The Drake Lake

Trip Start Jan 29, 2007
Trip End May 30, 2007

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Flag of Antarctica  ,
Sunday, March 4, 2007

Morning Temp: 6C
Winds: 13 Knots SE
Evening Temp: 3C
Winds: 19 Knots S

Morning Temp: 2C
Winds: 13 Knots ESE
Evening Temp: 3C
Winds: 24 Knots SW

Whilst swaying from side-to-side on my dining chair, tucking into my three course lunch on the boat, Im surprised to hear the expedition staff saying that the crossing is quite calm and indeed more like the "Drake Lake" than the "Drake Shake".

The relative emptiness of the dining room tells another story though, a number of people are missing presumed sea-sick. Glad I took those pills.

The meals are pretty decent on board, buffet breakfast, 3 course lunch, afternoon tea and a 3 course dinner....and all pretty tasty too. The waitresses and cooks do a sterling job with it given the temperament of the open ocean.

The first couple of days of the crossing are relatively quiet, a few lectures, getting to know people on the boat. Already factions are forming. There are the "Whalers" led by Debbie, an irritating american lady who has been on a million expeditions and runs some herself in California (she took immense pleasure in enforming me that shes seen 81 whales on this particular day of the Drake crossing...also at home in California she said shed seen hundreds of blue whales....possibly every time she looked in the mirror!). She and her cronies spent most of the time on the bridge staring out of there 1500 dollar binoculars. I on the other hand felt sick when I did this, so I just went to meet people in the bar area.

Spending most of the time hanging out with the younger crowd. Theres Shen, Linda and Leonie from Oz, Hadas from Israel, Calvin from the UK, Evan from Ireland and my mum. All are good company and theres some good banter (though the shear amount of swearing is making me uncomfortable in front of my mum...though she doesnt seem bothered).

People are a bit wary about drinking booze given the occassional rough nature of the first couple of days, so its an early night for all for the first couple of nights. Sleeping on the top bunk whilst the ship is swaying (sometimes alot) takes a bit of getting used to.
Cant wait to get to the peninsular and see and do stuff. Want to see a bit more than the occassional whale spit from a distance!!!! Well be making our first landing soon...
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