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Day 2 - February 10, 2010 - Drake Passage, At Sea

By Gennadi Milinevsky, Environment, Atmosphere Physicist

Co-ordinates: 59˚50’S, 62˚00’W
Weather: overcast, mild and windy, storm in Drake Passage

The day was cloudy and windy, strong pressure depression covered the Drake Passage with wind up to 45 knots, gusts up to 52 knots and waves 7-8 metres with rare waves up to 10 meters high when the ship reduced speed significantly. Our ship slowly moved between waves with mean velocity 5-6 knots experiencing bumps and hits by waves.

As always, our ornithologist Will and naturalist Lucy have been watching the birds fly. However not many guests were out on the open back deck due to the stormy weather. Some eight-ten people were watching and filming wandering albatrosses, giant petrels and other birds that followed the ship.

In the morning, the mandatory IAATO and Zodiac briefing was held for guests. With the stormy weather, we showed this briefing on the in-suite programming channel because only about half of the guests were in attendance at The Theatre.

Soon after lunch, we had an exciting lecture done by Will, our ornithologist, about tubenoses - seabirds of the South Ocean that range from small petrels to giant albatrosses. Will explained the features of these species and how they survive in this harsh environment.

The lecture by Claudia was an introduction to Antarctica and gave general information to our guests about Antarctic climate, ice, wind systems and currents.

In the evening, the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party and Captain's Welcome Dinner was postponed for tomorrow, expecting better weather conditions. However guests who were not feeling seasick enjoyed the tasty food prepared by Chef Douglas. All others finished the day with hope for a calm sea tomorrow.

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