Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Drake Shake

After a calm evening passage through the Beagle Channel, during which we did our lifeboat drill and met some of our fellow passengers, we were ready to hit the Drake again in the early morning. Unfortunately bad weather conditions meant that we were delayed leaving while the helicopters waited for clearance to get onto the ship.
We eventually got underway after lunch, and as last time the Drake quickly claimed a number of passengers, sending down to their cabins for the duration of the crossing.  And on this occasion, Nic joined them.  He wasn't seasick -it started before we hit the rolling waves, so we figured it was a bit of bad shellfish the first night.

In any case, he rejoined us part way through, and in the meantime I went to a few of the lectures and presentations, and spent time watching the albatrosses (black browed, wandering and the very pretty sooty mantled), the petrels (cape and southern giant), southern fulmars, slender billed prions, sooty shearwaters, cormorants and other birds that I lost track of the names of.
We had been expecting a slightly older group of passengers than on our last trip, as that one was quite activity based, whilst this was a bit more sedate and more expensive. And that did prove to be correct.

But what really surprised us was the number of people for whom this was not their first Antarctica trip. There was Sharon, who worked for a travel company specialising in polar tours, so she had been many times, albeit paid for by work, and lots of those on board were on their second or third time.

But Elizabeth, a retired school teacher from Australia goes on multiple trips every year. She told us that she spends next to nothing on anything else, and gets good deals from the firm she books through because she goes so often, but still, we were amazed at how regularly she goes.

I loved Antarctica, and there are lots of different parts of it to see so I can quite understand wanting to back, and of course to the Arctic too, but still I think I would like to travel to a few other places sometimes!
There wasn't really a big group of people that we hung out with this time around, but we soon settled into a pattern of doing our eating and drinking with various people.
In particular we spent much of our time with Sharon, Elizabeth and two other couples. Mark and Tina from Chicago were on their first trip, as were Jeff and Nicky from Madison, Wisconsin.

During the trip we hoovered anything that we would be taking ashore to make sure we didn't introduce any non native seeds etc, and collected our rubber boots, so we were ready for when we reached the Weddell Sea.

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