National Geographic : 1933 Jan
THE CAPE HORN GRAIN-SHIP RACE (A. J. Villiers IN A HEAVY SQUALL NEAR CAPE HORN The main deck is under water and a black squall is coming up astern, with sleet and hail. The geared winch abaft the capstan is a patent German halyard winch, worked by hand. On the deckhouse is a brace winch, also worked by hand. young men, including the carpenter, the an American yachtsman from Vineyard bo's'n, and the sail-making gang, with Haven, who had signed on A. B. (able nothing to do. As soon as they had their bodied seaman) for the Cape Horn voy midday meal on this day, the entire gang age. From the low elevation of the boat came aft and asked to borrow a boat. we could see nothing of the other vessel, "Whatever for ?" asked the captain, but we took a compass and carefully "To pull over to the other ship," they steered for her by bearing taken from our said. Parma before we left. She was 15 miles away! Nothing could After two hours our own ship was hull be seen of her from our decks save a haze down and the other showing upper topgal of upper sails, cloudlike on the horizon. lants and royals above the horizon. We "It is mad," said the captain, were never out of sight of both vessels. Then he grinned. The adventure of the When our own began to drop below the thing appealed to him. He alone-this ven- horizon, the other emerged; so that we had turesome and capable Ruben de Cloux- always either our departure or our land would permit such a thing. The boys could fall in sight. This was simple enough have the boat, he said, provided an officer navigation. went in charge and no apprentice went. He was responsible for the apprentices' A 30-MILE ROW FOR A VISIr lives. They could have the starboard life- It was dead calm and stifling hot. We boat and must take food and extra water, had a good crew, standing hour turns on and flares for coming back at night, and the oars. The boys were very keen, and must not remain aboard the other vessel nobody thought of the danger of our expe longer than two hours. dition. Not that we admitted it to be dan We set out a little after 2 o'clock in the gerous, but a ship's boats do not often set lifeboat, manned by volunteers, strong out for a row of 30 miles for a yarn aboard young Germans and Swedish Finns and another vessel.