Day 12 |
Jan 02, 2012

At sea in the Drake Passage and Ushuaia 

By Uli Kunz – Oceanographer and Zodiac-Driver

Position: 56°01’ S, 58°09’ W
Air temperature: 5 °C, 41.0 °F
Water temperature: 6 °C, 42.8 °F
Air pressure: 998 hPa
Wind speed: 25 km/h

After breakfast, marine biologist Kara Weller presented a lecture about the differences and similarities of the polar regions of Antarctica and the Arctic. In the northern hemisphere we find a Polar Ocean that is surrounded by land masses whereas Antarctica is a continent surrounded by an ocean. This continent is extremely high, the ice cap can be up to 4 kilometres thick in contrast to the North Pole, where the highest point might be on the sea ice one or two metres above sea level!

During lunch, I looked outside the window and watched how the pilot for the Beagle Channel came on board to guide our ship to the harbour of Ushuaia. The Drake Passage was not as bad as we thought because of the weather forecast, but everybody on board can now enjoy the smooth sailing in the sheltered waters of the Beagle Channel.

Early in the afternoon after lunch, we invited all our guests into The Theatre for the final screening of Richard Sidey's movie that he put together during our trip to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica. It was actually the best documentary of our onboard photographer I have seen. He managed to summarize our exciting voyage in amazing still pictures and video footage. Within the 50-minute period we were reminded of all of the exciting moments that we had shared together. Stan the man, our gardenless garden gnome that we brought all the way from the Falkland Islands, concluded the ceremony and showed off some of his favourite places that he has visited so far.

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