Day 1 |
Dec 21, 2009

Ushuaia And The Beagle Channel

By Marylou Blakeslee, General Naturalist

Co-ordinates: 54˚48.621’S 068˚17.923’W

Weather: Moderate temperatures, mostly sunny and calm in the morning, partly cloudy and some wind in the afternoon and evening

Today was a day of leave taking and arriving. I stood on the dock and waved goodbye to the friends I had made on the past week’s voyage. Each person reminded me of something we had shared as we said goodbye. I then walked through Ushuaia purchasing small items for my next voyage, before returning to the ship.

The hustle of Ushuaia was evident on the pier. Trucks loaded and unloaded the ships at dock. Forklifts piled foods into the loading areas of the ships while weary travelers climbed the gangway to set foot inside the Prince Albert II. Passports collected, photos taken, room cards delivered, refreshments were served, and finally all were aboard.

We met our guests in The Theatre and welcomed them in all of their different languages. They are from all over the world, and all have come to this special place for a trip of a lifetime, a trip to the end of the earth, a trip to the white continent, Antarctica.

Guests donned lifejackets for a safety drill, met the department heads and the Expedition Team, and joined each other for dinner to begin meeting their fellow travelers. Most tables represented a few different cultures and we shared stories of previous travels as well as our anticipation of what lies ahead. Already I have met many guests who I wish to share dinner with again.

Meanwhile I heard the engines start and our distance to the dock began to grow. We were on our way at last. The late shining sun glowed against the backdrop of a lovely Ushuaia view. The glacially carved hills with their patterns of snow and rock were illuminated by the long evening light. The houses shone bright and cast reflections into the unusually calm sea.

With the excitement and anticipation of many previous Antarctic adventurers, we headed to bed with visions of the exciting holiday journey to come.