SA Cruise: Day 17

Oceans and Seas » Southern
January 3rd 2013
Published: January 4th 2013
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The fog has mostly lifted by morning, but it is still very variable. This will be a complete day at sea as we negotiate the Drake Passage between Antarctica and South America. We expect to pass close to Cape Horn sometime in the evening on our way to Ushuaia, Argentina.

As the day goes by, the waves grow higher and higher, and by the afternoon the swells are running up to 30 ft. Because of our direction, conditions are not as violent as the passage to the Falklands, when the ship was bashing into the oncoming waves, but the ship is certainly pitching significantly. Dishes and occasionally people go sliding to the floor in the dining room. One basically has to keep a hand on something solid all the time to avoid making a spectacle.

Later in the day, I want to do my daily walk, but access to the outside walkway on deck 6 as well as to the upper walkway on deck 12 has been closed. However, they didn't reckon with someone who has conquered all versions of Myst. They overlooked one semi-secret stairway on deck 11 that I had noted earlier, and I am able to get outside onto deck 12. It's glorious. I am all alone, gripping the railing with all my might. The wind, particularly on the port side, is like a freight train coming at you. The spray soon has me covered in salt but it also creates rainbows wherever you look. Gorgeous rolling ocean in every direction. My Nova Scotian heritage boils up and fills my heart.

The ship passes Cape Horn, the southernmost piece of land in the world not part of Antarctica, around 9 pm while we are at supper. It is a lonely, windswept, treeless island, as far as we can see. Interesting fact: Cape Horn was not so named for its shape but for the hometown of the Dutch explorers who "discovered" it in 1615.

Great variety show tonight featuring three of the entertainers whom we saw earlier. They are all departing the ship tomorrow in Ushuaia.


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