National Geographic : 1933 Jan
THE CAPE HORN GRAIN-SHIP RACE © A. J. Villiers TWO AT THE WHEEL On the left is a Finn and on the right a Massachusetts yachtsman who sailed as A.B . (able bodied seaman). They are well protected by the steel wheelhouse against any seas which may break over the stern, "pooping" the vessel-a protection which saved the helmsmen's lives on the night of April 5 (see text, page 16, and illustration, opposite page). The small ship's bell, dis cernible between the heads of the two sailors, is used for striking the time. The Herzogin Cecilie, famous for many years as cadet ship for the Norddeutscher Lloyd Company, was the favorite in the race, which she had won four times in the five preceding years; but among sailors there was a great deal of speculation on the chances of the Pamirand Parma. These were known to be good ships and, having so lately come from the German flag, were in first-class condition. They were commanded by able officers, the Pamir by Captain Sj6gren, one of the ablest of the Erikson masters, and the Parmaby the famous Ruben de Cloux, best known of all the Cape Horn master mari ners of to-day. DE CLOUX HAS A HEROIC RECORD It was Ruben de Cloux (despite the French ring of his name, he is a Swedish Finn) who had sailed the Herzogin Cecilie on all her winning voyages. He had built up the Erikson Line from a handful of old ships to a score of splendid sailers; had sailed the venerable and by no means clip- perish four-masted bark Lawhill on her remarkable consecutive passages of 78, 74, and 70 days between the Bay of Biscay and Australia; had saved the Herzogin Cecilie when her ballast shifted in a howling gale north of Scotland and she fell on her beam ends with her lower topgallant yardarms in the water, which was stark tragedy for a sailing ship. He led the crew into the hold himself to restow the ballast, and though some were afraid, none hung back where he led. In four days, working almost foodless day and night, they had their ship on her keel again and sailed on. And now Captain de Cloux, as well as being master, was the principal owner of the Parma,which he and I had bought as she lay in idleness in the Hamburg docks toward the end of 1931. Against him were the 15 ships of the Erikson Line, all as determined as they could be that his lone ship should not win; against him were 15 younger masters, eight of whom he had trained.