Voyage Journal 7105 Day 1

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Day 1 - February 21, 2011 - Ushuaia

By by Ken Knowles, Ornithologist

Co-ordinates: S 54◦55’, W 67º10’
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: 10.3C
Pressure: 1008
Wind: 40 km

Today was unlike any other day in Ushuaia. When the new group of guests arrived they were not greeted by the usual random mixture of wind, rain, snow and sleet that we have come to expect here at the bottom of the Americas. Instead, it was nothing but sun and superb visibility. On a day like this who wouldn’t want to live in beautiful Ushuaia?

Guests boarded the Prince Albert II in mid-afternoon, were registered, photographed, and warmly welcomed aboard. After the mandatory safety briefing in The Theatre, everyone headed outside for the welcome champagne on the deck aft. Never was there a better day to stand, champagne in hand, and view the mountains that outline the Beagle Channel. As we saw our first penguins, the Magellanics, along with the Chilean Skuas, South American Terns and the Imperial Shags, I kept thinking of Charles Darwin, sailing through the channel in the ship “Beagle”, on his history-making trip towards the Galapagos. Darwin suffered greatly from seasickness but it clearly didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for natural history and the resulting Theory of Evolution that changed our thinking about nature forever. He no doubt enjoyed the penguins as much as we did and I hope that he had equally good conditions.

Next was a return to The Theatre for the introduction of many of the staff responsible for the smooth operation of the voyage, ranging from the sommelier, “the most important person on the ship” to the Expedition Staff.

It was then time for the first of the multi-course, totally awesome dinners that are a trademark of Silversea cuisine. Those who didn’t collapse in their suites from the combination of food, champagne, and the exhaustion of a travel day, stayed socializing in the Panorama Lounge, enjoying Perry’s piano classics.

Life is good.

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