Winds of yesterday

We are now making for Cape Horn, a name synonymous with mighty pounding ocean hungry for the lives of unwary sailors. Thousands of mariners have lost their lives to the cold waters of the horn as the struggled to skirt the craggy finger of the South American continent and make passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Today, however, we are gliding upon a silken sea with a lazy breeze that lacks the strength to raise foam from peaks of the gentle swell rolling in from the west. The birds have adopted the languor of their wind gods and sullenly flap about the boat or sit on the surface of the water as if reminiscing about stormy seas and the embrace of mightier winds within their outstretched wings.

The Horn should be in sight by lunch and we will peer towards the rocky outcrop that has marked so much maritime misery and read the inscription that is dedicated to lost sailors:

I am the Albatross that waits for you,
At the end of the Earth.
I am the forgotten soul of the deceased sailor,
Who crossed Cape Horn,
From all the seas of the world.
But they did not die in the furious waves.
Today they fly in my wings to eternity,
In the last trough of the Antarctic winds.

Sara Vial (Translated from the original Spanish)


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