Voyage 7928

Round-trip Usuaia

 

 

Day 1 - November 29, 2009 - Ushuaia, Argentina

Shortly after 5.15pm, the Prince Albert II left the pier in Ushuaia and sailed for the Antarctic Peninsula! I really enjoyed the spectacular sight of Ushuaia in the sunshine and good weather and fine views continued all evening as we sailed down the Beagle Channel towards the open sea...


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Day 2 - November 30, 2009 - At Sea Crossing The Drake Passage

Well, before long it was time to scrub my face and dress up for the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner. A most auspicious affair, when we are completely metamorphosed into elegant, well-dressed staff and guests, quite a change from warm clothes and parkas. The food was very special for this occasion, with something for everyone’s taste buds from caviar to lobster...


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Day 3 - December 1, 2009 - Deception Island, Antarctica

We had about 5 to 6 meters wave height, I would guess. No wonder that the Prince Albert II was moving a bit. And to be honest, for those waves she was behaving pretty well...


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Day 4 - December 2, 2009 - Brown Bluff, Antarctica

Here, hundreds of Adelies were pacing back and forth along a small 4 ft ice cliff trying to decide where to jump. At one point 50 or so that perched perilously on a steep incline, created a small slide and they all tumbled to the water below...


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Day 5 - December 3, 2009 - Deception Island

A lonely chinstrap penguin that crossed my way back to the landing site stirred my ornithological blood as well as a bunch of at least 35 Cape Petrels resting and feeding obviously undisturbed in the water. I could spend hours and hours watching the wildlife, with my feet dug into the warm black sand, which is heated by subterranean volcanic vents...


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Day 6 - December 4, 2009 - Port Lockroy/ Jougla Point, Lemaire Channel & Plenuea Bay

I took my boat load of guests on a voyage discovery through the infinite shapes and sizes of icebergs in the area, along the way, we had two great surprises – more Minke whales, this time observed from our Zodiac perspective, and the hotel staff in a Zodiac, serving champagne and chocolate to our guests...


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Day 7 - December 5, 2009 - Cuverville Island; Foyn Harbour

Cuverville Island is home for about 4,500 breeding pairs of Gentoo penguins at this time of the year, one penguin of a couple sits on two eggs – female or male both take part. The partner goes feeding and after some days, they switch tasks...


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Day 8 - December 6, 2009 - Brown Base & Paradise Harbour

For about one and a half hours we were able to tour this glorious space of ice and water after that we passed blue-eyed shags (cormorants) returning to their nests from fishing at sea; Antarctic terns diving for food; a group of Weddell seals lying largely inert on the ice – from time to time squirming to a more comfortable spot, idly raising a flipper to scratch, or lifting a head to peer at us curiously; and the piece de resistance was the Petzval glacier tongue, along which our Zodiacs slowly cruised to give us an idea of the scale of the ice masses in this part of the world. It was definitely a Kodak moment...


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Day 9 - December 7, 2009 - Half Moon Island And Aitcho Island

Shortly after leaving Half Moon, the Captain came over the intercom saying that there were humpback whales on the starboard side they logged at the surface, spy-hopped (came up head first to see what was going on), and then they dived showing us stunning flukes. They didn’t dive long though, before coming up and blowing and grunting really close to the ship. Then one of the whales lay on his back and waved his massive 5m pectoral flipper at us before slapping it on the water. What a wonderful experience for all of us...


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Day 10 - December 8, 2009 - Drake Passage, En Route To Ushuaia

I decided to go to the Bridge where some guests were taking in the view. We saw Sooty Albatrosses flying just in front of the ship. Always nice to see those amazing gliders in the air...


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Day 11 - December 9, 2009 - At Sea, Drake Passage / Beagle Channel

Through the night the winds had increased and the Prince Albert II had begun to toss. For some, including myself it was a night with little sleep. With a slight change in course, Captain Peter Stahlberg had made it more comfortable, but nothing was going to make it stop...


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