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January 21, 2007

Position: S56 00.00 W67 17.30
One and one-half miles south of Cabo de Hornos

Well, mi amigos, Egret raised anchor at 0600 local time in our overnight anchorage in Puerto Toro. With suspect electronic charting accuracy we stood vigilant watch looking for the tell tale kelp patches marking uncharted rocks. By riding the flood tide we soon entered Paso Goree between Isla Navarino and Isla Lennox. This is real exciting stuff knowing shortly we would be winding our way through the Wollaston Islands then THE CAPE. 0715 we got a VHF call from the Chilean Armada (Coast Guard) for the usual report. 0830 Egret entered Bahia Nassau, the most time terrible open water stretch between the lee of Navarino and the Wollastons. Currents rip through here plus there is enough fetch to raise large, tight seas.

The seas were so light we were hoping to make the entire trip without turning on the Naiad's. By 0915 that was a myth and we pushed THE button and all motion stopped in the beam seas. By 10:15 we could see a wall of fog ahead. Great. 11:00 Egret entered the fog with 1/4 mile visibility. Sooo, now we are in fog with low resolution charting. Great again. Thank you Mr Radar. 11:10 visibility 200 yards. 11:45 Egret entered Canal Bravo. Soon after the fog lifted. Beautiful. On the port side of the canal were the wind scoured hillsides of Isla Scourfield. On the starboard side were pockets of VERY tough trees hiding behind outcrops with their tree tops exactly at wind height. 12:20 we were back in fog with 1/2-mile visibility. 12:50 entered Paso Mar del Sur, the last pass before Isla Hornos. This was more like what we expected. With the easterly winds they blasted down the hill sides sweeping the fog along rising to 34 knots. No biggie for the Egret crew. 1:22 pm we spotted the north end of Isla Hornos (Cape Horn) The infamous 'Horn' was sticking up through the fog then would disappear, then reappear.

At 2:32 pm, 1-21-07 Egret passed south of Cape Horn at S55 00.00 W67 17.30. Egret passed east to west 'doubling' the Horn. We passed in sea swells but in relatively calm conditions. For those of you who wanted to hear about Egret bashing her way past the Horn let me quote the first American powerboat circumnavigators, Bruce and Joan Kessler on Zopilote. "Anyone who has been in rough water doesn't wish for rough water". Egret has seen rough water. We feel very fortunate NOT to have been in rough water. Egret traveled 7192.14 nautical miles from Gibraltar for this privilege. (8270.96 statute miles)

The history here is incrediable. Most of it is tragic. Looking at a shipwreck chart there are 78 known shipwrecks, many are unreported, within a very short distance from our current position. Modern weather forecasting and modern boats make Cape Horn today much, much less of a danger. The weather is still here and occasionally boats do get caught out and do pay the price. What Egret did today was NOT dangerous. We were cautious, followed the rules and were LUCKY with weather. If the weather was bad we WOULD NOT have gone today.

Speaking of modern weather forecasting we would like to thank OMNI Bob and Susan Gennet for their forecasting skills and help. Both were right on. Any of you traveling where you cannot run for shore with weather issues, weather forecasters are a welcome and good value.

Thank you so much for following the Egret crew to her farthest point south in her travels...perhaps. More to follow.

The Egret crew: Mary and Scott Flanders, Master Angler Steve Lawrence, Jim Leishman

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