Around Cape Horn

Captain Irving Johnson’s 1929 sail on the “Peking” was during commercial sailing’s twilight.

He captured the crew’s life and a fierce storm on film. Killer commentary.

“Around Cape Horn” is currently ranked #3 in my Best Sailing Documentaries list

Watch Around Cape Horn

Stream it for free on YouTube by clicking the embed video above or going here:


  • My Rating: 97 (out of 100)
  • IMDB Rating: n/a
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: n/a

Review of “Around Cape Horn”

Here are the notes I took while watching it (stuff I found interesting).

  • At the start of the doc, Captain Irving Johnson trains for his sailing voyage. He rides pre-chain bicycles and climbs electric poles, simulating a mast.
  • The captain’s dog is trained to bite the slowest trainee’s foot. The dog, always tough, has never been petted and bites if petted.
  • Crew members work shifts: 4 hours on, 4 hours off.
  • The Skipper is skilled in all ship aspects, even cutting hair and spearing fish.
  • A sick turkey onboard is eaten before its death, causing no illness.
  • The ship, weighing 8,000 tons, reaches 18 knots using only sails.
  • They encounter a 13-foot jellyfish, the largest they’ve seen.
  • Two crew members are washed overboard on the return trip, met with silence.
  • At 24:50, a massive storm hits the ship. Skippers say they’ve never seen a ship survive such a storm. Another storm hits at 26:50, with winds over 100 mph.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc