28 January 2015
Ushuaia was clear at midnight when I arrived and basking in sunshine the next morning.
Caught the Anne Margaretha ok and Wednesday afternoon we left sunny, hot Ushuaia at about 1pm to sail down the (photo: Harberton)
Beagle Canal to anchor at Harberton at midnight – you can drive there in about 2 hours via a wiggly road – sailing’s slow!
The next day we started our passage to Antarctica, passing Cape Horn in the distance. The atmosphere plays funny visual tricks down here mirroring islands making them look twice as high. The air’s so dry here we could clearly see islands 100km away.
We sailed through 55 knot winds & a storm – force 10 – with big waves & spray like someone dumped a bath of water over us! Then at the Convergence Zone where warm air from the north meets cold Antarctica water we had fog.
We had watches on the crossing – 4 hours on, 8 off. Mine was 4am-8am then 4pm-8pm!! Great!! Yes, I was on time and yes I was often the only one of our watch showing up to you doubters of my punctuality & ability to rise in the mornings!!
After 5 days since Harberton we saw land down south and dropped anchor at Yankee Harbour, South Shetlands on Greenwich Island.
Yesterday we got on land at Yankee in the sunshine to see Gentoo & Chinstrap penguins & Weddell seals & Antarctica fur seals.
7 foot wingspan wandering albatrosses & cape painted petrels kept us company across most of the crossing.
In the Beagle Canal we had fabulous Southern right whale dolphins performing somersaults in the crystal clear waters at our bow and then dusky dolphins doing the same.
Here in Antarctica we’ve almost lost count of the number of humpbacks we’ve seen!
In the fog we were iceberg spotting via radar then saw them looming out of the grey.
Everyone on board is great – crew & guests!! We’ve had a birthday breakfast for Sophia today!
Harsh points – no showers during the Drake Passage for safety & also the water makers don’t work in the cold waters further south!
Getting up at 3.30am for watch.
No wine or beer during sailing i.e. during the Drake Passage!
Trying to write this email on Saturday during a storm – yes the sea sickness got me for an afternoon 🙁 !
Great points – being back in Antarctica, sailing, scenery, wildlife, seeing Ushuaia in sunshine, a surprise cabin to myself and more to come in the next 2.5 weeks!
Missing you all and hope everything’s ok back home!
Happy birthday in advance Dad and Autumn!! Not sure when I’ll be able to write again!
( photo: Yankee Harbour)