Rounding the Horn of South America on the MS Veendam

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the safest way to get from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast was to sail around the tip of South America. “Rounding the Horn,” they called it, referring to the often rough and dangerous passage for sailing ships via the island promontory called Cape Horn. Prospectors from the east chose clipper ships to make it to the California Gold Rush. Commercial shipping, too, continued to use the difficult …

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Aboard the ms Veendam: A dodgy day at sea

ABOARD THE ms VEENDAM — Lots of veteran cruisers say that they absolutely just love a day at sea. Ah, yes, we can relax, can’t we? Get things done without any hectic shore excursions to prepare for. But then today day is our first day out of Valparaiso and we haven’t had any shore excursions yet. We don’t have any laundry to do either. Still, it seems too soon to open a book, doesn’t it? In contrast …

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Preparation: The adventure begins as I head to South America

Walnut Creek, California, Nov. 4, 2012. Whenever I’m getting ready to take major trip, I do as many other optimistic souls do. I first make a list. You know — things to do before leaving and then what items to be absolutely sure to take on the journey. Often the first thing to occur after that is that I lose the list. That’s okay, I shrug my shoulders and make a second list. Item No. 1: “Find …

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