Antarctic Adventure

Oceans and Seas » Southern
January 13th 2012
Published: January 14th 2012
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ANTARCTICA - Friday the 13th.

Slept in today. The ship was nicely rocking and we had a smooth crossing of the infamous Drake Passage. It was much more pleasant than if had adhered to our previous course. The wind is howling a bit and the sky is still overcast but I’m hopeful that the skies will clear when we get closer to the continent. My tablemate Gerald has offered me the use of his spare camera for the rest of the trip or until I can get mine up and running. What a generous offer.

There is a wandering albatross riding the currents at the stern. These remarkable birds’ wingspan can be 12’ and once they fledge they are at sea for up to 6 years. They need a cliff or high platform in order to take off so they spend their lives flying in search of fish, which they catch with their talons. When they are mature they land and mate, raise their young and they off to the skies again.

Today’s lecture was about Patagonia, a region shared by Chile and Argentina. After one hundred years of dispute, negotiations led by Pope John finally reached agreed boarders. In the minds of some Chileans and Argentineans the dispute is still raging. It ranges from the Rio Colorado south to the Tierra del Fuega and other islands at the tip of South America. Sheep ranching and agriculture prevail.

After a light lunch I headed for the casino for the Hold ‘Em tournament. Believe it or not I won collecting $170. I am playing well AND getting good cards. That will change but for now I am satisfied with my play. BTW, I was the only female at the table. Joe always said beware of older women playing poker.

We arrived at Deception Island at 4:30 on Friday 1/13/12 amid snow showers with the temperature of 36 degrees. The wind has died down but it is still over overcast. The most comfortable viewing spot is on my own verandah, sheltered from the wind and snow. There is commentary on the TV so I’m not missing any of the anecdotes.

After being out in the chill, a whirlpool bath was just the thing. Looking out I can see large glaciers on an island. Magical! Now it is time to dress for formal night. I may go to the Captain’s Ball, or I may play poker, decisions, decisions.

We are heading for Greenwich Island and Half Moon Island. Science stations are located on both; Bulgaria, Spain, and Argentina all have a presence.

Katherine treated the table to Champaign to celebrate are arrival in Antarctica. We watch the islands and their glaciers glide by a sit silent and in wonder at nature’s beauty. <!--EndFragment-->


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