Chile and Holland have begun activities in anticipation of the major celebration of the discovery of Cabo de Hornos/Kaap Hoorn which will be officially commemorated 19 January 2016.
Earlier this month in the Rotterdam Maritime Museum the Chilean ambassador in The Hague Juan Martabit and the Director of the Museum Frits Loomeijer held a special conference on the 400 years of Cape Horn with the participation of academics from both countries.
Omar Ortiz, professor and archaeologist at the Amsterdam University painted a picture of Chile at the time (territories claimed by the Spanish crown) and how navigators and explorers of different nationalities, interacted with the indigenous population when trying to adventure through the Magellan strait and the island of Chiloé.
Dutch historian and former head of the Maritime Museum Humphrey Hazelhoff Roelfzema referred to the maritime exploration adventures from several Dutch captains, particularly Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire and how the discovery of Cape Horn took place and was registered.
Chilean navy captain Ronald McIntyre talked about the current situation of Cape Horn and the Chilean navy’s task of ensuring maritime traffic, conservation of the environment and search and rescue operations in the area to protect human lives.
The commemoration activities are scheduled to continue in Holland with the support of the Chilean embassy and include exhibitions, conferences, exchange visits of academics, and an overall effort to invite Holland to join in the celebration of the 400 years epic discovery and history since then.
Cape Horn, Cabo de Hornos and Kaap Hoorn is named after the city of Hoorn and was discovered by navigators Schouten and Le Maire when they were searching for a new passage that would facilitate access to the very much coveted spices markets, one of the main trade items of those times.
A few years after discovery Kapp Hoorn would become one of the busiest sea fares in the world.