World Trip 2012-13: Day 44 – Drake Passage, Antarctica

Friday 9 November 2012
Highlights: Rough Seas and Onboard lectures.

A very rough night of sailing. A lot of items in my room ended up at the cabin door. At one point I started to fall out of the end of the bed. I later learned some passengers with beds facing A different direction to mine rolled out of their bunk and onto the floor. One passenger needed a visit from the doctor for stitches to her head.

Breakfast couldn’t be served in the dinning room on deck five due to the rough conditions. The higher the deck the worst the effect of a ship rolling. Instead we had a light breakfast in the lounge. At this point I estimate about 80% of people attended, this number dropped throughout the day due to nausea and sea sickness.

Now showering in a rolling ship is very difficult. One hand always has to be on the support bar or an injury is headed your way! I didn’t feel sick at all. I did take a tablet last night so that probably helped, the majority of passengers had patches. The hard part is trying to stay awake as the shop rocks side to side like in a hammock. I observed several people who slept most of the day.

The winds today came from the south west reaching a 9 and 10 of their scale which is about 61 knot winds. On our journey down to Antarctica there are lots of scheduled lectures, today I attended them all hoping to learn more about Antarctica. First up Kevin Morgan delivered a lecture titled The Great Ocean Wanderers, the seabirds of the Southern Ocean, some people where disappointed this didn’t include Penguins, in particular the lady dressed as a penguin!

Next up was a lesson in geology as Alex Cowan discussed Antarctica Geology which started with the development of the world, the formation of Antarctica and how it had drifted to its current location. I had a basic understanding of the development of the planet but learnt a little more about how Antarctica is the highest, coldest and driest continent on the planet.

The sea was too rough to allow lunch in the dinning room either so instead sandwiches were served in the Discovery lounge. I’m guessing about 60% attendance at this point, the rest of the guest either got their lunch delivered or skipped lunch. Based on the excess sandwiches I’d say there were a few unwell passengers.

In the afternoon I attended a lecture on The Race to the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen which Scott Macphail delivered. While both expeditions made the South Pole Scott’s team all died on the return journey not far from safety. The lecture bought home just how harsh this environment actually is.

The last lecture of the day was delivered by John Kernan on the Ice Seals. I learnt it is not a good idea to get too close to these creatures a good distance. In the water they hunt penguin but on land, for the most part, they coexist. There was some graphics pictures of penguins that got killed and eaten. Overall the lectures highlight the range of different experts on board, very cool and informative.

For dinner they opened the dining room deck. You are waited upon and have a selection of two meals for entree, main and dessert. The chairs on the dinning deck are chained down and on occasion as we rolled we worked out why this was necessary, lets just say i keep my hand on my glass and kept dry but at least one other person didn’t. Both Ben and myself enjoyed a beer to celebrate our first full day on the sea.

Antarctica Photos

About Nathan

A World traveller who has so far experienced 71 countries (76 by June 2023) in this amazing world.
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