Day 1 |
Jan 13, 2012

Ushuaia, Argentina

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist

Co-ordinates: S 54º48’35”, W 068º17’58”
Weather: Sunny and breezy
Air Temperature: 10ºC
Wind: 35 knots

Embarkation started just after 3 pm. Our embarking guests were greeted at the gangway on deck 5 by some of our Expedition Team members and hotel staff, and then directed to the Panorama Lounge for check-in. The procedure was simple – hand in a passport, receive a suite key and have a photo taken. As I was taking photos of our guests at check-in, I recognized many familiar faces. (On this voyage we have a number of guests who have sailed with us previously.) Once guests completed this procedure, they all headed to their suites to unpack and settle in.

The late afternoon was filled with various briefings and drills. At 5 pm we held a mandatory Lifeboat Drill. Our Expedition Leader, Robin West, explained the safety procedures in place on board the Silver Explorer and at the conclusion, our guests were taken outside and shown the way to the lifeboats. This safety drill was followed by a Zodiac Briefing in which Robin explained the proper procedures for getting into and out of Zodiacs, safely.

Right after these activities, our Staff Assistant Nicky D’Souza was available for anyone with boot size issues. Many of our guests have rented gumboots from an external outfitter and Nicky was making sure everyone had the right size.

At 6:30 pm the crew of the Silver Explorer began hauling in the mooring lines and we sailed away from the port of Ushuaia to begin another Antarctic adventure – this time including the Falkland Islands and magnificent South Georgia, before reaching the Antarctic Peninsula.

Everyone is very excited about this trip, as it is a wonderful itinerary - definitely one of my favourites. We will be back in Ushuaia on January 30th with a full appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness, and spectacular beauty and natural history of these areas.

After having braved the strong winds on the outer decks to watch the sail-away manoeuvres, we headed back into The Theatre for an introduction to the heads of departments and the Expedition Team on board. This was followed by our guests’ first dinner aboard the Silver Explorer. The food here is amazing, and we all went to bed well fed and anxious to start our cruise around the Scotia Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula!