Saturday, 20 November 2010

A new beginning

Early this morning we entered the port of Ushuaia, with it's magnificent backdrop of the southern Andes mountains. The most southerly city in the world sparkled in the early morning light as it quietly awaited another day of business. This city has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and has become the premier jumping-off point for Antarctica.

After breakfast we said goodbye to our passengers of the last three weeks. As expedition staff, this is one of the most difficult things about the job we do. Just as you are getting to know the folks on board, they have to leave, and a new group arrives, and the process of getting to know each other and making friends has to start again. Through the day the Fram was readied for it's next voyage, which would start in the early evening.

Of course, before we set sail, we received our new passengers, who boarded the ship, checked in, received their blue expedition jackets and generally got to know the ship a little. The luggage arrived a lot earlier and was skillfully delivered to each cabin door by the ship's crew.

After the mandatory safety drill and welcome meeting from our Captain and Expedition Leader, the ship fell quiet as it's passengers retired to their cabins and we sailed peacefully west along the Beagle Channel. We are headed for the first leg of our adventure in the Chilean Fiords and Punta Arenas.