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Rounding Cape Horn in the depth of winter means catching the lee of Staten Island, hugging it closely, and then bucking the worst waves known in the world. Old mariners say that they run 60ft. high there. But they are wrong. Scientific men know that the highest wave is about 15ft. from the height of the ocean level. Even so, with the dip and the rise it must be fierce — to use a Western expression. And that's what the storm-worn sailing vessels have to encounter. This Cape Horn winter season seems to have eclipsed itself. The following is a list of disasters at present known: — August 5. — American ship Shenandoah, Baltimore to San Francisco, put into Melbourne in distress, leaking (damaged off Cape Horn). British ship Glencairn, Rochester, England, for Seattle, wrecked at Cape San Paulo (near Cape Horn), about August 9. British ship Indore, from Hamburg for San Francisco, wrecked about August 10 on Staten Island. American barque Prussia, from Norfolk, Va., for Bremerton, wrecked on Staten Island about August 10. British ship Louden Hill, from Liverpool for Vancouver, arrived at Capetown August 17, damaged by storms off Cape Horn, with 13in. water in hold, pumps broken, and deck badly damaged. On August 21 the Italian ship, Elisa, after being buffeted off the Horn, had put in there with binnacle and compass carried away, steering gear damaged, and loss of sails. American ship Tillie E. Starbuck, from New York for Honolulu, abandoned at sea; heavy weather nearing Cape Horn. This is the heaviest list yet recorded, but there are, looking at the fears of underwriters, possibly more to hear from. The Panama Canal, when built, will do away with the Cape Horn trouble, and ¬†on that account alone would justify Itself.

Source: "Mercury" (Hobart, Tas.), 6 December 1907
Clipped: 22-IX-2012
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