Antarctic Adventure


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Oceans and Seas » Southern
January 12th 2012
Published: January 13th 2012
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DRAKE PASSAGE:



Had a very early evening last night. Wasn’t interested in the show or the movie, the casino was closed due to Chilean law and I didn’t want to sit in a bar and drink so I nested in my room watching my course on Ancient Civilizations. When I began to nod off I turned out the lights and was awake again at 2:00 am. Got up, had a glass of wine and read until sleepy and still was awake before my call and ready for the day. We were still in the Magellan Straits and the sea was calm. The day was overcast so the greens and whites on the snow-capped peaks were not as brilliant as they might have been.

The minute we entered the Drake Passage everything changed. The seas are around 9’ and the cabin is rocking but not so much as to cause distress. Wandering Albatross are riding the currents at the bow and I know I’m at sea.

At 10:00am the Captain gave a presentation on the factors that necessitated the course change. With weather maps and information from Google Earth is was apparent if we had adhered to our itinerary we would be crossing Drake’s Passage in 25’-30’ swells and high winds. Now our crossing to Antarctica will be with 9’seas, a huge difference, and we will have an additional day cruising. A slide showing the Veendam with her hull cut away due to damage from a storm in the Passage last year should have convinced any doubter that this was the right decision.

Today was packed with lectures; astronomy, an overview of Antarctica and the flying birds and penguins we might see. Lunch was sushi, not great, and a variety of cheeses, not bad. Met Gerald, Connie and Arlene in the Crow’s Nest for happy hour. Gerald has offered to let me use his back up camera, a very generous offer that I will take advantage of.

Arlene (Mom) and Connie (daughter) live in San Diego and sail together often. They have the cabin next door and really enjoy a good time, bingo, dancing, slots, drinking, and other shipboard activities. They are fun to be around. For me this explains the allure of cruising. I interact with people with a variety of interests, backgrounds and opinions; birders and revelers, teachers and travel junkies, librarians and financial consultants, old and not so old, wealthy and not so very well off, all enjoying the magic of cruising.

We had a full table at dinner. Katherine is back after feeling a bit under the weather. I enjoyed a citrus fruit cocktail, cream of broccoli soup and Italian meatloaf. For dessert we all ordered from the cheese menu, Gouda, Stilton, drunken goat and crabby lamb. All were delicious despite the cutesy names.

There was a poker game running and I sat in. The poker gods smiled and I walked away $240 up for the night. Tomorrow we will see Antarctica!

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