Cape Horn in a 19 fot boat 1976-80

Aluminium-Bris 1976-1980, 5,9 meter, 19’ 5’’ Beam 2,4 meter


1976 I started to build a 19 foot aluminum boat in Sweden. 1978 the boat was ready for some trails. Here she is in the Göteborg archipelago in 50 knots wind. She behaved well, she was ready for Cape Horn.

1979 with an Italian girl I sailed south passing an uninhabited island. We did not stop.
The picture shows my mate having caught an Dorado. She was an excellent fisherman and cook. I was happy days. Please note that I do not have an cockpit. I think it is much better to have a big nice aft deck were you can stretch out. Furthermore it extends the boats range of vanishing stability and gives a lot of room inside. On this boat I used it for a nice aft salon with a superb vieuw.
This is a picture of my boat under construction. My beloved aft cabin is facing the camera.

In Brazil my mate left to continue her studies in philosophy at the University of Milan. I continued singlehanded to Mar del Plata in Argentina. Unfortunately during the crossing I had developed an hernia and had to have an operation. When I was back in shape It was already May but there was a lot of corrosion eating on the aluminum hull so I did not feel like waiting another year for the warmerand not so dark season.

This is a map of my track and dates. It was 1980 and my sole means of navigation offshore was sextant and compass. Astro navigation in the winter was difficult as the sun did not raise to more than about ten degrees at noon and the azimuth was pretty much the same at sunrise and sunset. Also I only caught glimpses of the sun even on the best days. Yeas navigation was my biggest problem although it was very cold in the southern winter in an aluminum boat without heating. I think ordinary people have a hard time to understand the problems of a small boat single hander rounding the Horn in the winter against wind and current so I will not go into more details.

After succesfully rounding the horn and taking a few picture of her turned around and sailed east to the Falklands wich I reached on midwinters eve. I was satisfied having rounded the Horn and I wanted to go back to Sweden and build a new boat in a new material.

This is a page from my Swedish book “MED BRIS MOT KAP HORN” the top picture is of Cape Horn the bottom is from my boat tied up to a local boat in Port Stanley in the Falklands.

One day, to my great surprise, I got a letter from the Royal Cruising Club England. They informed me that I had recieved their Medal of Seamanship. The letter came on their one hundred anniversary. I and my mouther became very proud as the 13 previus recievers included names like Chichester Moitessier and Knox Johnston. I was also proud that they finished by stating that I clearly had been in absolute contro all the time during my expedition.

The text is from Royal Cruising Club Journal 1980 page 245 and Rules 1979 page 13click on it to make it larger

More pictures from the journey.

click on the images to enlarge them and for more text!