Voyage Journal 7106 Day 5

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Day 5 - March 7, 2011 - At Sea

By by Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 52°27´S, 50°58´W
Weather: sunny partly cloudy

The full day at sea after the two wonderful days in the Falkland Islands was characterized by two natural elements: sunny and the albatrosses accompanying the ship. All the other natural elements were just perfect for this crossing over Southern Atlantic. The Prince Albert II was making its way over to our next stop on the island of South Georgia. Beautiful calm sea and how impressive it is when you are looking out on to the sea and see the Wandering Albatross easily making his way without flapping his wings over the blue Southern Ocean. Just admiring how well adapted these birds are to natural conditions.

The activities for our guests started at 10 o’clock in the morning when the mandatory IAATO briefing was held for the English-speaking guests in The Theatre and for the German-speaking guests in the Observation Lounge. The rest of the morning, the Expedition Team was out on deck looking out for whales and of course seabirds, which, under these conditions, were abundant around the ship. So I could observe Black Browed Albatrosses, Wandering Albatrosses and Cape Storm Petrels. What we didn’t spot that morning were whales.

At 12 noon, lunch was served in The Restaurant and I had a delightful lunch and conversation with some of our German-speaking guests.

Shortly after lunch the bio-security check for the guests was on the program. All outer layers of outdoor gear that is to be used on the excursion in South Georgia was checked for any kinds of organic material and vacuum cleaned if we found something. Simultaneous to the bio-security check, the documentary video “Extreme Ice” was shown in The Theater for those guests who were done or were still waiting for the check.

At teatime, the first round of the Team Trivia started in the Panorama Lounge. Seven groups were formed and the first trivia was a general one, moderated by my colleague Jarda Versloot. Now on every sea day, there will be a Team Trivia related to the different specialties of the Expedition Team. At the end of the cruise the group with the highest score is the winner of our “Team Trivia Rally”.

An interesting lecture program filled out the rest of this afternoon on board the Prince Albert II. My colleague Juan Carlos Restrepo presented his lecture in The Theatre entitled “Ice and Rocks”. It was an introduction into the world of geology. How rock and ice are formed, the cycle of rocks and the life of ice were shown in an interesting presentation.

At the same time in the Observation Lounge our guest lecturer Dr. Harald Schwammer spoke about the adventurous history of diving and the newest developments in diving around different places in the world. The presentation gave a good insight into the underwater world and the different facets of this sport.

In the evening, Expedition Leader Robin West gave a briefing about the activities for tomorrow on board to the English-speaking guests. I did the same for the German-speaking guests in the Observation Lounge with my colleagues Luke Kenny, Claudia Holgate, Dr. Schwammer. Our short recap included squid fishing in the Falklands, dynamic soaring, food chains in the Antarctic Ocean, and the fishes we had yesterday by the barbecue.

The day finished with an excellent dinner looking out at the sea from the Restaurant, watching as the Albatrosses followed the Prince Albert II to South Georgia.

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