The Outpost and its Monuments

Above the cliff there is a path built with wooden boards and it is a few centimetres detached from the ground. It is useful because, without it, it would be very difficult to walk around in this island.

The ground is completely covered with "peat" so it is difficult to walk without stumbling, getting mudy or burying in mud up to the knees.

A path leads to the post and another to a monument which is not clearly understood at first sight. It is the famous albatross that has been placed there. Of an ultra-modern conception, it was designed so that the strong wind of the region cannot destroy it. It represents the bird that, according to the legend, is the reincarnation of the acient sailors and pilots that lost their lives in this desolate region. Before getting to it, we find two marble columns which sayings astonish. One of them reads: Cape Horn Monument" In memory of the seamen from all nations. Who lost their lives fighting against against the elements in the tempestuous Chilean austral sea. -

Erected thanks to the initiative of the Chilean section of Cape Horn Captains, Cap Horniers, in occasion of the fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America. - Designed by the national sculptor Mr. José Ballse. - Financed by maritime institutions and personal funds and carried out by the Chilean Navy. - Solemnly inaugurated on December, 5th 1992. With the attendance of the Commander in Chief of the Chilean Navy, Government Authorities and members of the international confraternity of the captains of Cape Horn - Cap Horniers. In the base of the monument itself there are allegoric plaques and courses to all destinations (Argentina is not included) and plaques of Australian Cap Horniers and of the Netherlands Near the post another monument set up by "Cap Horniers" reads: Au nom de L Amicale Internationale des Capitaines Au Long Course "Cap - Horniers" en souvenier de tous nos passages de Ce Cap. Cap Horn, nov. 1989" in memory of those navigators of the "Long Course" who in long routes to China, Australia or Europe had to face the "Cape" whatever the conditions were.

The Monumental Lighthouse (1902) is situated next to the Navigators' Chapel and next to the helicopters runway. The chapel, with its navigators' virgin, calls the attention and makes us think about how smallest the human being is compared to the magnificence of nature.

Inside the post, on the walls, there are souvenirs of ships, expeditions and navigators. The ceremony goes on with the signing of the book where visits are registered and books, passports, notebooks and writing papers are stamped with the famous seal of Cape Horn. Hours go by quickly while admiring the views such as the "famous teeth or claws" in the Deceit I. or the remainings of ships in the base of cliffs. Only the noise of the sea and the wind make us understand that we are in the largest of the sanctuaries of navigators of all ages. When one of the giant Albatross that inhabit the place flies touching lightly the constructions or the waters, Sara Vial's verses,engraved in marble,make the visits shiver:

"I am the Albatross Waiting for You
At the End of the World
I am the Forgotten Soul Of The Dead Sailors
Those who Sailed Through Cape Horn
From all Oceans in the World.
But they Have Not Died
In The Furious Waves,
In My Wings they Fly today
To The Eternity.
In The Last Crevice
Of Antarctic Winds."

December 1992.






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