Thursday 3 December 2009

A quiet day on the Drake

After our tremendous adventures in Antarctica, we took time today to rest and reflect on what we have seen, heard and smelled (!) over the last few days. It has truly been a trip of a lifetime for us, even the seasoned veteran Antarctic travelers amongst the staff on-aboard. One major highlight was witnessing a family of Orcas hunting a forlorn Crabeater Seal on an ice-floe near Cuverville Island. We can't help but publish another image on today's blog of this event which is still fresh in our minds. Another highlight was the consistently calm weather and warm conditions we experienced on all of our landings, particularly after the ferocious Drake day we experienced approaching Antarctica.

As is usual in this part of the world, our constant companions were the Cape Petrels, Southern Fulmars and Giant Petrels; tomorrow as we plough farther north, we will see the icons of these waters, the albatrosses. Unusual today was the large number of Antarctic Petrels that stayed with us. They used the wind drafts created by the Fram to glide forward, wings motionless except for the almost imperceptible, twitching corrections they made to stay on course.

This morning passengers had a chance to see the bridge with expert commentary provided by our Capt. Andreassen. As seems to be almost routine now, some Humpback Whales appeared to one side of the ship, and provided a small interlude in our visit. Later in the day the same captain hosted his farewell dinner for all of us.