The Drake Passage One More Time

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Antarctic Dream

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Friday, February 18, 2011


Day : 276
Temperature : 10 degrees
Weather : Mixed

Antarctica Day Nine – The Drake Passage Once More

On our first full day in the Drake Passage I woke up feeling much better than I had done the previous day. However, when I went upstairs for breakfast I soon became aware that everything seemed blindingly bright. In addition, my vision was completely blurred and I couldn't read the time on my watch, or see what food was on my plate in front of me. One look in the mirror and the cause became evident. My pupils were so dilated that they were the size of saucers, and they didn’t seem to react to any light at all, hence the blurred vision and photosensitivity. Kevin, who was also wearing the patch, was absolutely fine, thank goodness.

I couldn’t speak to the ship doc since she was down below vomiting, so I grabbed another couple, who were passengers and also doctors, and asked their advise. Their opinion? A reaction to the Hyoscine sea sickness patch, and I ought to take it off immediately! Isn’t it weird how you ask the doctor for advice, and then you don’t like the answer you get so you try to ignore it?! Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to work for me, and so after half an hour of deliberation, I decided to take the patch off. But without my patch I knew I was going to have terrible sea sickness, and so I headed for the receptionist who was now handing out Dramamine tablets to all the passengers like they were smarties. Unfortunately, the tablets cause terrible drowsiness, and I spent much of the afternoon in a stupor, asleep for much of the time in between meals.  I was still feeling somewhat queasy despite the tablets and so when I saw that the doctor had surfaced I immediately asked for more drugs…anything, but sea sickness! This time I was given an injection in the backside, which I was told would be more effective, as this would prevent the urge to vomit. Great!  I would have taken everything on offer at that point.

Slowly over the rest of the day my vision started to return to normal, despite my pupils remaining massive, and so I still needed to walk around with my sunglasses on even in the most dimly lit areas. By evening time the ship was rolling around even more than it had during the day, but most passengers seemed to be coping thanks to the drugs. Although after dinner the majority of people were headed for bed as a result of nearly falling asleep at the table…also thanks to the drugs!

Antarctica Day Ten – More of the Drake Passage

On Day Ten, and our second full day of the Drake Passage it felt like the boat was pitching a bit less. Kevin was still on good form, not having any problems with sea sickness. I however, was once again feeling queasy, now having zero hyoscine in my system from the patch which I was no longer wearing, no Dramamine because my last pill was before I went to bed the previous night, and none of whatever was in the injection that I’d had yesterday, since that had worn off long ago. Kevin, was still thankfully feeling absolutely fine, and was even enjoying the trip through the Drake Passage if that could be possible.

My pupils were almost back to normal, and my vision was perfect. I decided to put another patch on again…..even if it was just for a few hours, and I would keep a close eye on my eyes….if that makes sense!  I also took a Dramamine tablet, and the doc once again gave me an injection.  Shortly after breakfast, and only an hour and a half after I’d woken up, and I felt like I hadn’t slept in 36 hours, thanks to the Dramamine, and so I headed downstairs to sleep….this I hated, since I really wanted to enjoy our last full day of the trip. 

After a sufficient snooze I woke up feeling slightly refreshed. My eyes didn’t seem to be reacting to the patch and so I decided that I wouldn’t take another tablet and see what happened with the patch on. Thankfully, I managed to keep any nausea at bay, and as the afternoon progressed the seas started to calm down. These two facts then allowed myself and Cate to once again make a nuisance of ourselves up on the bridge, and with much hilarity start messing around with stupid photos in various areas of the ship! Kevin, who was being much more level-headed, was enjoying himself, deep in conversation with the more sensible passengers on board.

In the evening we were all asked to hand back our Antarctic jackets and boots before being treated to a slide show of our trip which was compiled by the crew, using photographs that the passengers had taken during the trip. After dinner, we were all issued with Certificates to say that we’d landed on Antarctica, as proof that we were now amongst the few people in the world to have visited this most magical place.

Tomorrow we would be back in Ushuaia….back in the real world again….how sad.

Antarctica Day Eleven – Back to Ushuaia

After the best sleep of our cruise so far we were woken up by our early morning call at 8.30am. After packing our bags we left them outside our cabin where they would be taken up to the library by the crew. We were now sailing through the Beagle Channel, and Antarctica seemed such a long way away! There was no more need for the sea sickness patch since the water was now flat calm and like a mirror.

We were informed that we would be arriving in port around 11am, so we made the best use of our time by exchanging photographs and email addresses of all the new friends that we had made on board.

Finally Ushuaia came into view and in no time at all we had docked, beside four other boats…one of which being Bill Gates’ boat, one of which being the largest, most enormous ship that I have ever seen in my life, and one of which being another large Antarctic cruise ship which had left for Antarctica on the same day as us. Our gorgeous little Antarctic Dream looked miniscule alongside these giants!

We said our goodbyes to the Captain and the crew, grabbed our bags, and disembarked for the last time…with a tear in our eyes.

We had only ever dreamt of visiting Antarctica in the past. How appropriate it was that we went there on the Antarctic Dream! It really was a dream come true and by far the best thing that we have done on our world trip so far….if not in our whole lives! What a special, magical and overwhelmingly beautiful place that no words could ever describe, and to which no photographs could ever do justice… just have to see it for yourself!
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Eileen on

Amaziiinnnggggggg ....... just read all your recent blogs ... chance of a lifetime !!

Couldn't have done the sea sickness thing though ! I am such a wimp !

Glad you two are back in touch though ..thought a polar bear had got you !!

.................I know i know ...there arent any Polar bears there !!!! :o) xxxxxxxxxx

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