By – Alifiya Calcuttawala
” A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck
Day 8: Monday, March 15th2017
DRAKE PASSAGE, EN ROUTE TO TIERRA DEL FUEGO
WIND (AM): 5kn E– TEMP. (AM): 2ºC (partially cloudy)
WIND (PM): 5kn ENE– TEMP. (PM): 2ºC (partially cloudy)
The crossing resulted fairly easy so far, with a little wind and clouds. The feared Drake Passage is showing it’s effect from the remaining swell. After breakfast our guides started offering lectures again to help us understand what we had seen and dsicuss a little about what we experienced. In the meantime we were zipping along northbound, mildly rolling with a little wind coming across.
The Drake remained reasonable and we could even try to spot some more seabirds, maybe the last we would see for a while. Dinner was as good as usual, and most even managed to keep it all inside. As we exchanged stories about the days past, we realized that though we had all taken the same trip, our individual experiences varied quite a bit and it looked as if each of us had taken somewhat different journeys.
Day 9 :Tuesday, March 16th2017
DRAKE PASSAGE – BEAGLE CHANNEL
Wake up call came as usual on our second day crossing the Drake. Reassured by the lack of major movement, we headed to the Dining Room to get some food. Early morning was spent chatting and downloading and selecting the many pictures we had taken throughout the trip. Our expedition staff once again offered educational activities and lectures.
The waters calmed down during the afternoon as we entered the sheltered area in the lee of Cape Horn and later the Beagle Channel.
In the afternoon, for the final recap the Expedition Staff had a surprise for us: A DVD containing the map of the journey, the wildlife checklist, note on some of the lectures, their bios, and a photo-show of pictures from the voyage.
At night we dressed up for the farewell dinner and we toasted goodbye, a very nice way to conclude an unforgettable journey.
After dinner we joined our fellow voyagers in the bar for a last drink on the ship. Of course we’d have plenty of time for that in Ushuaia, but it felt more like saying goodbye to the bar and the ambience we created around it than saying goodbye to each other.
Day 10: Wednesday, March 17th2017
LAT. 54°48′ S, LONG. 68°18′ W
Dawn lit the ending of our trip. We had returned the same but much different, changed somehow by having conquered a continent known by so few, loved by so many. The beauty we had experienced on the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands would stay with us. It was a memorable journey. After breakfast it was time to go. Fare thy well, USHUAIA, you explorer of the Ice!
Note: For a trip to Antarctica, contact The Wanderers.