Day 2 |
Nov 13, 2009

At Sea – En Route To West Point, Falkland Islands

By Robin Aiello, Marine Biologist

Co-ordinates: 54º18.2 S, 64º22.8 W

Weather: Cloudy & overcast to start, clearing to a bright sunny afternoon

Air Temperature: 4C

It was probably mentioned in the log entry for yesterday, but embarkation of our new guests was very late due to a pilot’s strike on Air Argentina – the company who ran our charter flight. So, by the time they had all arrived, checked in and had a late dinner, it was nearly 1:00am today.

So, to give everyone a chance to sleep in, today’s activities did not start until late morning at 10:30am. That is when we had the first of several briefings. First, we had the mandatory life boat drill, followed by staff introductions. Robin West, our Expedition Leader, first introduced the Heads of Departments, and then let each of the Expedition Team members come up on stage and introduce themselves. We have a very experienced team onboard this expedition. They are the following:

  • Robin West – Expedition Leader from South Africa
  • Daniil Elterman – Assistant Expedition Leader from Latvia
  • Christian Everts – Staff Assistant from Germany
  • Conrad Combrink – Senior Expedition Leader from South Africa
  • Juan Carlos Restrepo – Geology Lecturer from Colombia
  • Robin Aiello – Marine Biologist from Australia
  • Chris Srigley – General Naturalist from Canada
  • Stefan Kredel – Geologist from Germany/Argentina
  • Anja Nord - Ornithologist from Germany
  • Richard Kirshner – General Naturalist from USA
  • Victoria Salem – Historian from England
  • Richard Sidey – Photographer from New Zealand

Between these twelve Expedition Team members, there are nearly 50 seasons of experience in the Antarctic region. It is a great team – knowledgeable, energetic and fun!

After staff introductions we had a lunch break and we made our way to The Restaurant for a sumptuous buffet with an incredible selection of seafood! Normally during a day at sea, we let the guests have a few hours after lunch to relax or nap, but NOT today. Today, we had to gather them all together again for another mandatory briefing – this one was a combined Zodiac Briefing and IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) briefing. The IAATO briefing is essential – it outlines all the restrictions and best practices that we must all follow while in the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions.

After this briefing, we had another little break – and off we went AGAIN to ANOTHER briefing – this time the Destination Briefing by Robin West that told us what our options were for the next day at the Falkland Islands.

WHEW!!! It was a lot of information to take in on the first day! I think everyone was happy to head off to the Panorama Lounge for a well-deserved cocktail or out on the back deck where the seabirds were gliding within only a few meters of the ship. Thankfully the seas had remained calm all day and the sun was out, so all in all it was a wonderful first day to the voyage.