Davvero una grande avventura!!!
Tine Slabe sent us the final report about his trip in Tierra del Fuego...
Really a huge adventure!
Tierra del Fuego
Cape Horn is not a gift!
After a long almost two months trip in South America I am finally home. Especially the last part in Tierra del Fuego was really tiring because of a very cold weather. We embarked on a nice sailing boat Santa Maria in Ushuaia, the most southern Argentinean city. First of all we had to cross the Beagle channel to the Chilean side. Porto Williams is the port where you have to register before entering the Cape Horn area. It was from their where we started out eleven days journey. The weather was quite good for this area, sometimes sunny with winds up to 30 knots, all the way to the Puerto Maxwell from where we planned to start our rounding. On the 28 of March we started our mission. Thomas, Ben and me jumped from the boat in about 25 knots and 3 to 4 meters waves. We sailed for few hours and the wind was picking up slowly. When we were just about 1,5 miles from the Cape Horn the wind picked up to gusts up to 45 knots and the sailing boat was not able to give us the support in case of any problems we could possibly have so with the captain of the Santa Maria we made the decision to turn around. Sadly the weather forecast was wrong and we had to abandon our first attempt. Everybody was already a bit tiered as the air temperature was only between 4 and 8 °C and the sailing boat was nonstop moving in the ruff seas. Finally we entered the calm Martial bay, but later in the night the wind from southwest picked up and the bay was not so calm anymore. The next day I measured myself 65 knots of wind in the bay and they said it was up to 120 knots on the Cape Horn so we kept on waiting in the bay. And additional anchor was needed so that we could sleep calm. The forecast looked ok for the second attempt. 15 to 25 knots and quite calm waves so we decided to go for it again, but when we exit the Maxwell the conditions were already stronger then the forecast. We decided to wait for a bit longer before we jump, as we had to check how the wind would do. Finally the wind was too strong for the boat to give us the full support. It would still be possible to windsurf, but if you would have any problem the boat would not be able to pick us up. So I decided it is too risky there on the open sea! The decision was right as the wind picked up even more. We sailed with the Santa Maria around the Cape Horn and I was sadly looking at the cliffs, as I knew that we would have no more chance in this trip to go around it with windsurf gear. Tired of a really cold 11 days on the boat and a delayed return home, because of connections problems I am finally home.
Now I have just a few weeks before the PWA season starts, so I have to get all my gear together and train hard.