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世界上海况最恶劣的航道

更新时间:2019/5/23 20:32:49 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is this the world's most dangerous sea route?
世界上海况最恶劣的航道

When I was a child, my grandfather Alfred Downes often spoke about the 128-day journey that he took in 1949 aboard the Pamir. The famous four-masted barque, a German Flying P-Liner ship, was sailing from Port Elizabeth in Adelaide, Australia, to the town of Falmouth in Cornwall, England, filled with 60,000 sacks of Australian grain. It was the barque’s final journey through the stormy seas of the Drake Passage, and it would be the last time a commercial sailing ship ever rounded Cape Horn in southern Chile.

小时候,我的祖父唐斯(Alfred Downes)经常说起他1949年在帕米尔号(Pamir)上度过的128天的航程。这艘著名的四桅帆船是一艘德国Flying-P-Line货运船,满载着6万袋产自澳大利亚的谷物,从澳大利亚阿德莱德的伊丽莎白港(Port Elizabeth)驶往英格兰康沃尔郡的法尔茅斯(Falmouth)。这是这艘船最后一次穿越波涛汹涌的德雷克海峡(Drake Passage),也是商用帆船最后一次驶过智利南端的合恩角(Cape Horn)。

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of my grandfather’s voyage and the upcoming 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait of Magellan sea route that separates South America’s southernmost tip with Chile’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago, I boarded the Ventus Australis expedition cruise liner in Punta Arenas, Chile. I had always wanted to see some of the landscapes my grandfather spoke about, and while it was impossible to replicate his four-month odyssey, my four-night jaunt let me follow in the spirit of his adventure, taking me through the Strait’s narrow fjords that he sailed around and then south to the climax of his voyage: the perilous Cape Horn headland that stayed with him for the rest of his life.

为了纪念祖父航海70周年,以及即将到来的麦哲伦海峡(Strait of Magellan)航路发现500周年,我在智利的港口城市蓬塔阿里纳斯(Punta Arenas)登上了澳大利亚“南方探险号”(Ventus Australis)探测船。麦哲伦海峡是南美洲最南端与智利火地岛群岛(Tierra del Fuego)之间的海道。我一直都很想亲眼看看祖父经常谈到的风景,虽然不可能复制他长达四个月的艰苦历程,但四天的短途旅行也足以让我追随他的冒险精神,穿过狭窄的峡湾,然后一直南下直至旅程中最重要的一站,即波涛翻滚危机四伏的合恩角。对这个南美最南端海角的回忆一直伴随着祖父的余生。

My grandfather left Australia as a 20-year-old deckhand on the Pamir and never returned home. He had long dreamed of leaving Australia, as his relationship with his father was not a happy one. His father wanted him to marry a girl from his hometown in the Adelaide suburbs and work on the family farm. Instead, he wanted to start a new life in England. It was a country that he knew little about, but he had always been fascinated by its history as a schoolboy.

我的祖父20岁时离开了澳大利亚,到帕米尔号上当水手,就再也没有回过家乡。由于和他父亲的关系并不融洽,他一直梦想着离开澳大利亚。他的父亲想让他娶一个家乡阿德莱德郊区的女孩,然后留在家里的农场工作。可是祖父却想在英国开始新的生活。虽然对英国知之甚少,但当他还是个小学生时就对英国历史十分着迷。

When an opportunity to join the Pamir arose courtesy of a family friend, my grandfather quickly accepted and boarded the ship three days later alongside 33 other crewmembers. He worked 18-hour shifts and spent his days cleaning and mopping the deck, helping in the kitchen and emptying toilets. He hated the work so much that while other crewmembers were signing up for the 128-day return voyage back to Australia, he disembarked and headed straight to the town of Wymondham in Norfolk. He’d heard rumours there were opportunities for farmers in the market town’s rolling countryside, and he lived there for 54 years until he died in 2003.

一位家族的朋友邀请我的祖父加入帕米尔号,我的祖父欣然接受,三天后与其他33名船员一同登上了这艘船。他每天工作18个小时,白天打扫甲板、拖地,在厨房帮忙,清理厕所。他非常讨厌这份工作,以至于抵达英国后,当其他船员报名参加为期128天的返航回澳大利亚时,他下了船就直奔诺福克郡的怀蒙德姆(Wymondham),因为他听说在这个丘陵起伏的乡野农民有很多机会。祖父在那里生活了54年,直到2003年去世。

The only things my grandfather loved about the journey were seeing the remote Tierra del Fuego archipelago that shelters the Strait of Magellan from the ocean, breathing the Antarctic air deep into his lungs and feeling the icy-cold breeze blowing in his face. “It was like nowhere else on Earth and a far cry from my life working on my father’s dry and arid farm,” he told me when I was a 10-year-old boy, with a look of wonder in his eyes. “Not one single thing reminded me of home. I felt lost and frightened, yet free.”

对这段航海生涯,祖父唯一怀念的就是眺望将麦哲伦海峡与大海隔开的火地岛群岛,怀念深深呼吸的南极空气,及吹拂脸庞的冰冷微风。“地球上找不到第二个这样的地方,这和我在父亲干燥贫瘠的农场上的生活相差得实在太远。”我10岁的时候,祖父这样告诉我,他眼神里充满了惊奇。他说:“没有任何一件事能让我想家。虽然感到迷茫害怕,但又自由自在。”

Seventy years later, I arrived in Punta Arenas and wandered through the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas. A bronze statue of Ferdinand Magellan, the first European to navigate the eponymous strait in 1520 during his global, circumnavigational voyage, towers over a cannon. The Portuguese explorer sailed near the present-day city – located near the southernmost stretch of Chile’s Patagonia region – and, as evidenced by the discolouration of his bronze boots, it is now considered good luck for those boarding cruises to touch Magellan’s toes before following in his footsteps and journeying through his strait.

70年后,我来到了蓬塔阿里纳斯,漫步在这座城市的中央广场阿玛斯广场(Plaza de Armas)。麦哲伦(Ferdinand Magellan)的铜像耸立在一门大炮上。1520年,麦哲伦是第一个在环球航行中穿越这片海峡的欧洲人,这片海峡也因此以他命名。这位葡萄牙航海家当时航行经过了智利巴塔哥尼亚(Patagonia)地区最南端的这座城市。他的青铜靴子已经被人摸得掉色,因为人们认为,在追随麦哲伦的脚步穿越海峡之前,摸他的脚趾头能带来好运。

For nearly 400 years, the Strait of Magellan was the main route for ships travelling between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Despite its narrow 600km-long passage through a clustered network of islands and fjords, it was thought to be a quicker and safer route than rounding Cape Horn to the south and entering the infamously turbulent Drake Passage that separates Cape Horn and Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands.

近400年期间,麦哲伦海峡一直是往来大西洋和太平洋船只的主要航线。尽管这条长达600公里狭窄海道穿过了一片密集的群岛和峡湾,但人们仍然认为这条线路比向南绕过合恩角进入波涛汹涌的德雷克海峡(Drake passage)更快和更安全。合恩角隔着德雷克海峡和南极洲南设得兰群岛(South Shetland Islands)相望。

The completion of the Panama Canal in 1914 caused sea traffic through the Strait to decline significantly, but unlike steamships, sailing ships coming from Australia had difficulty accessing the Canal’s western entrance because of its location in the middle of a notorious belt of doldrums. But because of the Pamir’s 114m length and 14m beam, the mammoth, steel-hulled barque was too large to sail through the winding Strait. Thus, my grandfather had no choice but to skirt the edges of the strait and Tierra del Fuego islands and round Cape Horn. He was quite proud that he and his crewmates were the last commercial sailors to ever do so, saying, “Last is good, as first you go down in history.”

1914年巴拿马运河完工后,通过麦哲伦海峡的海上交通明显减少,但与蒸汽船不同的是,从澳大利亚来的帆船很难进入运河的西部入口,因为此处位于“恶名远扬”的赤道无风带。但是由于这艘名为“帕米尔号”的巨大钢壳帆船实在太大(长114米,宽14米),亦无法通过蜿蜒曲折的麦哲伦海峡。因此,我的祖父别无选择,只能沿着海峡和火地岛的边缘南行,绕过合恩角。他为此感到很自豪,因为他和他的船员是最后一批为了运货而这样做的水手,他说:“最后一次这样做的人才能被载入史册,多好啊。”

I sipped on a pisco sour as the crew of the Ventus Australis pulled up anchor in Punta Arenas. The difference between my grandfather’s experience and mine wasn’t lost on me: if navigating 26,000km through some of the world’s stormiest seas was like climbing Mount Everest for a sailor, my cruise was kind of like climbing on a Sherpa’s shoulders to carry me to the top.

当船员在蓬塔阿里纳斯港起锚时,我抿了一口皮斯科白兰地。我并没有忘记祖父的经历和我的经历之间的不同之处。对于一名水手来说,如果说穿过波涛汹涌风暴交加地球上最为险恶的海域,航行2.6万公里就像攀登珠穆朗玛峰一样,那么我的航行就是爬上夏尔巴人的肩膀,让他们把我带到山顶。

The lights of Punta Arenas faded as we entered the maze-like channels of the Strait. The sky soon turned black and all I could sense was the ship’s movement over the waves. My grandfather had spoken about long nights of darkness and loneliness on the open seas. It had been difficult for him to leave his mother and sisters behind, but he never questioned his decision to start a new life in a new land on his own terms.

当我们进入像迷宫一样的麦哲伦海峡时,蓬塔阿里纳斯的灯光渐渐暗淡下去。天色很快暗了下来,我能感觉到的只有船在随着波浪颠簸。祖父曾提到过海上这种漫长孤独的黑夜。离开母亲和姐妹们对他来说很困难,但他从来没有质疑过自己在一个新的地方开始新生活的决定。

Early the next morning, I boarded a small, inflatable Zodiac and motored to the rocky shores of Ainsworth Bay. The long fjord is surrounded by a sub-polar forest and set beneath the towering white peaks of Marinelli Glacier. As we headed closer to the icecaps, I was stunned by the beauty of the place. The sun reflected off of the glacier and the sea was so clear that it could have been mistaken for fresh drinking water.

第二天一早,我乘着一艘小型充气橡皮艇,驶向安斯沃思湾(Ainsworth Bay)的岩石海岸。这条长长的峡湾环绕着亚极地区的森林,森林之上是马里内利冰川(Marinelli Glacier)高耸的白色山峰。当橡皮艇向冰盖靠近时,景色美得令我目瞪口呆。此时,阳光在冰川上闪闪发光,海水清澈透明,一时之间竟误以为这是可以饮用的清冽淡水。

I spent two hours hiking the crest of a glacial lake, passing turquoise streams and waterfalls. The sheer silence of the place was magical. My grandfather often recalled the silence of the region – a phenomenon he described as ‘The Patagonia Moment’. As a child, this notion had been difficult for me to grasp, but as an adult, I loved it. Whenever I would talk over him and my grandfather wanted me to be quiet, he would look at me sternly and say, “It’s about time you experienced The Patagonia Moment. Just be quiet.” Ainsworth Bay was the first time in my life that I had ever experienced complete silence, and I couldn’t help but think of him.

我花了两个小时在冰川湖边的山坡上徒步行走,沿路经过了绿松石色的小溪和瀑布。这个地方寂静得出奇。我的祖父经常回忆起那个地区的寂静,他把这种现象称为“巴塔哥尼亚时刻”。当我还是个孩子的时候,很难理解,长大后,我爱上了这种感觉。每当祖父希望我安静下来的时候,他都会严厉地看着我说:“你是时候该体验一下巴塔哥尼亚时刻了。安静一点。”安斯沃思湾让我平生第一次体验到完全的寂静,我忍不住想起了祖父。

Later that afternoon, we jumped back onto the Zodiac and travelled through much rougher seas to observe Magellanic penguins on Tuckers Islets. My grandfather liked to recall a rocky Patagonian island covered in penguins that he viewed from the Pamir’s deck. He described the birds as ‘smelly, funny-looking things’ and often made jokes about eating them. The 4,000 penguins that inhabit Tuckers today appeared quite content as the sky tuned dark grey and it began to pour. I smiled to myself as I watched the penguins at play, wondering if they were the distant relatives of those my grandfather had seen 70 years ago.

那天下午晚些时候,我们回到了橡皮艇,穿过波涛汹涌的大海,来到塔克斯岛(Tuckers Islets)上看麦哲伦企鹅。我祖父喜欢回忆他在帕米尔号甲板上看到岩石嶙峋的巴塔哥尼亚岛满是企鹅。他说这些鸟“臭烘烘的、看起来很滑稽”,经常开玩笑说要吃它们。今天,当天空转为深灰色,开始下起倾盆大雨时,住在岛上的4000只企鹅显得心满意足。看着这些玩耍的企鹅,我暗自发笑,心想它们是不是我祖父70年前见过的那些企鹅的远亲呢?

As we approached Pia Glacier the next morning and a spectacular landscape known as Glacier Alley, I remembered my grandfather excitedly talking about a dramatic stretch of water amid the Tierra del Fuego islands filled with icefields and “huge chunks of ice between mountains”. It was only much later in life that he learned these formations had a name: glaciers. Whenever the Pamir would pass one of these ‘chunks of ice’, he recalled that the crew would stop what they were doing to take in the spectacular scene. It must have felt otherworldly to them.

第二天早上,我们在去皮亚冰川(Pia Glacier)的航程看到了一处称之为“冰川通道”(Glacier Alley),壮观无比的景貌。我想起祖父曾兴奋说起火地岛群岛有一片十分壮观的水域,布满了冰原,山与山之间全是大冰块。直到晚年,他才知道这些构造有一个学名叫冰川。每当帕米尔号经过这些“冰块”时,他回忆说,船员们会停下手中的工作,被眼前的壮观景象所深深吸引。对他们来说,这一定是超脱尘世的感觉。

“It was the most astonishing site!” he told me one Christmas morning when I was eight years old as he stared out of my bedroom window at a dangling icicle. “I’d never seen a glacier before. We didn’t have them in Adelaide.”

“这是最令人惊讶的地方!”在某年圣诞节的早晨,祖父从我卧室的窗户望出去,看到了一根悬垂的冰柱,对当时只有八岁的我说道,“我以前从来没见过冰川。阿德莱德没有这种东西。”

Frozen in the north-west corner of the Beagle Channel, Pia Glacier was once a 14-sq-km hunk of ice and has now shrunk to around 7 sq km. As I wandered close to the glacier and climbed high into the Darwin Mountain Range, the sounds of ice tearing off the glacier and plummeting into the sea below shattered the silence.

位于比格尔海峡(Beagle Channel)西北角的皮亚冰川曾经是一块面积达14平方公里的大冰块,现在面积已经缩小到只有7平方公里左右。当我信步朝着冰川走去,攀登达尔文山脉(Darwin Mountain Range)时,冰川崩裂坠海的声音打破了寂静。

I felt like a bit of a cheat as I remained on board that afternoon in the warmth and watched one giant glacier after another. My grandfather often talked about sitting on deck with a drink in one hand to keep warm and a cigarette in the other while inhaling freezing-cold air. As our ship navigated around floating chunks of ice, I watched as a small pod of dolphins swam alongside us. Later, I spotted a whale, just 20m from the ship, spray water 1m into the air like an exploding geyser.

那天下午,我坐在暖和的船上,看着一个又一个巨大冰川,有种偷得浮生半日闲的感觉。祖父经常说起他会坐在甲板上,一手拿着热饮取暖,一手拿着香烟,一边吸着冰冷的空气。当我们的船在漂浮的冰块周围航行时,我看到一群海豚在身边游动。后来,我还看到了一条鲸鱼,离船只有20米,它像一个炸裂的喷泉一样向空中喷水,水柱有1米高。

At the end of Glacier Alley, we veered south-east and headed towards the highlight of my grandfather’s and my journeys: Cape Horn. The Pamir had to approach this rocky headland by braving the Drake Passage, whose frequent gale-force winds and 10-storey swells have caused hundreds of ships to sink, and inspired Charles Darwin, Herman Melville and Jules Verne to write of its fury.

我们在冰川通道的尽头转向东南方向,朝着祖父和我的旅途中最精彩的地方合恩角驶去。帕米尔号必须勇敢地穿过德雷克海峡,才能靠近这片岩石遍布的岬角。德雷克海峡此起彼伏的大风和10层楼高的巨浪曾摧毁了数百艘船只。达尔文(Charles Darwin)、梅尔维尔(Herman Melville)和凡尔纳(Jules Verne)都曾描写过这片狂暴的海域。

I knew we were getting close when I awoke sharply at 04:30 as the ship began to roll on large waves. Even aboard a cruise, the waters around the Drake Passage are still known as one of the most dangerous maritime routes in the world. I struggled to make my way into the shower as the ship listed, and a sharp knock to the ribs in the strong current helped wake me up.

凌晨4点30分,我从梦中醒来,船开始随着巨浪翻滚,我知道快到德雷克海峡了。即使是一艘现代游轮,德雷克海峡周围的海域仍然被认为是世界上最危险的海上航道。当船倾斜的时候,我步履不稳挣扎着走进淋浴间,强劲的花洒水流冲洗着我的脊背,把我彻底唤醒了。

Due to the area’s erratic weather conditions, many cruises aren’t able to land in Cape Horn. In fact, as the Pamir approached the Cape in 1949, my grandfather and other crewmembers spent the morning shovelling snow off the ship’s deck. But as the wind calmed enough for us to eventually reach the Cape safely on the Zodiac, I could feel my grandfather smiling down on me.

由于这片海域天气反复无常,许多游轮无法在合恩角下锚停泊。1949年帕米尔号驶近合恩角时,我的祖父和其他船员花了一个上午的时间才把甲板上的雪铲掉。最后当我们乘着橡皮艇在风平浪静中安全抵达时,我能感觉到祖父在朝我微笑。

Rain, hail and wind pelted my face as we landed on Cape Horn. I climbed up the rocks towards a lighthouse, a small chapel and a giant sculpture commemorating the thousands of sailors who had died attempting to ‘round the Cape’.

我们在合恩角泊岸时,夹着冰雹的风雨猛烈地拍打着我的脸。我爬上岩石,朝着灯塔、小教堂和巨大的雕塑走去。这座雕塑是为了纪念数千名试图“绕过好望角”时而葬身大海的水手。

The Pamir didn’t land at Cape Horn, but my grandfather never forgot what he described as an ‘evil-looking’ rock on the island staring back at him from the ship. “Too many had died there before me, doing exactly what I was doing,” he once told me. “I was keen to get away from Cape Horn as quickly as possible, and had no intention of ever returning.”

帕米尔号并没有在合恩角下锚泊岸,但是我的祖父从来没有忘记岛上的一块“看起来很邪恶”的岩石。他曾告诉我:“在我之前,有太多的人死在那里,他们和我做的事一模一样。我只想尽快离开合恩角,再也不回来。”

Yet, here I was staring squarely at the jagged landscape that had inspired my grandfather to keep sailing, keep living and never look back. I wondered what he would have thought about me trying to follow in his wake, and I hopped back in the Zodiac, letting the wind push me onwards.

然而,此时此刻,我正直直地盯着那片起起伏伏的风景,正是这片大海激励着我的祖父继续航行,继续生活,永不回头。我在想,祖父会怎么看待我试图追随他的脚步这件事呢?然后我回到了橡皮艇上,让风推动我前进。

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