Albatross photo by Kelvin Trautman

Touching the Tips of Two Continents

Cape Horn, December 10, 2016

I, the albatross that awaits at the end of the world…

I am the forgotten soul of the sailors lost,

rounding Cape Horn from all the seas of the world.

But die they did not in the fierce waves,

for today towards eternity, in my wings they soar

in the last crevice of the Antarctic winds.

– Sara Vial


The end of the world as they knew it.

What struck me, standing on the tip of South America at Cabo de Hornos, is how similar it feels to the windswept Cape at the tip of Africa, where I live.

This place is even more untouched, as Sara Vial’s poem for lost sailors attests.

The original version is in Spanish, and stands here:


Cape Horn

There’s a monument to the albatross on the crest of the hill. It is huge, but the wingspan of the great wandering albatross can reach 3.7 metes across. I think that makes this life-sized?


Albatross installation by Chilean sculptor José Balcells, and me.


The world is full of wonders. And I know we’ll see many of them as we keep heading south.

I can feel the ice of Antarctica calling…


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