Cape Horn

Saturday, October 12th 2013

After our epic boat journey we slept in late the next morning. But not too late, because at 11am we had a flight to catch. And this was a flight I did not want to miss - it would take us over Cape Horn.

Even though Cape Horn is just south of Isla Navarino, it never occurred to me that we might be able to go there until a few days before we got to Puerto Williams. It just sounded too impossibly remote. I didn't know that there was a way to get there, and if there was a way I imagined it would be ruinously expensive.

But then I discovered that Aerovias DAP fly over there from Puerto Williams, for 80,000 pesos. This was not ruinously expensive. This was pretty reasonable for a flight to the world's most savage and terrifying cape. We didn't hesitate.

I was incredibly excited as we boarded the plane, and nothing about the trip disappointed. The pilots warned us that even if it was calm and clear at Puerto Williams, it might be too stormy to make it to the cape and we might have to turn back half way. They told us later that they only make it there about half the time they try to get there. But today we were fortunate. We flew over the wild Dientes de Navarino, over rugged and empty Wollaston Island, and then over a strait to the legendary Cape.

We circled around a few times, lower and lower until we were pretty much at the height of the high cliffs. We could see the two little huts in which Chilean navy people spend months at a time, defending the island against Argentinian invasions. And we could see the waves crashing on the rocks. It was an incredible place to be flying over, although I couldn't help hoping I'd get the chance to set foot on the island, or sail past it, at some point.

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