zodiac

“One sight of such a coast is enough to make a landsman dream for a week about shipwrecks, peril and death.”
Charles Darwin, 1834

Arriving at Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn has been for centuries the nightmare of all seamen, as well as the dream of adventurous travelers. The waters that surround this sinister rock are some of the roughest and unruly ones Worldwide. Its waves can often reach heights of over 20 meters, crashing violently against the rocks. Wind blows in all directions with enough speed and force to through you overboard and every second day of the year, it’s likely to get caught in a storm. The Cape Horn route is, in fact, one of the most dangerous nautical passages in the World.

Before the construction of the Panama Canal, the only nautical route to cross between the Atlantic and the Pacific was to dare the southern route bypassing Cape Horn. There are an estimated 800 shipwrecks near this black rock!

Planning Our Arrival to Cape Horn, Chile

On our first evening on the Stella Australis, the expedition cruise that would take us from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, we were warned about the possibility of experiencing significant shakes and unrest when approaching the cape. Crew members advised that, as weather changes radically, we might even not be able to disembark on Cape Horn. We would only by the next morning.

At 6:00am we woke up to a grey sky but a surprisingly calm sea. It was time to get ready to get on our zodiacs to explore the cape!

Arriving at Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

Once on Cape Horn, I realized how sinister and dramatic it landscape is. Besides for the Albatross statue (pictured above on the left side of the picture), which is a monument to the many sailors who have lost their lives surrounding the rock, the cape houses a lighthouse. A lighthouse that shelters a seaman from the chilean Navy together with his supporting family, living in this harsh climate and isolated from civilization for a whole year.

Chilean Flag on Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

On our way back to the cruise, we were surprised that our zodiac gave a sudden turn to follow the coastline… to watch a colony of sea lions!

Cape Horn, Chile

Sea Lions in Cape Horn, Chile

Crystalline Water in Formentera

I had promised more pictures and stories about my week in the tiny island on Formentera as soon as I got back to normal, and now that I’ve recovered my computer and said goodbye to Switzerland – I thought it’s about time. Plus, I love to go through fun summer memories when it’s raining and windy outside.

Formentera’s sands and crystalline water are world-famousdon’t believe me? check out where Giorgio Armani or Shakira spent this summer! – which also means that most of its easy accessible beaches are really crowded. That’s when one becomes creative to find a peaceful spot to lay down and soak up some mediterranean sun. And then it hit us – we had to rent a boat and discover all those hidden gems that have no land access.

All good, but what do you do without any kind of maritime license (and ok, lets admit it, without cash to spend on renting a 10 meter sail boat to explore the island’s coastline)?

Rent a Zodiac instead!

Me on our Zodiac, Formentera

If you ever thought that a zodiac would only be good enough to take you from your yacht to the beach and back, then you’re wrong. You should never underestimate the power of a zodiac – this smaller version of a speed boat took us all the way from the port of Formentera to the south of the island and back up all the way north to S’Espalmador.

About 20 minutes after leaving the port towards the south of the Island, we found a peaceful spot with crystalline blue water. We dropped the anchor and looked around us. Not more than 3 other boats were surrounding us, and there was enough distance between us to almost feel like we had the spot for ourselves.

The color of the sea was so appealing that it didn’t take us more than 3 minutes to jump into the water (part of those 3 minutes, we were trying to figure how to best jump from an inflatable boat without looking too ridiculous – what we didn’t realize was the actual ridiculous part would be trying to get back into the zodiac again). This was the first time I made use of my underwater camera kit.

Crystalline Water in Formentera

Underwater in Formentera, Spain

Swimming in Crystalline Water, Formentera

Underwater in Formentera, Spain