Blogs from Oceans and Seas - page 13


Oceans and Seas » Southern January 2nd 2013

The captain wakes us this morning around 8 am once again. We have arrived during the night at Paradise Harbour, a natural shelter formed by two islands and the mainland. This location, delineated by mountains and glaciers on all sides and sheltered from stormy seas, must have seemed a relative paradise to whomever named it. It is a brilliant sunny day with wispy clouds, and the beauty of the surroundings once again takes our breath away. There are two research stations here: Brown Station, an Argentinian facility, and a Chilean station named for a Chilean president who was the first head of state to visit the Antarctic continent. Both stations have interesting histories. Brown Station is famous for having once been burned to the ground by a scientist who went crazy. The Chilean station stands on ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic January 2nd 2013

Our last full day at sea as this voyage comes to a close Friday. Today has been a quiet day for the most part, as we just rest up and take stock of getting off the ship and onto our next leg of the tour in Buenos Aires early Friday morning. We are experiencing very heavy seas and gale force winds again, so we were bundled up while reading on the sun deck as we are moving across a very deep portion of the Atlantic at present. As they are cross swells, the ship is rolling a tremendous amount, even with all of the stabilizers’ out. Thank God we have those or there would be a LOT of sea sick people on-board. The ship’s Dr. told us this morning that a very large number of people ... read more
Team Kiwi launches
Jenny's Ship
Barge is Ready

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic December 31st 2012

Things calmed down a bit during the night as we get closer to the mainland, and we have left the cold and wet weather behind as we move back toward the equator. We still have 15 – 20 foot seas, but very little wind. Although out next stop is in Puerto Madryn on the Argentinian coast, we heard a weather report that our following destination, Montevideo (Uruguay), was experiencing 95 degree F temps at 1000 this morning. We have decided Puerto Madryn will be an internet/catch-up day, as it is New Year’s Day here as well, and most places will be closed for the holiday. One note of interest from the Navigator’s log last night: The Star Princess has aboard a “NACOS Integrated Navigation Bridge System,” which utilizes three GPS systems that keep us within 2-3 ... read more
New Years Eve 2012 South Atlantic Ocean
30 Foot seas
Beatles Trivia -- New Years Eve

Oceans and Seas » Southern December 30th 2012

We had a particularly good sleep last night, lulled by the gentle rolling of the ocean. We wake to a grey, overcast day. At breakfast, we enjoy the aerobatics of the petrels and albatrosses as they wheel and dive alongside the ship. We are clearly picking up more and more seabirds every day. And then it starts to snow outside! I ponder how interesting it is to have left the snow at home in the north and to travel so far south that it is snowing again. The morning is spent on a couple of interesting lectures, one on penguins in all their variety, and the other on Antarctic explorer Ernest Shakleton, another name I remember from stories I read as a boy. Among his adventures was being marooned with his crew on Elephant Island, which ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic December 29th 2012

Today and tomorrow the ship is heading due south from the Falkland Islands towards Antarctica. The sea is very calm today, to the great relief of a number of people on board who suffered badly on the two days that preceded our visit to the Falklands. Typical day at sea. Read, played some bridge, and attended several lectures on the Antarctic, one on the construction of a "traverse" (i.e., ice road) from McMurdo Station (which we will visit) to the geographic south pole, and a couple on the amazing story of the explorer Captain Robert Scott. As I believe I already mentioned, we have two brothers on board (David and Christopher Wilson) as naturalists whose great uncle, Ted Wilson, accompanied Scott and in fact died with him on his last expedition to the south pole. I ... read more


Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 29th 2012

The entire ships’ company was up again by 0800 (no matter, as sunrise is now before 0430) as we approached Hornos Island, the whole purpose of our being on this cruise. Once one sees “The Horn,” why this name was given to this cape is obvious. We have had a chance to cross the equator at sea to become Shellbacks, and now we have sailed around the Horn. We are close to 9,000 miles south of our departure port of San Francisco, and what a stark and bleak place. The landscape is a mixture of flat, scrubby islands, mixed in with mountain ranges that look like twins to the Tetons in Jackson Hole. It is hard to imagine the European explorers of old coming this far from their homeland in ships the size of our lifeboats ... read more
One of the starkest places on Earth
Southern most lighthouse on planet Earth -- Chilean Navy
40 degrees F in 30-knot winds -- But, a sunny summer day!

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic December 27th 2012

Another beautiful day on the ocean. A little less rough than yesterday, and I think we are adjusting to the constant motion of the ocean. Today unfolds much like yesterday. We attend several lectures on the history, flora and fauna of the Falklands. What an interesting history these islands have had! I well remember the 1982 Falklands conflict between Argentina and Great Britain, the latter personified at the time by Margaret Thatcher. The 74-day war left 649 Argentinians and 258 Brits dead. The Falklands are desolate, treeless and wind-swept, yet are one of the most important locations for wildlife in the southern hemisphere. I'm so pleased we are going there. Growing increasingly piano-sick, I decide to seek permission to play the piano in one of the bars. I have to go up the chain of command ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic December 26th 2012

We are now in the open ocean, and the ship is rolling and pitching significantly. Earlier the passengers walked around as if tipsy; now we all flounder about like full-fledged drunkards. Violet participates in aquafit this morning, but the pool water is sloshing around so much that the exercise comes mostly from trying to keep one's head above water. Several lectures today on the Falklands and on the history of the Antarctic region, both given by David Wilson, one of the two naturalists specializing in the Antarctic that we picked up in Buenos Aires. I spend the rest of the time catching up on the blog. I am fascinated by the numerous dragonflies and a few butterflies that we picked up when leaving Montevideo. We saw them fluttering around the ship last night at supper as ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 26th 2012

Everyone was up at O’Dark Hundred this morning as we streamed very slowly into the Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. Our goal was to sight Amalia Glacier, which we did about 0800. It was not nearly as spectacular as the glaciers we have seen in Alaskan waters, but the deep fjords running throughout the park reminded Steve of Milford Sound on the South Island of New Zealand. We did catch a few glimpses of sea lions basking on rocks in the foggy mist. The day is overcast with Force 8 winds and the temp in the high 40’s, so it is back to winter gear after a few weeks of blazing sunshine and warm temperatures. We remained the fjords until about 1500, when we hit the Pacific for one last shot (only about ... read more
2205 and still 40 minutes of daylight left!
Amalia Glacier3
Amalia Glacier2

Oceans and Seas » Pacific December 25th 2012

About 0330 we transitioned from the inside passage out of Puerto Montt into the Pacific and got nailed by 20’ swells and 35-knot headwinds, which got us rocking and rolling again. In the Captain’s midwatch report he said this is “average” for these latitudes (now 46 degrees south). We are steaming in open ocean on a course of 192 degrees at 19.5 knots with the stabilizers out, and we will continue to get pounded until we hit the inside passage to the Gulf of Trinidad at 2330 tonight. Sunrise is now right at 0600, with sunset right about 2230, so we are headed toward the land of the midnight sun, southern style. We will tour Chilean fjords most of tomorrow, with a stop at Amalia Glacier. As it is Christmas the ship is in full regalia. ... read more
Christmas dinner
Grandma went traditional
Grandpa had ham for his little Ham Hock

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