Monday 3 January 2011

Around and Around We Go...

Ushuaia lies in a beautiful setting.  It is hemmed in by the Martial Mountain Range in the north and the Beagle Channel in the south.  On a bright, warm sunny day like today, Ushuaia really sparkles.  It is a beautiful city.
Ushuaia lays claim to being the southern-most city in the world.  Puerto Williams, just a few kilometres to the east but on the Chilean side of the Beagle, also makes the same boast however Puerto williams has only 2000 people and Ushuaia has approximately 64,000 people.  Furthermore, the Chilean government defines a city as an urban population with more than 5,000 people.

It is always a busy time on Fram when we are in port. New supplies come in. We take on fuel. Garbage and recyclables go off. New crew arrive. Some crew leave. In the morning we say good-bye to our new friends and luggage goes off. In the afternoon we welcome friends that are soon to be and new luggage comes on.

Once on board one can see that the crew is very efficient. Soon our photos are taken and we are issued photo I.D. cards and a room key. We are then escorted to our cabins where our luggage is already waiting for us. Magic. 
Before long it is dinner time. The dining room is full of excited chatter as the ship prepares to leave port.
Looking out the large picture windows, there is a momentary illusion that it is the dock slipping away from us and not us moving from the dock.  Fram casts off with barely a vibration and our journey begins!
At 20:30 we mustered outside on deck five for a mandatory safety drill. At 21:00 we rendezvoused in the beautiful Observation Lounge on deck seven for the Captain's welcome. We were introduced to some of the key personnel on the ship including the Expedition Leader and her team.

What a very long and tiring journey we had all experienced to get to the true beginning of our adventure in Antarctica!