Day 9 |
Jan 13, 2011

 Drake Passage 

By by Rich Kirchner, General Naturalist


Co-ordinates: 58˚46”S 64˚25” W
Weather: Overcast with moderate winds and rain
Air Temperature: 39.7˚F (4.3C)
Sea Temperature: 4 ˚C

Getting a good night’s sleep had been one of my priorities after our wonderful trip to the Antarctic Peninsula. Luckily I was able to achieve that goal by sleeping in a little this morning. My favorite place to have coffee and a light breakfast is the Observation Lounge, so I headed there first, but things were still quiet around the ship this morning. Eventually, some guests started to show up, to also start their day.

At ten o’clock this morning, Peter Damisch gave the second half of his Shackleton lecture in The Theatre, while Christian Walter gave a historical lecture to the German-speaking guests, in the Observation Lounge. These were followed by a cooking demonstration by the Executive Chef, Norbert, in the Panorama Lounge.

We were already halfway across the Drake Passage, and actually passed over the Antarctic Convergence right around noon. The weather had been good enough that we had made great time through the night and morning. There had been some talk by the Captain and the Expedition Leader about some possible strong winds and weather, but so far it hadn’t materialized! Now the Captain was pretty sure we would get into the protection of the Beagle Channel sometime the following morning.

After lunch, I gave a lecture about my time spent as a “Field Camp” carpenter in Antarctica, working out of McMurdo Station. At the same time the German-speaking guests were enjoying a presentation by Uli Kunz about his time spent diving in the cold waters of the Arctic.

At five o’clock it was time for our Recap & Briefing. It was early today because of the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party and dinner this evening. It’s hard to believe that the trip is almost over, seems like I had just been greeting the guests at the gangway!