If you are a person who likes adventure, we recommend that you make an expedition through the Sea of Hoces. In this article we are going to show you a little more about the Mar de Hoces, so you have more information about one of the most exciting places on the planet.
Crossing the Sea of Sickles
The waters of the Sea of Sickles are considered one of the most complicated on the planet. Any sailor you ask will tell you that crossing this sea is an adventure. Fortunately, today there are much more modern boats that allow you to cross the Sea of Hoces with greater safety.
We are no longer talking about a caravel like the one in which the explorers of Spain embarked in their day, but these modern ships are capable of weathering any storm. This does not mean that crossing the Sea of Hoces is something simple, since it is an adventure.
Crossing the Sea of Hoces on a sailboat, an adventure!
3 hours ago we set sail heading northeast, we are leaving Antwerp Island on our starboard fin, we have 600 miles ahead, we are going to cross the Sea of Hoces (Drake Passage) again.
This is always a bit scary and can not be taken lightly, you have to read many factors, this type of navigation is very different from what we earthlings are used to. If you are lucky it can be a quiet crossing and if not, it can be quite hard, this is like a logarithm, which are so fashionable lately, you have to do a reading of the weather, the gusts, the waves, your boat, the crew, etc.
Crossing the Sea of Hoces on a sailboat is an adventure. Fortunately, these sailboats have all the necessary safety measures so that you can cross the Sea of Hoces without problem, however, it is important to have a good physical shape or not have any impediment. As you can imagine from its waters, storms are the order of the day and it is common to find waves 4 meters high. A wave of 4 meters high is something very natural, since, on a bad day, you can find waves up to 10 meters high. This difficulty means that to cross the Sea of Sickles the sailor must be experienced.
On the other hand, it is also common to make use of radar technology to know how far the journey can be safe. As we have mentioned, 4-meter waves can be found on a calm day. When conditions are worse it is better not to risk and travel on a safer day.
One of the main dangers that the Sea of Sickles has and that makes it such a complicated stretch is that the ocean currents are strong and changing. In the same way that happens with the weather, it is possible that it changes without warning triggering a strong storm causing more than one dizziness.
In the case of the Sea of Hoces, these currents are much stronger because they converge the Antarctic Circumpolar and the South Atlantic currents. When these two currents collide with each other is when the waves we have talked about occur, reaching 10 meters high in the worst case. It should be remembered that the only risk is not in the waters, since the winds are also the strongest and, of course, it is very cold. Without a doubt it is a complete experience and adventure to be able to cross this Sea of Hoces. Today, few points on the planet are as complicated to overcome even with current technology.
These difficulties cause many boats to surround its waters and, of course, that all those who want to enjoy the adventure are encouraged to cross them. If you dare to cross the Sea of Hoces it is important that you are well prepared to withstand some of the most extreme conditions. We have no doubt that the experience is unbeatable and that you will not regret your decision to cross it.
Where is the Sea of Hoces?
When we talk about the Sea of Sickles we are also talking about the Drake Passage. This Sea of Sickles is the stretch of sea that separates South America from Antarctica and, to be more specific, between Cape Horn in Chile and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica.
This Sea of Sickles is about 800 kilometers long and, of course, is considered one of the most complicated seas to cross today due to how stormy its waters are.
Why is it called Mar de Hoces? Who was Francisco de Hoces?
The Sea of Hoces owes its name to its discoverer, Francisco de Hoces. However, it is also known as the Drake Passage, as you can imagine, also because of the discovery of the Englishman Francis Drake.
However, it was Francisco de Hoces who crossed it first in 1526. The Spanish navigator was leading an expedition to the Moluccas, an archipelago located in Indonesia. It could be said that the discovery of the Sea of Sickles was not premeditated. This is because this expedition of the crown of Castile had to divert its course due to the strong storm that was in Tierra del Fuego. The ship of Francisco de Hoces was called San Lesmes and this could not take refuge like the rest of the expedition and had to deviate further south than initially known.
If the storm had not occurred and tried to avoid, probably the Sea of Sickles would have been discovered later. Francisco de Hoces was able to cross the sea despite the storm and then meet with the rest of the expedition and tell them what they had discovered. Unfortunately for Francisco de Hoces, he would never reach the Moluccas nor return to Spain. A second storm in that area caused the San Lesmes to separate from the expedition once again and, in this case, it would never be heard from again.
52 years after the discovery of Francisco de Hoces, the pirate Sir Francis Drake would circle Tierra del Fuego and put his name to the discovery of Francisco. He made sure that everyone knew that this area was known as the Drake Passage, so this sea is known by both names.
This morning we stowed the boat then sailed with our 6 sails at the same time and we have practiced some maneuver, I have to tell you that the boat looks beautiful with its 6 sails, there are van… Genoa, ratchet, fisherman, entrepalos 1, entrepalos 2, major.
It looks imposing, after sailing a little through Palmer Bay, seeing some whale, the wind disappeared, I decided to make a small barbecue on deck and my famous potato omelette, as we were sailing quietly through this waters of Antarctica …
Don’t forget, we are in Antarctica, it is not easy to go further… It is a shame to leave, I for myself, I would stay until the end of March and I would travel the peninsula quietly, it does not matter, I return in a few days with a new crew full of desire and illusion, I love this, as I told you a few days ago …
Let's talk about today and now...
At this time we are going to motor we have fog you have to be very aware of the icebergs, when going out to the open sea there are almost no small ones, but if we can find good size and these are more dangerous. We go 2 people watching and pending radar.
We expect wind from the southwest within about 6 hours, then about 12 hours north will come and then the party will begin, we will have winds of up to 45 knots or more, I wait for fin and we will jump for joy …
The strategy is to gain west for when the strong west wind arrives and we can show our fin, then the south west wind will come and we will fly towards the Cape Horn area. You have to arrive early because it seems that then the north wind gets and in this area you do not have to get cool against the sea or against the wind, you have to go with him and accompany him as if we were lovers …
I’ll tell you how things are going, I just hope the crew feels comfortable and enjoys it…
The experience of returning to Antarctica, for me has been what I expected I have been able to live it more calmly and it looks like every time I return it will be better, here there is a magic and incomparable grandeur with nothing in the world, you feel the continent alive and you inside it, it is simply wonderful.
I pass the position in case you want to join us …
Wind 5 knots
Water temperature 0.5 degrees
Speed 6.9 knots
Mood of the tripu, very good, almost everyone rests and that’s good …
PS. This is a message for the 3 children of Juan, crew member of Mallorca who is with us. Juan says: “As you continue not to accompany him from time to time to sail, he will come here and you will not see his hair … I send you a Alegria Sailors from Antarctica”
That you know that this same thing happened to me and in the end I went to sail the world … I’ll leave it there…
As I like sailing, adventure, life, challenges and the new, you have to feel it… At least to me this makes me feel alive and fulfilled …
Luismi, a huge hug, you have to come, you deserve it and you know I will always be there, I’m so sorry.