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Don Taylor | profile | all galleries >> Travel Galleries >> South America Gallery >> Cape Horn tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Cape Horn

Cape Horn is located at 555847S 0671618W, on Isla Hornos in the Hermite Islands group, at the southern end of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. It marks the north edge of the Drake Passage, the strait between South America and Antarctica. The dividing line between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans runs along the meridian of Cape Horn, from Tierra del Fuego to the Southern Ocean. It is located in Cabo de Hornos National Park.
Cape Horn was originally given the Dutch name "Kaap Hoorn", in honour of the Dutch city of Hoorn; in a typical example of false cognates, the Hoorn became known in English as "Cape Horn", and in Spanish as "Cabo de Hornos" (which literally means "Cape of Ovens"). It is commonly known to English-speaking sailors as The Horn.The cape lies within Chilean territorial waters, and the Chilean Navy maintains a station on Hoorn Island, consisting of a residence, utility building, chapel, and lighthouse. A short distance from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture made by Chilean sculptor Jos Balcells featuring the silhouette of an albatross, in honour of the sailors who died while attempting to "round the Horn". It was erected in 1992 through the initiative of the Chilean Section of the Cape Horn Captains Brotherhood.The terrain is entirely treeless, although quite lush owing to the frequent precipitation. Cape Horn is the southern limit of the range of the Magellanic Penguin.
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