Headed to Antarctica – Day 1 & 2

9 – 10 March 2012

After boarding the ship in Ushuaia and departing about 6pm on the 9 March – we settled ready for a two to three-day crossing of the Drake Passage.

There was a captain’s welcome before retiring to bed the first night (my roommate Cathy and I were quite impressed with our level 4 room – with a large window).

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As we woke up on the 10 March to a day at sea we definitely knew we were in the Drake passage.  The boat was rolling what I thought was quite a lot – though the staff felt it was only something like a 3 out of 10 in severity.  I still felt queasy for 2 days despite my seasick patch (needless to say on the return journey when we were at an 8 out of 10 in severity I realised our trip down was a breeze). And I wasn’t the only one – many passengers couldn’t even get out of bed and there were several who needed injections – so apparently the medication helped!

The 2nd day on board (10 March) was a day of lectures – getting us prepared for what we would see and the nature of the continent we were about to reach.

  • the birds of the Drake Passage – followed by birdwatching (the fresh air was great)
  • the race to the South Pole 100 years ago – Scott v Amundsen
  • Penguins and Seals

According to the captain we were travelling quite well – about 13 knots per hour (on the return we had slowed to 6-8) and at about 8.10pm on the 10th we crossed the Antarctic convergence – the place where the warmer waters meet the colder ones and you officially know you are in the Antarctic!  With luck we were told, we would arrive early enough the following day for a bonus landing –  but it all depended on the weather.

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