Day 2 |
Jan 06, 2011

 Drake Passage 

By by Marylou Blakeslee, General Naturalist


Co-ordinates: 57 10’S, 64 38’W
Weather: Winds lessening as the day progressed
Air Temperature: 44.2F, 6.7C
Wind: 52 knots

Water and sky made up the world today. Anywhere one looks, that is all you will see, water and sky. I made my way to the Observation Lounge this morning and saw sun shining on a white-capped sea. The waves measured between 15 to 20 feet, or 6 to 7 meters in height. The rolling sea and yesterday’s travels kept most guests in bed until late in the morning.

Wandering Albatross, Black-browed Albatross and Giant Petrels made use of the wind shear our ship created. Occasionally the albatross would land on the sea picking something minute out of the blue and green waves. Always the Drake Passage humbles me to the power of the ocean. At such a long distance from any shore, we move like a small, insignificant leaf across this great expanse.

Lectures were given in English and German for our international guests. On every trip I so enjoy learning about the place I am headed and I’m not the only one. Rich Kirchner gave a presentation on the seabirds that we had been watching behind the ship that morning. Juan Carlos Restrepo spoke about the glaciers and the effects of land ice on the landscape and our futures. His images and imagery filled me with anticipation for the days ahead. Kristine Hannon gave a wonderful lecture for all of us non-professional photographers. Simultaneously, Christian Walter spoke to our German-speaking guests about the white continent we are nearing.

As evening approached, the sun still shone but the waves quieted down and promised us a good night’s sleep. Excitement for the days ahead could be seen in each other’s eyes as we passed in the hallways. Who can predict what we will have shared by this time tomorrow?