East or West?

illbruck leads to the west, but will the east pay?

Tuesday February 12th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: Transoceanic

Stig Westergaard... completing a goal

Approaching the [Cape] Horn, the southernmost part of the American Continent one cannot help admiring the many seamen who have fought and sometimes lost to the elements down here. Coming from icy waters, where the elements seem harsh even for a highly tuned and professionally driven boat like ours, it appears to be have been a task out of the ordinary to attempt this neck of the woods.

Had I not lost two hats already (in the bilge, stack or by vicious hands - the probability being highest for the two first mentioned) I would have taken it off in pure admiration of the skill and stamina it would have taken to go here centuries ago.  So instead I had to send the spirits of the former seamen some merry thoughts.   Hope they receive them wherever they are.

The Horn represents a tremendous leap forward in the possibility of me being accepted in my hometown, Skaelskoer's, local seamen’s association. With my 30 years of sailing experience I have so far only made it to the waiting list.  So an application for a full membership is hereby formally lodged.

The Horn also represents some childhood dreams as my father always stated that one could only put one foot per Cape on the couch table after rounding one.  So now that I have made them both, Hope and the Horn I can rest my feet on the table with peace of mind.

On top of that it has been a manifestation of one of the milestones in the goal of becoming a successful ocean racer, as well as being a somewhat successful inshore racer.   So one down, a few to go.

So even though the place in its own beauty is so inhospitable that even trees don't want to live there (it appears that only penguins find joy on the Horn), it has been a tremendous experience.

And to celebrate this I had brought a small 5 cl cognac along.  It came in handy as everybody onboard had a small cap to drink a toast for family and friends. Mine went to my father and my brother; and of course to our getting back in the game [race] again.  Knut topped this up with a phone call on the grossly expensive satellite phone. And was that great; to hear the voice of my wife again.

Nocka [Anthony Nossiter], our predominant nudist onboard who likes to flash his buttocks to everyone who cares to have a look (not many, sorry Nock) took the chance with a full crew on deck to take a hike around bare as a baby.  Quite a laugh, which made the rounding a truly memorable experience for me.

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