|Plancius in dock|
|Fin whale in Beagle Channel|
|Nic in lifejacket|
We soon hooked up with a few people who had been in our hostel and others that they had found, including a group of three people who had met back in August on a trip to the Arctic. A number of the group are from the US and the UK and we all spent some time discussing the different usage of words and pronunciaton of English. The US contingent seem to find our accents highly amusing! We had particular fun towards the end trying to teach one of the US people to do the Catherine Tate 'is this face bothered' piece. Trouble was she kept putting on her best posh English accent to do it, so it didn't quite work. But she is still practicing....
To get to Antarctica, you have to spend about two and a half days crossing the Drake Passage. The Drake is the convergence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is notorious for being one of, if not the, roughest sea crossing there is. Waves can reach over ten metres in height and the storms can be violent. Whilst I have never had sea sickness before, Nic doesn't even like roller coasters, and you never know if it is going to hit you, so I went to the doctor before we left the UK and got some scopolamine patches. Although initial forecasts suggested that the Drake was fairly calm, it can change at the drop of a hat, so we decided that prevention was better than cure in this instance, and both put on our patches before we got there.
Meals were fun too. Wine bottles always had the cork wedged back in and could not be stood on tables as they soon fell over breaking glasses as they went. We had to abandon any tall glasses in favor of heavy low ones, and we often had to catch runaway cutlery. We started to get the hang of when the bigger waves were hitting and you had to hold on to everything. I frequently had to hold on to the table to stop my chair sliding away, and a couple of ladies actually toppled over in their chairs. But although this was choppy, it wasn't even nearly as bad as it can get, so we were actually quite lucky.
|Potato -v- seasickness|
The Plancius sailed on through admirably, often followed by a few black browed albatrosses and occasionally a lone wandering albatross.
|Antarctic brash ice|