A Swatch of Adventure

The Cape Horn notebook displays a piece of sailcloth that has made it to the waters off southern Chile.

Cape Horn, Notebook
The Cape Horn notebook, which opens flat, is more than 8 inches tall with a hard cover and 240 ruled pages. The page marker is a piece of recycled sailing line.Courtesy Cape Horn

Most people who put serious thought into Kevlar sails don’t also spend time considering how the sails might affect everyday business meetings.

Antonia Undurraga does think about both. She’s an industrial designer who used to turn sails hoisted for yacht regattas into wallets, bags and more. She liked the stories behind the sails — the adventurous places the yachtsmen had cruised and raced, especially southern Chile — but she wished the recycled products had more elegance, a style that an executive might be proud to carry into a conference room.

Cape Horn, Notebook
At first, Undurraga says, she sought a distributor for her notebooks, but now she and her family are building the business.Courtesy Cape Horn

“I realized that if I used a little piece of sail, the story is the same and the product looked more elegant and sophisticated,” she says. “Imagine this: You are a lawyer, anything, in a meeting in an office, and you always have to talk with other people when you don’t know them at the start. This is a great icebreaker. You have this thing on your notebook, and this is a sail from the south of Chile, and maybe the other guy says, ‘Oh, my uncle had a boat.’ It’s a way to start a conversation. That’s the idea.”

Undurraga says she spent a year in Chile developing the notebook’s look, including making more than 100 prototypes in different sizes, with various types of paper and other details. She’s a sailor herself, and she has a network of friends who donate the sails she needs. Other swatches she expects to incorporate are made from Dacron, nylon and carbon fiber.

The first Cape Horn notebook is available on amazon for $29, with a yellow Kevlar square. Undurraga hopes other sailors will see what she sees: a keepsake worth having and sharing with friends, wherever their own cruises may take them.

“All the sailing gifts that you see, I always have received gifts that are the same,” she says. “There’s an anchor, a little boat. This gift is different.”