When all you can see is sea.

Sunset Drake's Passage

We had a bit of a lay in this morning as we were going to be waking up to the middle of the Drake Passage so there was to be nothing in particular to see other than sea! I opened my eyes with caution thinking how much is the boat moving? To our pleasant surprise it wasn’t rocking and rolling too badly, looking out the window the waves didn’t look too bad at all. I decided it would therefore be OK to go and have some breakfast. Rebecca on the other hand felt that sleep was more important so I left her in the cabin and headed out. That morning, there were noticeably fewer people up and around but those of us who were up headed to the lounge to hear a talk by Jonathan Shackleton on Ernest Shackleton’s adventures. It was a great place to have a history lesson and very special as he showed us some of Ernest’s belongings that the family had kept. He ended by talking about Ernest’s 4 key values:

Optimism

Patience

Idealism – imagination 

Courage

These are four great values to keep in mind when things get tough!

It is a weird feeling to look 360 degrees around you and all you can see is grey sky and sea – it does make you feel very small in a very large space. Robert was telling us that in the Drake’s Passage you could throw a ball out of one window and it would go all the way around the world and back in through the window on the other side of the boat without meeting any land!

The second lecture of the day was all about Seals. Having now seen the seals that expert Miko was discussing made the talk even more fascinating as we had seen the behavioural patterns for ourselves.

A few more people were around for lunch but most were taking it easy in terms of how much we ate just in case the weather changes! It was noticeable that the sea-sickness bags have suddenly appeared and been left around on the tables! We have heard that straight ahead of us is a big storm so the Captain is taking us on a northwesterly route, slightly out of our way but meaning we should, hopefully, miss most of the storm. The weather has been so kind to us but the crew warns it should not be this warm at this time of year – so whilst we’re not complaining in terms of our own journey, it is food for thought on climate change!

The 3pm lecture was on the race to the South Pole. It was very interesting to listen to all the reasons why some expeditions succeed and others don’t. All the lectures that we have had whilst on the boat have been delivered with great passion by the crewmembers who are so knowledgeable in their field, we really have learnt a great deal.

That evening, our knowledge was put to the test in the Antarctica quiz. The lectures I had been attending paid off and our team finished a very respectable third just three points off the winners! We are hoping to sleep ok tonight being gently rocked and rolled by the waves. The good news is that they are not expecting the swell to go above the 4m it is currently so hopefully we will get a good rest.

 

Image courtesy of 2041.c0m

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