Statistic Data Chilean Navy
1.- General Information.
The soil of Hornos Island consists mainly of peat, and some granitic areas which makes it possible to reach the peak of Cape Horn, which is erected at 425 meters of height. It must be taken into account that the climbing is difficult and it requires 4 hours to reach the top.
At the Espolon promontory, in the SE of such island,
the MONUMENTAL CABO DE HORNOS lighthouse is located which was built in
1991. Its main
characteristics are: a white beam every 5 seconds, 57 meters high, 20
miles of geographic range, visible from 127° to 056°.
This lighthouse is fitted with
3.- Requirements of the Chilean Pilot.
4.- Cape Horn’s Current.
The strength of the Cape Horn current varies and is
frequently influenced by the prevailing winds.
From observations made in 1910 and in 1927, it was concluded that
this current reaches up to 22 miles per day.
5.- Tidal Currents.
In the Strait of Le Maire, the tide is produced very
close to high or low tide time in Buen Suceso Bay. The flux current heads to the North and the ebb tide to the
South reaching a speed of 1 to 3 knots.
It is rare to see icebergs in Cape Horn. However, it is common to find them in the austral Atlantic Ocean. They occasionally emerge at the latitude of the Cape and even further North along the Eastern Patagonian coast eventually reaching latitude 38°S.
fact, nowadays statistically proved, had already been noticed by Captains
Philip Parker King and Robert Fitz Roy when stating in the "Sailing
Directions for South America of the year 1850" that: "The winds
of the west prevail during major part of the year", referring to the
Cape Horn area, and furthermore indicating that: "the months of
August, September, October and November are the worst of all in rounding
Cape Horn", adding that: "the best weather is shown in March,
April, May and June, in spite of the fact that daylight is shorter and the
average temperatures very low, they it is the best period for vessels to
round the Cape in west direction. Even
more, the presence of the east wind in these months is more frequent.
The best months to undergo the crossing from the
Pacific to the Atlantic, through Cape Horn, are during the months of
December and January. As it
is an easy and short crossing, there is no need for a previous
planification at the time it is performed.
an anecdotal fact, it is necessary to state that the crossing that broke a
record in the time to cross Cape Horn from East to West belongs to the
sailboat SUSANNA in 1905, which took 99 days – from the end
of August to the end of November of the aforementioned year.
The opposite record, the fastest one, was established by the
frigate "PRIWALL" in 1938 during the first week of November.
This event becomes an exception to what is previously mentioned
referring to the worst months in crossing the Cape from East to West.
Valparaiso, August 2000