Rounding the Horn

Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives–a Deck’s-eye View of Cape Horn (Paperback)

From Publishers Weekly

Even landlubbers may recognize Cape Horn as the Americas’ southernmost tip. Between this crag of rock and Antarctica lies the Drake Passage, whose waters are the planet’s most consistently violent. Of a trip through these latitudes, sailors warned, “Below 40 South there is no law, below 50 South there is no God.” Murphy, a mystery writer and nautical journalist, sailed there from Ushuaia, Argentina, in a 53-foot sloop and carefully points out that he only visited the island rather than sailing around it. He revels in the tales of those who made the entire trip, however, and spends much time vividly recounting their adventures, found in old books with thrilling titles like The World Encompassed and A Two Years’ Cruise off Tierra Del Fuego. Nautical buffs will find some of these yarns familiar: Darwin’s South American voyages aboard HMS Beagle were the subject of last fall’s Evolution’s Captain, by Peter Nichols, and Murphy’s version adds little to the story beyond subtle interpretive differences. Another chapter touches upon the U.S. Navy’s South Seas Exploring Expedition, chronicled at length by Nathaniel Philbrick in Sea of Glory (also published last fall). Yet such narrative retreads are offset by the details of Murphy’s own voyage (his desire to explore almost set off an international incident with the Chilean government). As exciting as Murphy’s historical yarns are, it’s always a treat to return to him and his crew as they brave the elements at the end of the earth. Maps.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Cape Horn is the southernmost point of South America, in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Murphy, a novelist and journalist, sailed to Cape Horn in 2000. He chronicles the history of the cape and describes in detail the many ships that have made the voyage, battered by the unique weather with its treacherous winds. Francis Drake and Robert FitzRoy are two of the many explorers whose voyages Murphy recounts here. (FitzRoy was the captain of the Beagle and Charles Darwin was its most famous passenger.) Much of the book deals with Murphy’s own trip to Cape Horn. In vivid prose, he describes the ship and observes and wonders about birds and other animals; he makes readers experience the island wilderness as if firsthand, and feel for themselves the driving rain and wind that he encountered. The book will interest those looking for an adventure but too frightened to actually make the trip. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“an enjoyable primer, compellingly salty in its retellings… a highly readable and meticulously researched homage to the world’s most ragged extremity.” — NICK THORPE DAILY TELEGRAPH ‘Rounding the Horn’ is an enthralling book that covers plenty of ground and water…Dallas Murphy writes with the authority of someone who has been to the places he describes…That point of view is especially agreeable when it results in a book as good as this one’ ASSOCIATED PRESS ‘A delightful book that mixes history and travel. Murphy brings to life people, places and the past, exploring uncharted waters with Columbus, da Gama, Balboa and Magellan…I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading, curling up comfortably for such an articulate adventure. Murphy’s writing SEATTLE TIMES “Cape Horn is the southernmost point of South America, in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Murphy, a novelist and Journalist, sailed to Cape Horn in 2000. He chronicles the history of the cape and describes in detail the many ships that have made the voyage, battered by the unique weather with its treacherous winds. Francis Drake and Robert FitzRoy are two of the many explorers whose voyages Murphy recounts here.” BOOKLIST “Much of the book deals with Murphy’s own trip to Cape Horn. In vivid prose, he describes the ship and observes and wonders about birds and other animals; he makes readers experience the island wilderness as if firsthand, and feel for themselves the driving rain and wind that he encountered.” BOOKLIST –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

Fifty-five degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West: Cape Horn-a buttressed pyramid of crumbly rock situated at the very bottom of South America-is a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad. For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s a place where the storms are bigger, the winds stronger, and the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth.Dallas Murphy has always been sea-struck. In Rounding the Horn he undertakes the ultimate maritime rite of passage, and brings the reader along for a thrilling, exuberant tour. Weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with long-lost tales of those who braved the Cape before him-from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook-and interspersing them with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness, Murphy has crafted an immensely enjoyable read.