Antarctica: Day One: Ushuaia

Ushuaia, Antarctica’s waiting room, bade us farewell on this day with 40 mph wind gusts. I was ready to trade the pollen of dandelions, which grow unhindered here, for fresh, clean, arctic air!

Dandelion Garden

We were able to drop off our luggage at the tourist information office in the morning, which is two blocks from the “End of the World” sign, where tourists take photos.  I’m not sure it’s the end of the world though. It felt more like the beginning of something special.

That’s me, being dramatic

We ate our last lunch in civilization, and then, at 15:30, boarded the slowest bus I’ve ever been on. I could have easily walked beside it to the dock. But this is their version of border control, so protocol demanded we board the bus and let it take us there.

Upon embarking on the Ocean Victory, each passenger, of which there were exactly 100, met with the ship’s doctor. He checked our vaccination cards, and just like that, we were in!

Ocean Victory by Albatros Expeditions in Port Ushuaia

The ship wasn’t big, but being an X-Bow, it had some ice-displacing capacity, and my first impressions of the crew told me that they were a happy, Antarctica-loving bunch. Each crew member had their special niche, like biology, climatology, glaciology and the best one, Penguin-ology.

Our cabin had everything you would need, just very efficiently appointed. We just unpacked what we needed and slid our suitcases under the bed. There were so many drawers and cubbies, it all fit! Our cabin had a floor to ceiling window, so we could easily see the scenery floating by from bed.

Overnight, we felt the first swells of the Drake Passage, in my opinion, quite lulling. It’s important to secure everything though, otherwise, you will listen to your safe door open and shut with each lurching of the ship, or worse, something will fall on you or break.

This post is part of a 10-post series of my adventures on the White Continent.

Click next for the next post in the series. NEXT

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