Day 11 |
Jan 28, 2010

Drake Passage, Pass Within 40 Miles Of Cape Horn, Beagle Channel

By Gennadi Milinevsky – Environment, Atmosphere Physicist

Co-ordinates: 55˚12’S, 66˚13’W

Weather: overcast, wind 30 knots, temperature 40F (4C)

The day was misty and "monkey". (This word I have learned from British winterers when we stayed together at Faraday Station in 1995.) Some sea birds were following our ship, however there were not too many photographers on deck. The surface of the sea was moving in many directions with white foam on the ridges. At 7am we passed within 40 miles of Cape Horn because we didn’t have Chilean permission to come closer, and there was not too much to see in that hazy weather.

A lecture in the morning about Shackleton’s Endurance voyage by Peter Damisch kept everybody interested and excited.

At noon the pilot was aboard and that meant the ship movement was finished and hopefully we will see all guests at the Farewell Cocktail Party by our Captain Alexander Golubev.

Later in the afternoon, Kristine Hannon showed our trip DVD film and beautiful still pictures. Several shots were so nice that people applauded them. That was followed by the farewell of our great Expedition Leader Robin and Expedition Team, and by disembarkation instructions by Daniil. Instead of a game of “Liars Club”, Claudia Holgate gave a lecture about climate change and "global carbon experiment" undertaken by humans. She explained what is going on with climate on our planet and showed how these changes will horribly impact Polar regions. We saw some evidence of that impact in the Antarctic Peninsula – glaciers discharge, Adelie penguin population reducing (Gentoo increasing in the same region). The take-home message of Claudia for guests was very clear – we have to protect our environment and try to use less energy. All guests really enjoyed the lecture especially because we were sailing smoothly in the Beagle Channel already.

After a warm Farewell Cocktail Party, all joined dinner and were excited again when we met another Silversea ship, Silver Cloud, and made a 360-degree dance around one other. That was beautiful. Following that, we easily reached the Ushuaia pier when guests were surprised again to experience how the Captain parked the ship as somebody parking the car in a garage. A very interesting and enjoyable trip was over. At 10 pm, many guests went into the city to explore this pearl of South – Fin del Mundo.