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Day 11 - March 2, 2010 - At Sea, En Route To Elephant Island

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 54°33.5´S, 40°32,1´W
Weather: cloudy and windy

The first day at sea after these wonderful days in South Georgia was characterized by two natural elements: wind and swell. It started just after leaving the night before from the protected bay of Golden Harbor and lasted all the day. Due to this situation, the biohazard check before coming to the Antarctic Peninsula and the Venetian Society Cocktail Party were canceled and postponed until the next day.

An interesting lecture program filled out this day on board the Prince Albert II. After I had a delicious breakfast in The Restaurant, it was my turn in The Theatre to speak about the “Antarctic Connection”. The presentation gave a short overview about the biogeography of the southern continents. After this lecture, Douglas, our chef onboard, was answering questions regarding his phenomenal cooking every day in The Restaurant.

At two o’clock in the second presentation, my colleague Peter talked about Sir Ernest Shackleton “By Endurance We Conquer” – Part II. In this presentation our guests were able to learn more about this explorer whose third expedition remains a hallmark of perseverance over adversity.

Later on in the evening our marine biologist on board, Kara Weller, presented her lecture about seals in the Antarctic region, their biology, ecology and how to identify them.
Despite the conditions outside, about 30 to 40 guests attended each lecture and of course even more were joining the program from their suites on channel 14.

In the afternoon, I had the chance to get to Bridge and observe the waves coming over the bow of the ship. It was really impressive what force such waves can develop, feeling sometimes as if the ship was a tiny nutshell on an endless ocean. But even more impressive is when you then look out and see the Wandering Albatross easily making his way without flapping his wings over the enraged sea. Just admiring how well adapted these birds are to natural conditions.

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