Wednesday 17 February 2010

Our Good Luck Charms

An albatross following a ship used to be considered good luck by sailors, that is until the mariner in Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner shot one with a crossbow.  Fearful of the consequences of killing their good luck charm, his fellow sailors hung the albatross around his neck as punishment.  Regardless, the sailors in the famous poem all ended up dieing.
I suppose, depending on your point of view, an albatross can be seen as good luck or as bad luck.   All day long we had several Wandering Albatross and Black-browed Albatross following the ship.  How can anything so magnificent be anything but good luck?  They soared effortlessly over the sea using the mild winds we had today to stay aloft.
The Drake has been rolling by in steady swells throughout the day.  A calm Drake is an excellent way to start our Antarctic adventure.
After breakfast we joined the Expedition team on deck seven for wild life watching.  Occasionally those magnificent albatross would soar by the length of the ship having a look at all of us.  At around 21:00 we noticed a definite change in the outside temperature.  There is now a frigid chill to the air signifying that we have crossed the Antarctic Convergence.  We are now in Antarctica!
We had a full day of lectures and watched part of the excellent Blue Planet documentary series in the evening.
Tomorrow we hope to do our first landing at Half Moon Island.