Day 7 snapshots

today is February 3, 2006

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It is February 3, 2006

Sister ship of Orlova

There were half a dozen ships built in Soviet Yugoslavia and named after famous actresses. It turned out that we passed one of them and I caught this view as this ship passed going the opposite direction. While this isn't our ship, it is very nearly like it. Our cabin is on the starboard side, the one you see, and our port hole is in the bottom row. It is on deck 3 of 7. The water line is about knee level from our cabin.

We entered the open ocean about two in the morning and we both woke as we began to realize the difference in the rocking of the ship. Rocking and rolling. Every third wave washes across our port hole like the water in a front loading washing machine.

Birding from deck 6 and 7

Learning to move around the ship while it is pitching in every direction has been challenging. We've attended several lectures about Antarctica and after the one on birds inside the Antarctic Convergence zone, we went up to deck 6 and with a few others kept a lookout for birds of the open ocean. We've seen some albatross and petrels, but exact identification is something we still need to learn.

The sea has been described as "choppy" and I'm estimating that the waves are 5-7 meters high and their peaks 10-12 meters from crest to crest.

Deck 3 passageway

Deep down in steerage, this is the passageway in front of our cabin. It may seem as though I've tilted the camera, but I am standing vertical and the ship is rolling back and forth with the waves. Most of the activities seem to be up on deck 5 or outside observations on deck 6 or 7. That means that we get lots of exercise climbing up and down stairs.

We were a bit concerned about this part of the trip. Neither of us had spent any amount of time out in the open ocean and did not want to take the slightest chance of getting seasick, so we got a prescription for a timed-release patch of medication. I must say that it has worked very well. Of course, while this passage can have some of the worst seas in the world, our weather has been relatively calm.

Sunset on the Drake Passage

And last for this day, a sunset on the Drake Passage. We've been headed south for about 24 hours now and we are only about one half the way from Tierra del Fuego, the End of the Earth and our encounter with the Antarctic Peninsula. We are making between 10-12 knots (14-16 miles per hour) and it was announced this evening that we might be able to sight land sometime around 5 PM on Saturday the 4th of February.

During the evening announcements, the tour director suggested that they would have a contest for coming closest to the time when the first ice berg was sighted. We'll have to put in our best guess for that in the morning.

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