Day 11 |
Jan 28, 2009

At Sea, Crossing The Drake Passage From Antarctica To Ushuaia

By Claudia Holgate

Weather: 2.6 degrees Celsius - Few clouds to clear and light southwesterly breeze at 12km/h

Pressure 991hPa, 65% humidity

Co-ordinates 54 55'07''South 67 13'59'' West

This morning we all had a sleep-in after a fairly rough day yesterday, with many guests not feeling up to coming to dinner. However, on waking this morning, we were treated to a great day, with calm seas, beautiful sunshine and yet another fantastic Prince Albert II breakfast. The Restaurant was a great place to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and watch the albatrosses soar behind the ship.

The first lecture today was Peter with his wonderful tales of Charcot, who explored many of the areas that we explored on our journey to the great white continent. Peter somehow finds the best pictures of each explorer's expeditions and regales us with anecdotes of Charcot's ship, which was the best expedition ship of its time. They even served two entrees, which was unknown at the time, it makes one think of the very ship we are on. When told of the small explorations they made around the peninsula with rowing boats, the light rubber Zodiacs that we have make us feel quite fortunate that when the going gets tough, it is easy to get back to the ship and enjoy a hot chocolate!

Shortly after Peter's lecture, we were treated to a lecture by Chris on albatrosses and penguins, many of which we haven't seen, but make us want to go and visit some of the other exotic places he described.

By this time we were ready to head towards our second delicious meal of the day, which was a lunch buffet with delectable salads and hot foods. One of the biggest "complaints" from guests during the trip has been that the food is just so good that we are all going to have to go on diet on our return home!

A little bit of time was left for us to use at leisure, with some going to the Panorama Lounge to listen to Adam's excellent piano playing, or to go outside and watch the birds floating past the ship, although with so little wind they were battling to stay aloft and many landed on the water until the wind picked up again.

Later in the afternoon, we had our final recap and slideshow - what a treat! Each of the Expedition Team members gave their view of the experiences we had encountered over the past ten days, and all came to the same conclusion: we have been changed by the vast wilderness and hopefully we will all go back as ambassadors for Antarctica. Paul then showed us the images we would be receiving as part of the complimentary photo CD each guest will receive. While watching the photos, we were all caught up in the memories of what has been an amazing trip that has flown by so fast, that we cannot believe we boarded the ship just over a week ago. We have truly been touched by Antarctica.

The day was rounded off by the Captain's Farewell Cocktail Party and Dinner, where once again the chefs outdid themselves with menus containing King Crab and lobster, amongst other divine culinary choices.