Although he'd never even been to South America, yachtsman Roth had such a library about Cape Horn that everybody thought he'd already rounded it. But he knew that the Horn was to be his graduation as a deepwater sailor, its legendary dangers calling forth his utmost skills. So he and his wife Margaret, a veteran who favors short trips broken by exotic shopping, sailed from California for the islands and fjords of Chile and the crosswinds of the Cape. They quickly find themselves into the pulsing, quivering, shaking, exploding, brutal Southern Ocean, ""a froth of whitened fury."" The stops along the coast for restocking allow for pleasant travelogue padding about Chilean port customs. A trip up a fjord through the Andes finds them trapped by a snap storm. The Strait of Magellan, in turn, is a mass of foam and gusting winds, and there they are shipwerecked on an uninhabited islet, 24 miles from the Horn. For nine days they survive exposure and cold until a Chilean torpedo boat rescues them. After a nerve-wracking salvage job, they stock up for a three-month run and make their second attempt at the Horn. Rounding Tierra del Fuego, they are stormbound (and wildly excited) and ride out a two-and-a-half day winter gale before their final triumphant entry into the Atlantic and their first sight of albatrosses with 14-foot wingspans. Lots of sailing history filler but no one will mind, since Roth can charm you out of your armchair.