Sunday 15 January 2012

Again back through the Drake

Before enjoying something you have to work for it and before experiencing the beauty of Antarctica you have to suffer the Drake Passage.

After the clearance by the Argentinean authorities, we set sail from Ushuaia. After six hours in the calm waters of the Beagle Channel giving us a comfortable first half of the night we entered the rough seas of the Drake Passage.
There were waves up to 6 to 8 meters high though we only had wind about Beaufort 6 to 7.
The high swell was the relic of the heavy storm we encountered during our way north through the Drake Passage to Ushuaia two days ago. It takes two days for the sea to calm down after such a heavy storm. Some of our passengers, exhausted by the long voyage from all over the world to Ushuaia, suffered from seasickness. Others were on the outside decks, to observe the true friends of all seamen, the masters of the winds, the albatrosses accompanying our ship the whole day together with some Giant petrels and Cape petrels.
The whole day long we listened to lectures about things and subjects we are going to see during our stay in Antarctica like penguins, whales, seals, ice, geology and history in English, German and French. Westerly winds supported the ship to higher speed and we will reach our first landing at Half Moon Island in time tomorrow afternoon. The wind calmed down during the day and the waves smoothened thus most of us could enjoy the Welcome Dinner at the end of the day.