Day 11 |
Mar 10, 2012

En route to Valparaiso, Chile 

By Will Wagstaff, Ornithologist

Co-ordinates: 36 25 42 S, 73 31 29 W
Weather: Thin grey cloud over a calm sea with a slight tailwind
Air Temperature: 15 C
Pressure: 1008 hPa
Wind: 10 Knots, Southerly

As is the case on sea days, I was up on deck at the start of the day to see what seabirds were nearby. During the time I spent on deck I was joined by several guests and was able to show them three species of albatross including the Northern Royal Albatross, all the way from New Zealand. A couple of immature Magellanic penguins popped up close to the ship at one point but otherwise it was a case at looking at the birds in flight with shearwaters and petrels being the most common although the occasional Chilean Skua was also noted. Two new species for the cruise were Stejneger’s Petrel and Juan Fernandez Petrel, which both belong to the Pterodroma family of seabirds, which are also called the Gadfly Petrels. It was easy to see why as they slipped and slid their way through the air low over the sea with a graceful ease.

The first lecture of the day in The Theatre was given by our Botanist Hans-Peter Reinthaler and was entitled ‘The Botany of Southern Chile’ in which he showed us many of the species we had seen and talked about why they were so special to the part of the world that we had cruised through. In particular he covered the temperate rainforests that typify this part of the world and how the Nothofagus forests have a shared history with other southern continents.

Later in the morning we were given a cooking demonstration in the Panorama Lounge by our Executive Chef Janine, which whetted everyone’s appetite for lunch in The Restaurant a short while afterwards.

Our afternoon began with our Marine Biologist Robin Aiello giving a lecture in The Theatre entitled ‘Sea Monsters, Mermaids and Giants’ during which she separated fact from fiction but still left us wondering what else lies in the deep oceans of the world about which we know so little. Some of the leaps of imagination in years gone by to create these myths are whole stories in themselves.

Our final Team Trivia of the cruise in the Panorama Lounge was hosted by Robin Aiello in which she played sounds recorded underwater, which were very intriguing. Even when we had a choice of four options for the answer it was still not easy. Some of the more mechanical sounds proved to be made by marine creatures rather than by man to our great surprise.

Following this, it was time to gather for the last time in The Theatre to watch the DVD of the voyage that had been filmed by Ray Stranagan our onboard photographer. It’s always fun to see what we had done as we cruised our way from Ushuaia. It’s all the little bits that one forgets that appear on film that make these recaps of our voyages so much fun.

As it was my final day on board I also had to do my packing in between various activities and a quick look at the passing seabirds every now and then before it was time for dinner at the end of a busy day at sea.