Day 11 |
Nov 20, 2010

En route to Elephant Island

By Shoshanah Jacobs, Marine Biologist

Co-ordinates: 59º22S, 049º14W
Weather: Sunshine, clear skies
Air Temperature: 2ºC
Sea Temperature: 1ºC
Wind: 30 knots N

I awoke this morning to the gentle pitching of the ship. We have all been at sea for more than 36 hours and so my sea legs were firmly in place. At breakfast, over a cup of coffee, the announcement came from the Bridge: Whales spotted ahead! Well, I am sure that you can imagine the mad dash that I made to get a good view of these majestic creatures.

The following hour was full of tall blows on the horizon and a couple of times the whales were close enough to identify to species: fin whales were in the area though they were on the move at impressive speed.

Conrad’s morning lecture on the history of the Prince Albert II was indeed quite a tale and from it, it was clear that we are all sailing on the perfect vessel for our journey. Not too much time to waste as we all gathered in the Panorama Lounge for a cooking demonstration: crème brulé was the featured recipe and it brought me back to my childhood when my mother would occasionally allow us to have dessert before dinner. What a treat!

In the afternoon, as the Prince Albert II continued her gentle pitching, I learned about biodiversity from Hans-Peter’s lecture. He showed us how important it is to maintain biodiversity at all scales.

Then it was time for a quick cup of tea in the Panorama Lounge and off to Peter’s lecture on Nordenskjold. What an amazing tale! Though this story is rarely told, it is certainly one of incredible courage and luck.

At the evening briefing, Conrad informed us that he was hoping for an early morning activity. But before we could eat a quick supper and head off to bed, Lou, our photographer, delighted us with a preview of the DVD that she has been working on.

The ship’s movement subsided slightly as I snuggled under my comforter and drifted off to dream land with penguins and seals dancing over the ice.