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Sailors Run Setting Off for Cape Horn

Debbie & Jeff Hartjoy enjoy one last cocktail together before Jeff sets off on his Cape Horn Adventure.

Sailors Run
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our Coupeville, WA-based Baba 40 Sailors Run is set in the blocks and my Cape Horn Adventure is ready to begin. I’ll be dropping off the buoy at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning and I find myself facing the greatest challenge of my life: a 5,000-mile nonstop solo passage around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I knew this day would come four months ago when, while beating down the coast of Peru to Callao, a suburb of Lima, I noticed I was within 3,000 miles of the infamous Cape Horn.

Cruising had lost some of its excitement for me as there were no big ocean passages planned for the near future but rather short hops and hanging out. Granted, this is a delightful part of cruising but one I had personally become a little bored with. My wife Debbie was going back to the States to work for several months so when I saw the Horn was with in my grasp, I said why not! There are lots of reasons not to do it, and many of my friends pointed out several I’d overlooked, but not being one who’s put off by the fears of others, I just did the best I could to deal with my own fears.

One of the many ways Jeff prepared for his trip was to rig Sailors Run with freshly made baggywrinkles.

© Jeff Hartjoy

Sailors Run has been gone over thoroughly from stem to stern and I feel she is ready for the voyage. I personally have been running five miles a day and can actually run the distance in 34 minutes — not a bad time for an old guy of 62.

The first 2,000 miles will most likely be beating to weather against the southeast trades and looks to be the easiest part of the trip. Once through the South Pacific High and into the roaring 40s and howling 50s, there will be 2,000 miles of the wildest sailing conditions that are likely to be encountered anywhere. It’s here that weather faxes and actual timing of approaching lows from the west will be most critical. I’ve been studying these for over two months and feel I understand their typical routes along my intended path.

Hartjoy’s survival gear includes his commemorative T-shirts from the ’99 and ’06 Baja Ha-Has.

© Jeff Hartjoy

I’m praying my electronics stay dry and operational throughout the entire journey — they should if I can keep this thing right side up all the way. Follow my progress in the pages of Latitude 38 and here in ‘Lectronic.

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