Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Forecast Calls For: Pitching, With A Little Rolling And Scattered Slamming.

Boom! Shudder, shake shake shake. One moment I'm light on my feet. The next, oof!  Heavy gravity.  That's the feeling of going into heavy seas.  Riding down a big wave there is a feeling of lightness. Freefall. The stomach flutters. A lurching stop in the trough of the wave is accompanied by a feeling of  heaviness as the ship climbs the next wave front. The stomach sinks to the floor.  For those prone to motion sickness it ain't a tea party. For those that have no trouble with motion sickness it means extra dessert.  
Traveling from South Georgia to The Falkland Islands usually means heading into the prevailing winds.  If we were going in the opposite direction the ride would be much, much smoother.  Of course we would never arrive in the Falklands.  I'm not sure, but we might go all the way around the planet until we hit South Georgia again.  There isn't much in the way of land down here.
Today we are feeling the after effects of yesterday's storm.  The heavy seas meant some juggling of scheduled onboard activities.  The Franheim and Polhøgda lecture rooms were closed for much of the day and movies were rescheduled. But that did not stop our intrepid Expedition Team from delivering a full program. The lecturers showed their flexibility by giving their talks in the cafeteria and the Observation Lounge on deck seven.

Today was a fantastic day for seabirds.  They were soaring around the ship all day long.   The most numerous were Prions.  There were also Wandering Albatross, Black-browed albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrels, White-chinned Petrels, Soft-plumaged Petrels and Wilson's Storm Petrels.

By mid-afternoon the sun had come out again. The air was brisk on deck but we could all see and feel that the waves were getting smaller and the wind was dropping. There was light at the end of the storm.