Safely Back In Argentina

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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MS Expedition

Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Sunday, December 5, 2010

A breaking news story:
Tuesday 7th December
Antarctic Cruise Ship limps into Port
Hit by a 30 ft wave and 90 km an hour winds that damaged the engine, broke the bridge window and damaged electrical and communication facilities.

This was NOT OUR cruise ship! It could well have been. It reminds us that Antarctica is still a wilderness frontier and that the Drake passage has the roughest seas in the world. We are so thrilled that we have been able to see a part of this frontier. We arrived back in Port on Sunday and this damage to the Clelia II, a similar size cruise ship to ours, happened the following Tuesday.

As usual the Avan and Heather good luck and timing saw us safe and sound. Bad weather came in for our ship after we had visited Deception Island and the Expedition Leader and Captain decided that Deception Island was to be our last landing (we were supposed to land at Half Moon Island) and we would head straight back across the Drake passage to outrun the bad weather looming. It must have been this storm that caused the damage to the Clelia II.

At dinner that night, suddenly, the seas began to heave and the ship roll. Cutlery, crockery and food went flying around the room and some people fell off chairs. During rough weather the chairs are chained to the floor and non-slip mats are on the table cloths to stop dishes moving but these had not been put in place, as the crossing had only just begun.  It was the only real touch we had of what must be frightening conditions. Thanks to some new sea sick pills we were great and handled it all very well. The Captain reminded us that we were to secure our possessions in our cabins before bed, as we had had to do on the way over. It is no use for instance putting things in the bathroom or on a bedside table, they will fly around the room in the night as happened on our first night sailing to Antarctica.

We headed off to bed, but in the night found it quite hard to stay in bed! The ship's roll tried its best to tip us out. By morning we had seemingly outrun the bad weather and the rest of our Drake crossing was reasonably calm. At breakfast all the chairs and tables were again chained down and non-slip matting covered everything however this turned out to be overkill and thankfully not required. A calm crossing as we were now experiencing is known as the "drake lake" as opposed to the "drake shake".

On our last morning we were up on the deck as the ship rounded Cape Horn, then that night, we had an auction of ship memorabilia to raise funds to save the Albatross and Avan bid for and won, a used crew member's beanie and a (new) T shirt.

It was sad to say our goodbyes to new found friends, but it was time to get moving again, and so we left the ship at the ungodly hour at 4.30 am, walked down the gangplank and headed off to the bus stop to catch the 5.00 am bus to our next destination in Patagonia. 
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