Rounding The Horn!

By | September 17, 2019

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Source: (Photo by Yves Forestier/Sygma via Getty Images)

At 55°58′ S, 67°16′ W sits a lonely promontory of stone seemingly at the very edge of the world. Cape Horn, the rocky southern headland at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego of South America, has been a watchword of terror, danger, and triumph against the odds to sailors for centuries.

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Map showing the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn. Source: (Wikipedia)

A Westward Way to the Pacific

During the Age of Discovery between the 14th and 17th centuries, European explorers set out on voyages, claiming lands, finding new trade routes, and establishing overseas empires. One of the most sought after trade routes were to find an all-water route west across the Atlantic Ocean to the East Indies. This was found first by the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520 when he led his fleet through a series of channels between the South American mainland and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. This waterway was named after him as the Strait of Magellan.