20 March 2011

The Voyage Begins...Argentina (8 March)

After enjoying White-bellied Seedsnipes in the morning, in the afternoon we boarded our Antarctic-bound, Polish-built, vessel, that came complete with hardy Russian crew. After a nights sailing I awoke with excitement, and relief. I had popped pills all night long in preparation for the famous Drake Passage, and the rough seas of the dreaded "Furious Fifties". However, for our two-plus day journey that began cruising through the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia, and then took us into the passage we experienced the other side of the Drake, often known as the "Drake Lake". The boat barely moved as we drifted steadily towards Antarctica through still waters with hardly a breath of wind. Not long after I awoke (to a Black-browed Albatross drifting past my porthole window no less), we began to see the great ocean journeymen, with first Southern Royal Albatross and then Wandering Albatrosses. These are the largest birds on Earth, that I had yearned to see for many long years.

Watching these majestic seafaring birds soar effortlessly past the bow was a real treat on our first morning, as moved all the time southwards, and closer to the ice...

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