Trip Start Dec 07, 2010
66Trip End Jan 14, 2011
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The Drake Lake Crossing Part II
Will we be so lucky and have another smooth crossing of this infamous rough stretch of water?
I felt that we were going to be in real luck as the first part of the crossing was like the way over - near smooth.
Lectures filled the day and I went to all of them simply to pass the time of the day. Actually I went with laptop, checked my images and try and make the initial selection. With such a smooth crossing there were effectively little or no bird activity so the chances of seeing the majestic albatross became slim.
Because we were making goodtime, we heard that evening (Sat) we would try and attempt to get as close to Cape Horn as possible and with luck be able to see it around Sunday 7.30 am.
Saturday evening the seas became rougher and by the next morning the ship was pitching and rolling a little bit. Surprise but I felt fine. Was it the acupressure wrist bands or the sea legs tablets working?
The Drake Passage
Please remove all of your personal belongings from the Mud Room and leave the ship's boots below the benches.
Remember to stop by reception and fill out the Continental Landing Certificate form and the Swim Certificate form.
09:00 Photo Submission: Please bring your ten best photos to reception for the photo contest. The deadline for submissions is 11:00.
09:30 Movie: Please join us in the Discovery Lounge for a showing of Round Cape Horn. This must-see movie has wonderful video footage of the tall ship, Peking, sailing around Cape Horn.
11:00 Lecture: Join Frank Todd in the Discovery Lounge for his lecture, The Impossible Dream.
1400 Lecture: Join Osi in the Discovery Lounge for her talk on the Antarctic Treaty.
16:00 Lecture: Please join John Kernan in the Discovery Lounge for his lecture, Seabirds and Long-line Fishing.
17:00 Disembarkation Briefing: Please join the Purser in the Discovery Lounge for a Mandatory Disembarkation Briefing regarding account settlement and leaving the ship.
18:00 Slideshow and Auction: Please join the Expedition Staff in the lounge for a viewing of the photos submitted for the photo contest.
18:15 Osi will host our Ship’s Auction. Come bid on souvenirs of our trip. All proceeds go to Save the Albatross.
21:30 Movie: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
The Drake Passage
"Once you had been in the white unknown you could never escape the call of the little voices." - Frank Wild
by Scott MacPhail & Osi Shahaf
Saturday, 8th January 2011
“They are extraordinarily like children, these little people of the Antarctic world, either like children, or like old men, full of their own importance and late for dinner, in their black tail-coats and white shirt fronts - and rather portly withal.”
Apsley Cherry Garrard
So far so good. There were a few good rolls throughout the night, but on the whole it was a pleasant evening. The seabirds were out this morning as the winds picked up and they all looked forward to the high waves. The day was filled with talks and presentations, and it started out with the race to the pole in 1911 with Cpt. Scott of Great Britain and Roald Amundsen of Norway.
Frank was up next with a presentation on the work involved in setting up the polar section of Sea World at San Diego. A lot of firsts for Frank and his team as they worked tirelessly to set up this amazing display for the public to observe and marvel at.
After lunch Osi was in the discovery lounge with an educational presentation on the Antarctic treaty and what the future holds for this continent. John ended the day of lectures and talks with an educational presentation on the plight of the albatross and the problem the world has with long-line fishing and the unnecessary deaths of the albatross.
It was slide show and happy hour time later in the day, and we all sat back and remembered the trip and admired all the photo entries for the best pic competition. We were making great time as we continued on our northern route towards Cape Horn.
The world’s greatest current is the Antarctic Circumpolar current, which flows at one point at the rate of 9.5 billion cubic feet/second and ranges from 185 to 1,240 miles.
From “The Outermost House” by Henry Beston
We need another, and a wiser, and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Far removed from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and thereby sees a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man alone. In a world far older than our own they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or shall never attain, living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren, they are not underlings. They are other nations caught with us in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the Earth.
Sunday 9 January
Early morning the wind was gusting around 40 knots and we got within 23 miles of Cape Horn when the decision was made to abort going any further. Visibility would have been very poor anyway. So east we headed to have a smoother ride and then turned north towards the Beagle Channel were in the sheltered waters we made good time and by 6.00 pm had berthed alongside the wharf at Usuahia.
The Captain's farewell cocktail function was put back till 6.45 pm to enable the Captain to complete his duties.
Final dinner and for some time to stretch the legs ashore. We were berthed in amongst other larger cruise liners and I felt for the passengers on these monsters. What sort of experience in the southern waters will they experience?
The next day several other huge liners had berth and I heard that 9,000 passengers were in town that day.
The Drake Passage
I am the albatross who awaits you
At the end of the earth.
I am the forgotten soul of the dead mariners
who rounded Cape Horn
from all the seas of the world.
But they did not perish
In the furious waves.
Today they fly on my wings
For all eternity
in the ultimate embrace
of the Antarctic winds.
07:30 We will approach Cape Horn. Listen for announcements.
09:00 Movie: Please join us in the Discovery Lounge for a showing of Around Cape Horn. This must-see movie has wonderful video footage of the tall ship, Peking, sailing around Cape Horn.
10:00 Engine Room Tours: Please sign up at reception and wait for your group to be called for the tours. Be sure to wear closed toe shoes to the Engine Room.
13:30 Arctic Overview: Join Scott in the Discovery Lounge for an overview of the trips that are offered in the Arctic
14:30 Ship’s Auction: Osi will host our Ship’s Auction. Come bid on souvenirs of our trip. All proceeds go to Save the Albatross.
16:30 Closing Recap: Join the Expedition Staff in the lounge for a final recap of the trip and the “You are the Stars” slideshow.
18:15 Captain’s Farewell: Please join the Captain in the lounge for a final farewell.
Expedition Log by Scott MacPhail & Osi Shahaf
Sunday, 9th January 2011
This Day in Polar History: 1909
Ernest Shackleton reached 88*23. He was 97 nautical miles from the South Pole.
He had reached the furthest south of any man at that time. He turned back, because his dwindling rations put the lives of his men at risk.
“For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen, for scientific discovery, give me Scott, but when all hope is lost, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”
Sir Edmund Hillary
Wow! Did we ever get pounded last night. Things were flying all over the cabin and we were holding on for dear life to our beds, as the ship rock and rolled throughout the night. For those who were wishing for some rough weather, well we got it in spades. In the afternoon we were busy getting our luggage packed, paying our bills and taking our last looks of the Drake Passage and the Beagle Channel. On board engine room tours, gave us a quick insight to the 'room below’ that took us out and safely back to Ushuaia on this our most unforgettable of voyages. It was so nice to finally get into the protected waters of the Beagle Channel and breathe a sigh of relief that the ordeal of fighting the erratic movements of the ship was finally over.
Julio and the staff invited us to the lounge to watch a recap of our trip and a photographic journey of our trip, followed by the Captain’s farewell before we went to dinner. It was a totally different scene in the dining room this night as we were able to sit and enjoy the comforts of the ship and not worry about the pitching and rolling we had experienced last night. Dinner was superb as always and the conversation lively, as we ended our exciting trip.
Expedition Log by Scott MacPhail & Osi Shahaf
Monday, 10th January 2011
“Antarctica reflects the mystery we call God!”
It has been a journey of amazing contrasts and experiences: Antarctic winds, snow and bright sunshine; seabirds gliding around the ship, ice, glaciers, and snow covered mountains. Memorable days watching the penguins, a special opportunity to watch Orcas teaching their young and opportunities to observe Leopard, Weddell, Elephant, Fur and Crabeater seals.
We have come 1,680 nautical miles, from Ushuaia south to 65*10 S, to Petermann Island, all in the fine company of the staff, officers, crew and other passengers on board the M/S Expedition. As we bid farewell and a safe trip home to you, the staff take their collectives hats off for the superb seamanship of our officers and crew and the lovely hospitality of the hotel staff and, above all, for you the passengers being the excellent traveling companions that you are.
It seems but a moment and at the same time a lifetime ago that we boarded the ship in Ushuaia and now we are back at our starting point. We wish you all a safe and enjoyable trip home and we look forward to seeing you soon on another voyage.