Day 9 |
Feb 27, 2012

At Sea, en route to Ushuaia, Argentina 

By Stefan Kredel, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 59° 26’ 03” S, 64° 04’ 15” W
Air Temperature: 3,3°C
Pressure: 993 hPa

Today was a day at sea, so there would have been the chance to sleep-in a bit, but at 07:00 I got up. The weather forecast was right; the beginning of the Drake Passage was a bit windy and for that we were experiencing a bit of a movement.

When I went to The Restaurant, I met my colleague Hans-Peter, our Austrian botanist. He is also an early bird, and we had a nice breakfast with no rush. Normally my breakfasts are a bit rushed as we often have to be ready for a landing a half hour after The Restaurant opens in the morning. Today we had plenty of time, and we enjoyed an extra cup of coffee.

At 10:00 our Expedition Leader Conrad gave his talk “The World of Silver Explorer”. He spoke a bit about the interesting history of the vessel, all her former names and the last two major conversions, in which he was involved. Also he gave a view behind the scenes on future cruise development. Amazing what all is to be considered before a new itinerary will be decided and published. As Conrad is also Silversea’s Director of Expeditions, he is obviously the right person to explain this!

Later I met our ornithologist Will. He had been quite a while outside to look at the birds behind the ship. Three different species of albatrosses followed us. We discussed a bit the different theories on how birds navigate. Some guests joined us with their opinion and some further questions on that topic.

Recap & Briefing was scheduled for 17:00. The Briefing didn’t take too long, as tomorrow was another day at sea. Robin Aiello, our marine biologist, spoke about fishes in Antarctica. Our botanist Hans-Peter spoke about kelp, and Juan Carlos, our other geologist, discussed a poem about the different sides of sleeping bags, which had been written during the Scott Expedition up. It was

I thought to become – at the end of the cruise – a bit more personal and showed my stamp collection. For years I have collected stamps related to geological topics. So today I showed a collection related to climate change and ice core drilling. Will summarized the birds of our trip, and once again we got to see them all. How exciting was that!(?) Lastly, Peter talked about the women of Antarctica – a topic not often paid attention to by historians.

After that I had to quickly change as the Captain’s Farwell Cocktail Party was on next. Always a strange feeling when suddenly a trip comes to an end. Once again the time has passed so fast over the last 9 days. Anyhow, as Captain Adam Boczek said, we had a really good trip with very good weather. As is tradition, he called many of the crew on stage so that they could say “Good-Bye” to our guests. Another superb dinner followed.