Three ships around the Southern CapesFeb 8, 2013
Dutch tall ships
Sometimes it pays to get there first. By a quirk of history, the accepted international names for two of the five great southern capes are of Dutch origin: Cape Leeuwin (the SW point of Australia) and Cape Horn (the others being the Cape of Good Hope, named by John II of Portugal; the Southeast Cape of Tasmania; and the Southwest Cape of Stewart Island/NZ).
Now three Dutch tall ships, the barque Europa, the schooner Oosterschelde and the schooner Tecla, are sailing from Cape Town in part to commemorate the Dutch explorers Cornelis de Houtman, Abel Tasman and Van Diemen, who were the first Europeans to see many of these Southern Ocean lands.
The expedition started in November 2012 from Rotterdam with the ships making their way independently to Cape Town. But from Cape Town to Mauritius, to Australia, New Zealand around Cape Horn and then north up the Atlantic, the three vessels will sail together. The ships will be taking paying passengers to augment the professional crew. If you're interested in going along on a leg of the trip, go the expedition's web site for more information.