Tuesday 27 December 2011

Scotia Sea

After a slightly bumpy night, today we awoke to calm seas. This enabled our passengers to wander at leisure around the vessel; and perhaps, to take a look at some of the original artifacts of the Fram of Nansen and Amundsen fame, which we have on board as a loan from the famous vessel’s museum in Oslo.

One might start analyzing the model of the ship in its display case, with its robust round hull designed by Colin Archer to withstand the tremendous pressure exerted by ice – should it become trapped in it. Afterwards, it’s interesting to take a look at the various navigational, exploration and everyday use objects also on display: knives with beautiful scrimshaw handles, sextants, gunpowder pouches, enamel dishes sporting the name of the ship… Also on public display are very interesting photographs of life on board the original Fram, as well as life outside its cozy interior, when mariners ventured out to explore the cold territories awaiting them on both poles of the planet, the Arctic and the Antarctic. And it’s nice to know that you can get some rather nice replicas of some of these objects in our shop – they make great souvenirs and elegant presents.

Finally, a further nice thing about experiencing gentle waves and winds in the Scotia Sea, is that some of its inhabitants are easier to spot – and we were lucky to spot some today: fin and humpback whales, antarctic and cape petrels, light-mantled sooty albatrosses… A fine day at sea!!