Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Heading south-southwest down the Cape Horn. The three-story high swells have adequately allowed the area to be known as the "roaring forties". Sail further and one will experience the "furious fifties" and worse, the "shrieking sixties". I've often wondered how many men have given the thought of going to hell just to warm up a consideration. With waters bellow zero, as well as decks becoming ice rinks, and rigging freezing to the point of being as hard as iron the weather shows it's cruelty. This would not frighten many sailors. It is the sea itself, in all her anger, grace, and volatile moods. Imagine waves the size of a small hillock, sixty to eighty feel high and with a crest. Maelstroms with depths as high as the masts on a tall ship. A well earned name for this expanse is the "God forsaken seas". Ships are in good fortune to pass it unscathed by The Cape Horn's beauty and danger.
I've just described what anyone wishing to map the west coast of the "new land" had to go through. The more I think about it, the more worth it would seem to be. Indeed, the descriptions put forth by early explorers have made the new world appear to be the paradise once lost.
However, this is not entirely what I wish to put forward. Plainly said, I wish there was more undiscovered land right now. I feel robbed of the chance to go and find something worth finding. To be the first person there and simply say "I am the first person here".
I have become slightly agitated at my inability to look at a map or chart and read "thus Ends all Known waters". Every islet , peninsula , protected harbour or cove is mapped. One can simply go to Google Earth and type in either the name or the coordinates for it and bang, there it is. I want to go somewhere, with great effort , and be able to say, this is what I know about here.
Some could call this arrogance. I'm not sure what I'd call it. I think I am a little tired of being able to know anything I want anytime. It is tempting to go on a sailing trip, not a great voyage or anything just for a weekend. On this trip I would not bring a map, just a few plotting tools, and try to be as innocently ignorant as possible. I think I would then feel like I am a true cartographer, searching for information for my country, before someone else can put mark on it.