new facial hairstyle called the Cape Horn beard.

Why half, and which half, you ask. Simple. Cape Horn is to the left, as is the sun, as is the tropical sun drenched islands a bit further north with friendly, grass-skirted, sun-tanned locals, so we shave the left side of the face to get a bit of a sun tan as well. Also that is where the ear is that the golden earring has to hang from so we don't want it hidden or tangled in a beard.

And why not shave the right side as well. Again simple. To the right is Antarctica less than 500 miles away and it's bloody cold down there so we want to keep that side of the face warm. So full beard to the right. And now if you ever see some one with just such a beard you will know for sure they are either a Cape Horner or schizophrenic lunatic (or both).

So now for a good nosh up with fried ham, mushrooms, potatoes, eggs, and onions all to be washed down with a drop of champers, to be shared of course with King Neptune and Huey. Followed by dumplings and custard and maybe by a drop of my other invention called Southern Ocean Anti-Freeze.

All the empty bottles have been released with messages inside bar one into which I have now placed a long letter to my only daughter Zoe, an envelope, and a US$1 note for whoever whenever finds it to buy a stamp and post it.

And then when we get as close as we can to the rock there is a quiet little ceremony to be performed in memory of a bloke who tried to make it to here three times in previous races and was lost at sea in his last attempt. A bloke who I never met, but whose dream of earning the right to wear the golden earring inspired me to follow in his wake and finish what he started. Margaret gave me two golden earrings for this occasion, one I will wear proudly, and one I will give to Harry.

So for now and till tomorrow when I start heading north .....

Have fun and keep smiling.

Neil (Paladin II)

VlnaKabestan.jpg (25383 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

2

Thiercelin

Somewhere

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

3

Autissier

PRB

Rescued

by

Soldini

0

0

0

4

Hall

Gartmore

Retiring

to

Chatham Is.

0

0

0

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

5

Petersen

No Bariers

41 44S

055 15W

406

5.5

405.9

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

46 39S

059 21W

729

5

728.7

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

54 57S

063 44W

1253

6.6

1253.3

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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