Sunday 4 December 2011

No Drake Lake?

Having left Deception yesterday meant that we would have to cross the Drake Passage for almost two days before reaching Ushuaia on Monday.

On our way down –had it only been a week ago?- we experienced the “Drake Lake”. This time the sea was building up a little, but not enough to cause any discomfort, or to skip any events on board.

One of the highlights of the day –apart from “Banana flambĂ©” at lunch- was the bridge visit for groups 1-3. Tessa and Rudolph helped moving the groups in and out, while the captain and officers explained their work-station (“…and, please, no pushing of any red buttons!”).

Today was my turn giving two lectures. Well, actually just one and the same, “Shackelton’s quest for the South Pole” but in two different languages. In both cases attendance was good –there was not much else to do, as it was misty outside…..

After a short call home the fog still kept rolling in and out, but even so, every so often birds could be seen. Cape Petrels and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses were the most prominent ones. Even a humpback whale had been spotted in the distance, ready for a dive- visibility under water was probably better than above.

During tea-time three of our Canadian guests wanted some information regarding Easter Island –they would be going there in a few days’ time- and Frieda had brewed some very tasty tea…
At 17:30 the sky turned blue and the sea was calm enough for Rudolph and Tessa to consider a match of table-tennis in the Gym, on deck 7.

While some were thinking of the wonderful moments we had had on our cruise (be it in the Chilean Fjords or in Antarctica), others were thinking of packing, and still others checked the brochure for future cruises aboard MV Fram or any of the other Hurtigruten ships.

After dinner I continued reading “The Defenders of the Faith” (Carlos V. and Suleyman the Great, and their battle for Europe between 1520 and 1536), but the ending was anti-climactic- not because I knew which side had won, but because the last chapters lacked the zest of the earlier part of the book.

By now the sky had almost completely turned blue and the sea had calmed down considerably. The night would be spent gliding through the Drake.

Guest blogger Christian Walter AKA Rapa Nui