Wednesday 2 January 2013

Ushuaia, The Fram, Departure

Changeover days are long, long for the crew who are remaining aboard and long for the crew and guests who are joining us today. Early morning wake up calls greeted us all, and for most of us the unpleasantness of the time of the call is outweighed by the reason – to catch a plane to the southernmost city in the world Ushuaia – our hoping off point for the great white land of Antarctica.

We were greeted at the airport in Ushuaia by a fleet of busses who wisked us away into the forests of Patagonia – for a last glimpse of majestic trees and vegetation – even here our thoughts were turning towards the great white land.

With building anticipation we journeyed back to Ushuaia to join our ship, the magnificent MV Fram. After the formalities of boarding, including the safety drill before departure, we were left to explore the ship, many of us proudly wearing our blue expedition jackets. Soon we found the delights of the Restaurant and the talented team of chef’s led by Johan Ludvik Johansen. Others found the delights of the Bar and the amazing views from the Panorama Lounge.
As the excitement of the day wound down, Captain Rune Andreassen introduced his team of officers and warmly welcomed us all aboard, and gave us a “heads up” on our prospects for the Drake. Steffan Biersack, the Expedition leader, introduced his team – and three stowaways – members of the Antarctic Heritage Trust who are heading down to Port Lockroy. We are fortunate that the payment for their passage is going to be a detailed lectures about Port Lockroy - from the team who has helped repair the buildings at Port Lockroy. 
As we enjoyed the last rays of the sun our minds reach forward for the adventure we have embarked upon – and eagerly await the morning rays to see what the day unfolds.