22nd December 1832

[Cape Horn]
Tierra del Fuego
In the morning watch it freshened into a fine Easterly wind, which is about as lucky & rare an event as getting a prize ticket in a lottery. We soon closed in with the Barnevelts; & running past Cape Deceit with its stony peaks, about 3 oclock doubled the old-weather-beaten Cape Horn. The evening was calm & bright & we enjoyed a fine view of the surrounding isles. The height of the hills varies from 7 or 800 to 1700, & together they form a grand irregular chain. Cape Horn however demanded his tribute & by night sent us a gale right in our teeth.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
On the 22d we saw Cape Horn, and being favoured with northerly winds, passed close to the southward of it before three o'clock. The wind then shifted to north-west, and began to blow strong. Squalls came over the heights of Hermite Island, and a very violent one, with thick weather, decided my standing out to sea for the night under close-reefed topsails. The weather continued bad and very cold during that night and next day.

Syms Covington’s Journal:

Weathered Cape Horn the 22nd with a pleasant breeze, AND with studding sails set, a thing but rarely done. WE HAD A very fine view of the Cape and adjacent islands. Hermit Islands or the Cape is a small bare island, its top HAVING the appearance of a saddle.

By our having a gentle breeze, we sailed very close to the Rock and from thence stood away; but this breeze, in the first watch, turned to one of a very different nature viz. that of blowing a heavy gale, which obliged us to take in the studding sails etc., and close reefed our main topsail. It is well known that the weather HERE is very precarious, which obliges every one to be on the alert.

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