Day 2 |
Nov 11, 2010

En route to the Falkland Islands

By Franz Gingele, Geologist

Co-ordinates: S 53º 43.35’, W 63º 42.28’
Weather: Sunny and partly cloudy
Air Temperature: 7ºC
Pressure: 1006 hPa
Wind: 79.3 km/h

During the night we left the sheltered waters of the Beagle Channel and headed out into the open waters of the Southern Ocean. The weather gods are still with us and the Prince Albert II rocks only slightly, just enough to lull us into a well-deserved sleep.

Sunshine and blue skies greet us in the morning and a multitude of seabirds is circling around the ship, from the large and graceful black-browed albatross to giant petrels and cape petrels to the small Wilson’s storm petrel.

After getting some fresh air on deck we are back in The Theatre for our mandatory IAATO and Zodiac briefing. We learn how to get in and out of the Zodiacs and how to behave during our landings in South Georgia and Antarctica so that we won’t have a negative impact on the environment of these sensitive places. Another issue is our safety on land, because the places we will go are so different from the environment we are used to.

During the day the wind increases as a front passes overhead and we finally get the feeling that we are truly at sea!

In the afternoon we secure ourselves a pair of sturdy rubber boots, because many of our landings will be on beaches and we will have to cope with wet and muddy conditions.

The history of the Falkland Islands (or the Islas Malvinas as the Argentines prefer to call them) is the topic of Victoria Salem’s talk in the afternoon. The islands have a rich history from the first beginnings in 1592 to the Falkland Crisis in 1982 and the present-day topics.

During the Recap & Briefing at 5 pm our Expedition Leader Conrad provides us with more information about tomorrow’s activities and our lecturers give us some additional facts and figures about our next destination Falkland Islands.

Wind and seas have increased during the afternoon, seriously affecting the attendance of the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party. The day finishes with the Captain’s Welcome Dinner prepared by our Austrian Executive Chef Norbert.