Friday 19 November 2010

Land ho!

(Naut.) A sailers cry upon sighting land, and we did just this today. More later.

The strong winds that we had all day yesterday dropped over night and we awoke to much calmer seas. An indication that we had come north, past the Antarctic Convergence, was that the air temperature had risen to 12°C.

Although we didn't want this, our last day cruising on the Fram, to come, it inevitably did. This meant that everyone was busy packing and saying goodbye to all the friends we have made over the last 3 weeks spent on board.

Never deterred, our staff made several presentations today, on topics such as climate change, the Scott-Amundsen race, the Andes and Patagonia and the surrounding area.

In the middle of the afternoon, the unmistakable smell of Southern Beech wafting in the northerly breeze was apparent. Soon after we sighted land- the island archipelago south of Tierra del Fuego.

The day and the cruise came to a fitting end with our famous Captain Dinner, an opportunity to thank the crew, officers and expedition staff for the wonderful adventure we have had and to enjoy one last repast together. This is also a notable and sad occasion because it its the very last time our Captain Hansen will host this dinner as skipper of the Fram. He will be going on to a new command in the coming weeks. This is an opportunity for our expedition staff to shed their white shirts and outdoor gear. Even the youngest amongst the Expedition Staff dressed up for this special occasion!

A special hi to my 5th - 6th Grade class with Dagmara at Chugach Optional Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska and to my 7th grade Algebra Friends with Ms. Poole at Central Middle School of Science,  from Tristan.