Talk:Cape Horn

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Former featured article Cape Horn is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 21, 2006.
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Date Process Result
February 4, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
February 14, 2006 Featured article candidate Promoted
February 27, 2011 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article
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More Pictures[edit]

I recently visited Cape Horn and have many pictures and videos and I would like to share a few of them. Could that be interesting to the community of wikipedia?


I think the page would look pretty good if the first image of the cape was resized larger. Are there standard sizes for pictures like that by any chance?

Rounding the Horn:Sailing::Scaling Everest:Mountain Climbing?[edit]

That doesn't sound right. Commercial and naval ships did it all the time until the Panama Canal was built, and this includes the great age of sail. Climbing Everest seems more like an end in and of itself, whereas rounding the horn is simply a rough stretch of some passage from A to B. It is probably the most challenging feat in sailing, but comes about by necessity and not by sport. Sympleko (Συμπλεκω) 17:10, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

The analogy is probably misleading on several levels actually - Everest is not even the most challenging feat of climbing, both K2 and Cerro Torre are harder for instance. This should be replaced by a good quote from some notable sailor or sailing publication about how the amateur sailing community characterizes the feat. Stan 20:09, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Whether it's misleading or not, it does seem widely used, so it belongs in the article. I've added some more concrete references to the weather and sailing. --Dhartung | Talk 22:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that people going round in ships referred to it in that way; but when talking about small-boat sailing, and in particular single-handed sailing, the term "Everest of sailing" or some variation is very widely used. Although I'm not a "notable sailor", I'll be looking for references to back this up. — Johan the Ghost seance 21:05, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Rounding The Horn in Small Ships[edit]

Quote: The first small boat to sail around Cape Horn was the 42-foot (13 m) yacht Saoirse, sailed by Edward Conor Marshall O'Brien with three friends, who rounded it during a circumnavigation of the world between 1923 and 1925.[1] Endquote This seems not correct. To my knowledge Joshua Slocum with his cutter Spray passed Magellhan Straits as early as 1895. See the German Wikipedia's article on Joshua Slocum for details. Does anybody know better ? — Norbert 14:52, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Rounding the cape means to round in the south. Magellan Strait is in the north. 13:44, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Quotes in Literature section[edit]

IMO, there are (now) too many quotes in the Lit section, at a certain point, chunks of quotes become a distraction from the article itself (I find that the case here). I'd lose at least the second part of Moitessier (if not all of him), which gets slightly off topic, and is only editorializing by way of a quote (which isn't a particularly eloquent one at that). WDYT? --Tsavage 04:37, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Well... Moitessier's writing style is certainly quirky (translated from French, of course) — idiosyncratic, for sure — but if you read the whole book, it's compelling and passionate. The quote captured that for me, but of course I've read the book several times. Still, it's certainly very widely regarded as one of the great classics of sailing literature.
As for there being too much — yes, it could be trimmed, I guess. But the "Here comes Cape Horn!" quote is great, and captures the tough side of things; and Moitessier's rhapsodising to me completely captures the allure of the Southern Ocean, which after all continues to attract large numbers of recreational sailors. The last sentence in particular seems to me to complement the "Recreational and sport sailing" section nicely. So maybe I would prefer to lose the first Moitessier quote? I can see how someone unfamiliar with Moitessier would find his writing — particularly out of context — tricky, so I'd be willing to chop the lot; although it seems a shame, because to someone who can relate to it, I would say it sums things up well. What do you think? — Johan the Ghost seance 12:55, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Well (and this is 100% just discussing the article, nothing to do with FAC where I think my comment is finished), the more brutal editor side of me would say chop the lot for Moitessier (it's just too much after the other two, for an article and section of this length), but the part that seems to push it to IMO a little excess is M's second quote, which also takes the focus off Cape Hope, and to the broader topic of great capes. I find it interesting, but the format of an encyclopedia article perhaps doesn't (giving equal balance to the other Horn material in the article). So maybe just kill that. And it seems better to close on a final bit of article text, not a quote. (You COULD start a new subarticle, Cape Horn in literature...just kidding... :) --Tsavage 14:53, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The whole literature section only came about 'cos of a comment in the peer review -- but it is an interesting subject... ;-) Anyhow, you're better able than me to judge the impact of the Moitessier stuff on non-fans, so I've chopped it down a fair bit. How's it look now? Feel free to tweak. Cheers, and thanks for the continued help, -- Johan the Ghost seance 16:57, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
That seems in pretty good balance. It was an overall good read.... So THAT'S why I review FACs! ;> I'll keep it on my watchlist in case I run into anything interesting on topic... Good luck with FA. Cheers! --Tsavage 17:13, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I removed this:

Cape Horn is also the subject of a popular Gordon Lightfoot song "The Ghosts of Cape Horn."

since I'm sure there are many references like this in songs etc. If you want to put it back, think about working up a decent paragraph or two on cultural references. — Johan the Ghost seance 17:37, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


Dutch makes sense, but is there any particular reason why the name is also given in Spanish? —Keenan Pepper 04:05, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Because Spanish is the language they speak around there, probably. We usually state the local name in articles on geographical places. Shanes 04:11, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant. I need to go to bed. =P —Keenan Pepper 04:20, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Kaap Hoorn[edit]

Cape Horn was originally given the Dutch name "Kaap Hoorn", in honour of the Dutch city of Hoorn; in a typical example of false friends, the Horn became known in English as "Cape Horn", and in Spanish as "Cabo de Hornos" (which literally means "Cape of Ovens").[4] It is commonly known to sailors simply as The Horn.[5]

Unless I'm mistaken (and my Dutch dictionary tells me the same), hoorn means horn in English, regardless of if it's named after a city. Strangely enough, the German article on the city of Hoorn [1] says that hoorn means cape, which I think must be a mistake? Anyway, if it does mean horn, "false friend" shouldn't be used here. If it doesn't, please tell us what it does mean! --Grocer 05:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

"False friend" shouldn't be used in any case because it's a literal translation of "faux amis," a French term which, in more precise linguistic language, means "false cognate," which would be preferable here, though still not (apprently) accurate. If the linguistic data is correct, what we're seeing (reading, hearing) is a case of homonymity: Dutch "hoorn" is a homonym of "horn," etc. funkendub 21March

In Dutch hoorn (indeed meaning horn) is also used for horn-shaped geographical features, just like horn in English, compare e.g. Hoorn van Afrika, Horn of Africa. The Dutch Wikipedia article on the city of Hoorn [2] has plenty of explanations for its name, for instance that the town was named after its legendary founder Hornus, son of a local king, but also that it was named after the horn shape of its early harbours. In any case, despite being a "false friend" or whatever the correct linguistic term is, the name Cape Horn makes sense of itself too, which might not be said of Cabo de Hornos. Stefan29 19:48, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Let us be precise:

In 1621 the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen published a report about his travel around the world, on which he transported the arrested Jakob Le Maire und Willem Schouten. One part of his book is the travel diary of Jakob le Maire who died tragically on this prisoners transport from Batavia to Holland. In this is writen on page 160 "... en scherpe hoeck, die wy noemden de Caep van Hoorn..." (... a sharp hook, that we named the Caep van Hoorn...). In his drawing No.23 he called it differently "C. Hoorn". But Le Maire was not in charge to define anything, because formally he was just a shipwrecked passenger on Schouten's ship, after Le Maire has lost his ship by an uncrafty woodworm fighting performed with open fire. Different to Le Maire Schouten survived the transport and after his rehabilitation from fraud and piracy he published in 1619 his report and a map in which he declared the later south tip of America to "De Caep Hoorn". He dedicated his discovery to a merchant's company of some citicens and the town council of Hoorn, which was the second spender of the expedition. Its main spender and promotor was Jakob's father Isaac Le Maire to whom the main goal of the journey was dedicated: Fretum le Maire (literally, The Le Maire Strait), named in Latin as stated by Schouten, 1619. Other discoveries got Dutch names like "Statenlandt, Caep Hoorn or dEylanden van Barnevelt". Isaak changed the dedication quickly to his dead son to improve his position in the following trials about the privileges on the strait for exclusive use and toll collecting.

On the english and spanish names: both are derived from "Caep Hoorn" by folk etymology or more precisely by a false adopted term which is explained and grammatically adjusted thereafter by false etymology to make a descriptive sense: a strange or otherwise not understood term is substituted by a similar sounding term, which is figured to be reasonable. In English the word "horn" for a landscape refers to "tip, point, cape or hook", so "Cape Horn" seams to be a proper name for an important cape. A familiar sounding word to Hoorn in Spanish is horno, meaning oven. Adopting this it is a proper explaination for the many reported fires at Tierra del Fuego, and this is the reason why hornos is in the plural: many fires from many ovens. So both names are individual descriptive terms caused by a misunderstanding of the word Hoorn.

A False Friend is different: terms of any origin in different languages pronounced or writen similarly but with different meaning.

False Cognate is different, too: terms pronounced or writen similarly, meaning the same although they are of different origin: e.g. island and isle.

Folk etymology: changing a term's form or pronounciation not by linguistical evolution but by the people's practice mostly immediately after its introduction, because they don't understand or care for the original form: asparagus becomes (a) sparrow-grass or ecrevisse becomes (a) crayfish.

False etymology: explaining a term or its origin simple and reasonable but wrong: the "Hornos" are the simple source of the fires on cold Tierra del Fuego and not a tribute to the town council of Hoorn.-- (talk) 14:17, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi, in the case of Spanish translation Cabo de Hornos, is indeed a false friend. So I ask your opinion if I edit the article leaving false cognate for the English translation and puting false friend for the Spanish translation, since Hornos means ovens and has nothing to do with Horn or Hoorn. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Unreferenced / poorly referenced material[edit]

Peace treaty[edit]

If someone can find a source for this we can put it back (with maybe better grammar):

In 1984 by intermediation of Pope John Paul II was firmed a Peace and Friendship Treaty (Tratado de Paz y Amistad in Spanish) between Argentina and Chile ending a dispute on the region.

Johan the Ghost seance 16:56, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The official Chilean Gov. document is here. Also you can find a link with a map inside on it here
Unfortunely :-) Spanish is the official language of the two countries involved so the document seems not to be in english
Jor70 11:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I appreciate your comments, and of course I an grateful for your efforts to make this a better and more complete article. Certainly information about a territorial dispute is very welcome, and I appreciate work by a non-English speaker to improve the English Wikipedia.
However, I have some problems with the paragraph as it stands, and I'm afraid that I can't see it being allowed to remain in its current state. Problems:
  • Most importantly, it doesn't provide any context:
  • What exactly was the dispute?
  • Which areas were affected?
  • How did it arise?
  • When did efforts begin to get it resolved?
  • How did the Pope get involved?
  • Which leaders signed the treaty?
  • References: of course, Spanish is the local language, and primary references will be in Spanish. However, it would be really good if we could get some English references.
  • The current reference is to a map which shows the current borders: this says nothing about the dispute.
Once again, I feel that this is an important topic which deserves to be covered, so we should try to work towards resolving the above issues; in particular, we really need to cover more of the context. — Johan the Ghost seance 12:11, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I will search something on the following days, could 1984 Argentina and Chile Peace and Friendship Treaty be ok as a title for a new article ? Jor70 12:29, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. And here's a good reference: [3]. Another: [4]; English copy of the treaty: [5]. — Johan the Ghost seance 12:40, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
1984 Argentina and Chile Peace and Friendship Treaty is a start. Todo: find/create some maps, add categories, ... Jor70 16:14, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
You've done a good job on that article, well done! The only problem I see now is that it doesn't really relate to Cape Horn. The Picton, Lennox and Nueva article is a good place to refer to this, but Cape Horn didn't really seem to be involved in the dispute. What do you think? — Johan the Ghost seance 13:03, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! BTW, could you please check the grammar of the new article. You are right about the relation, I didnt realized about the islands article since I wrote the Treaty, I thought before we could move it to See also due all the area wasnt clearly limited until it was signed, but now I seeing that the Political section also talks about Ushuaia that is cleary far away of Cape Horn and much close to the conflict area, so perhaps the mention of the Treaty should stay. Jor70 20:59, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I have to say there really doesn't seem to be any case for discussing the treaty in this article, since it's just not related. Ushuaia is mentioned because it's the nearest large town (hence the place you would fly to to visit the area). I've moved the treaty to the "See also" section. — Johan the Ghost seance 17:40, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Don Francisco de Hoces[edit]

I can find no English-language reference for the following, or even to support the existence of "Don Francisco de Hoces"; OTOH, I have any number of references which show Drake as the first likely rounder of the Horn. Therefore weight of evidence compels me to remove this for now. If we can find some reputable references to back this up, and to explain why the Drake version has become so widely accepted, we can revisit this:

In 1526, Don Francisco de Hoces, captain of the San Lesmes (part of a fleet of seven ships commanded by Don Garcia Jofré de Loyosa) was forced south when trying to cross the Strait of Magellan, reaching 55º south before turning north and passing by Cape Horn in their way to rejoin the fleet.[6] [7].

BTW, saying that the "real" name of the Drake Passage is "Mar del Hoces" is absurd; every chart shows it as the Drake Passage. — Johan the Ghost seance 16:56, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Notes to Editors[edit]

Capitalisation / Naming[edit]

  • "The Cape" is the Cape of Good Hope (in traditional sailors' usage).
  • "The cape" refers to whatever cape is under discussion.
  • "The Horn" is Cape Horn.

Johan the Ghost seance 16:56, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Reverted unsourced addition[edit]

I reverted the following addition, because it is unsourced, and a lot of it is duplication of existing material:

The islands and shoal water south of the Horn refract (bend) the waves. These waves then add to other waves downwind creating very large steep dangerous waves. The 4000 feet deep current of the Southern Ocean hits the continental shelf around the Horn and is directed upward. This upwelling interacts with the waves increasing their height and steepness. It also refracts the waves, changing their direction, leading to waves that add together downstream. The deep waters south of the continental shelf offer much safer passage in heavy weather.

It can go in if it can be better integrated into the existing text, and backed up with sources. — Johan the Ghost seance 17:45, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Relevant to Argentina also[edit]

Hi Wikipedians: not to promote unrest, but to keep things balanced, I've added the tag for "Wikiproject Argentina" as this geographic feature is of utmost importance to that country as well as Chile.
The reason why: it is the southernmost point of the border between both countries, as has been stated in international traties between them. I don't think necessary to source this comment, but if anyone feels that is needed please let me know and will find out and include "verifiable" evidence.
By the way, I believe the article is very good, although no reference at all is made to Argentina but only to Chile (why?).
Kind regards, DPdH (talk) 04:06, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually Cape Horn is no more the southern boundary between these two countries than say Staten Island (Isla de Los Estados) or Mount Aconcagua. Both of these later points are well within the borders of Argentina, as Cape Horn is well within Chile's. The former, Staten Island (Isla del los Estados) is almost exactly the same distance, 71 miles, from the nearest Chilean Land (Isla Nueva) as Cape Horn is from the nearest land in Argentina (near Bahia Sloggett). Aconcagua is, if I recall correctly, less than 10 miles from the border from Chile.

Given these facts, I can find no way to explain your confusion as to why Argentina is not mentioned in this article or why it could possibly belong in the Wikiproject Argentina any more than Isla de los Estados or Aconcagua belongs in the Wikiproject Chile. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Argentina-Tag retired. --Keysanger (talk) 17:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Bathing Machine[edit]

This reference in the quoted passage from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast "the little brig, which was no better than a bathing machine" should link to so that people will know what a bathing machine is. Thanks for a great article! Rumjal rumjal 11:25, 20 June 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumjal (talkcontribs)

Work needed[edit]

Hello everyone - please see the comments made by User:Arsenikk at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Cape Horn/archive1. Although this FAR nomination has been placed on hold to allow for this notification to be made, significant work needs to be made on the article if the FAR is to be cancelled. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Dana boomer (talk) 17:56, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Literature section[edit]

I think this should be removed since there's no real rhyme or reason to it. It's just examplefarming. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 18:02, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I find there are good reasons for the section. But the long excerpts could be shortened or sensible distributed. --Keysanger 12:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Joshua Slocum has not rounded The Horn[edit]

1. In chapter 7 of his book "Sailing Alone Around the World" (1900) he discribes how he passed through the Magellan Strait once the regular way... and once more half the way via the Cockburn Canal after he was blown south by a storm (Chapter 8).

2. (Different subject) Francis Drake has never seen The Horn, which was proven by an English jury in about 1620 after English polititians claimed that the profit of finding a second way between America and Terra Australis belongs to England and not to the Spanish Netherlands. Arguments: 1. Drake's very tidy logbooks show that he was never south of 55°S (Longitudes could not be determined at that time). 2. The testimonies of Drake's crew did not fit to the landscape at the Horn. 3. Neither Drake nor his investors nor the admiralty has ever taken chance of this discovery, which was worth more than all the treasures Drake has robed; so the information was never given or the not using of it over 40 years and some wars with Spain must be rated as a high treason by the people in charge.

-- (talk) 18:23, 24 May 2012 (UTC)CBa


How is it that not one of the maps on this page actually shows where Cape Horn is, exactly? john k (talk) 19:29, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Take a look here File:Caphorn1.svg and think Spanish (hint: "Cabo de Hornos"). --Best regards, Keysanger (what?) 09:26, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

possible discrepancy?[edit]

"Thus, a few recreational sailors continue to sail this route, sometimes as part of a circumnavigation of the globe, and almost all of these choosing routes through the channels to the north of the Cape." vs "The open waters of the Drake Passage, south of Cape Horn, provide by far the widest route, at about 800 kilometres (500 mi) wide; this passage offers ample sea room for maneuvering as winds change, and is the route used by most ships and sailboats, despite the possibility of extreme wave conditions." This looks like a contradiction or is confusing to say the least.

Puerto Toro[edit]

"Puerto Toro, a few miles south of Puerto Williams, is the closest town to the cape."

According to Google Maps, Puerto Toro is about FORTY kilometers SOUTHEAST of Puerto Williams. (talk) 19:14, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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