Beagles / Drakes / Whales

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December 15th 2012
Published: January 6th 2013
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All aboard the Sea Adventurer and join the Quark Expedition. We set sail late afternoon and head out along the Beagle Channel. On our left is Argentina and on our right is Chile.

We have met several of the people on the cruise and have found them all to be very delighful and have enjoyed talking with them.

The staff are so educated and so nice. Two of the female staff (Australia & New Zealand) joined Francine and I for dinner and we had such a good time and laughed so much. Just telling them of our adventures and listening to theirs as well. The staff/guides are from Australia, USA, Canada, Alaska, Scotland, they are Biologists, Marine Bio, Geologists, Historian, Ornathologist, Photographer, Outdoor Educator, Kayak Staff. The Captain is from the Ukraine. There are many support staff, wait, kitchen, cabin etc from Argentina, Peru, Barbados, Costa Rica, Phillipines, Niguagua.

We also got our Antarctica jackets (all weather) tonight and we look absolutely fantastic in them and they will surley keep up very warm in the days to come. We won't
Fran in Chile, Angie in ArgentinaFran in Chile, Angie in ArgentinaFran in Chile, Angie in Argentina

Entering the Beagle channel, and haven't seen Snoopy at all, but pretty sure saw Charlie and Lucy below deck.
get lost in bright yellow with reflectors. And we get to take them home. Will be great for Francine in Broome in 38C. Maybe in cyclone season.

Francine was doing fine with the sea sickness until we reached open water on our way into the Drake Passage. Renown for its rough seas. However, on this crossing the waters are very smooth, just undulating. The staff call it Drake Lake. However again, this does not help Francine and she is off to the cabin to remain horizontal in bed to prevent praying to the porcelain god. Drugs and drowsiness and she is asleep til morning. Angie has been a gem and doing room service with bread rolls and cheese. Francine has perfected eating whilst half lying down. LOL


A good night sleep as we travel the Beagle Channel out into the Drake Passage. This is the most dangerous body of water in the world. Everyone on board is dreading yet anticipating the crossing. This mornings announcement has promised the Drake Lake with unusual weather and relative calm seas for the two days of our voyage across the Drake.

This did nothing to soothe Francine's tummy as the rolling of the ship may be mild to the Drake but not to Fran. The wrist bands that have always worked for sea sickness is now useless on the rolling waves that tilt the rather large ship from side to side. It's hard to walk and everyone is reaching out for stability for any hand hold available. Mild for the Drake but the roughest seas I have been on in a large ship.


Today, we are sailing towards the South Shetland Islands. WHALES WHALES.

We race upstairs on deck. Sea sickness momentarily forgotten. 3 Humpback Whales. Spouts spraying, talils raised and fins waving to us. I was amazing. We then headed back to our cabin to get warmer clothes and the video camera. Angie looked out our port hole and screamed and yelled OMG get the video. One of the humpbacks came up out of the water and his head was only a few meters from our porthole. Angie said he was looking right at her. So for the next 8 mins we filmed the whales frolicing outside out room. At one time towards this wonderful encounter the porthole dipped below the window and we saw the whales under the water OMG, UNBELIEVABLE. It was AMAZING.

Later on we saw our first signs of our closeness to Antarctica with an titanic sized iceberg floating by. We have arrived. Can't wait for tomorrow

17 DECEMBER 2012 Our schedule for the first full day:

• 7:00 Early morning tea, coffee, and pastries in the Lounge
• 7:30 Wake up call
• 8:00 Breakfast in the Dining Room
• 9:15 Lecture
• 11:15 Lecture #2
• 12:30 Lunch
• 2:00 Lecture #3
• 4:00 Afternoon Tea
• 5:00 Zodiac Briefing and rubber boot distribution
• 6:00 Captian's Welcome
• 6:30 Dinner
• 9:00 Movie from the Lonely Planet on the Frozen Planet Series.

Whew! We seldom saw the movie, with all the food and lectures we were exhausted. Of course Angie was the only one enjoying this as Fran was flat on the bed and only getting cheese, crackers and bread that Angie would bring from meals for the first 2 days. Fran was even using the herbal pills that were being given out by the ship's doctor.


• 7:00 Early morning tea, coffee, and pastries in the Lounge
• 7:30 Wake up call
• 8:00 Breakfast in the Dining Room
• 9:15 Lecture Please join our ornithologist David for his talk “Recognising Bird Behaviour”in the Forward Lounge
• 11:15 Lecture #2 Please join our marine biologist Christian for his talk “What’s the Deal with Seals” in the Forward Lounge
• 12:30 Lunch
This session must be attended by all passengersThis is a presentation on the Rules and Guidelines we follow when making our landings in the Antarctic, including the special Conservation and Bio-security Regulations which we are required to follow.The Bio-security Cleaning Procedure will take place after this presentation. Everyone will be called by cabin numbers to come to the Forward Lounge. Please listen for details on the public announcement system
• 4:00 Afternoon Tea
• 5.00 Please join our photographer Krystle for an Introduction to Antarctic Photographyin the Forward Lounge
• 6:30 Please join the Expedition Staff for a re-cap and briefing in the Forward Lounge
• 6:30 Dinner
• 9:00 Movie from the Lonely Planet Part 2on the Frozen Planet Series.

The Clipper Club Lounge will also be open for those wishing to enjoy some drinks and light music, and beautiful views of the South Shetland Islands

NEXT STOP PENGUINS....................

Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 26


Wait a minute, is that the captian leaving the ship.Wait a minute, is that the captian leaving the ship.
Wait a minute, is that the captian leaving the ship.

The pilot is leaving, should we be worried????
Night Sky on the Beagle ChannelNight Sky on the Beagle Channel
Night Sky on the Beagle Channel

The calm before the Drake Passage.
All At SeaAll At Sea
All At Sea

No sign of Francine

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