The Drake Passage is as rough as they say. The breakfast buffet was treacherous to navigate. Two men went down right in front of us. One was taken to the infirmary. After breakfast, we decided that the bed was the safest spot for us, so we camped out there, watching lectures and movies on the TV.
Dining with others brought up some issues for us. After isolating and masking since the pandemic began, we didn’t feel too comfortable eating in the dining room. We had never taken our masks off around anyone else until this moment. It was a queasy/uneasy feeling. Everyone feels differently about this subject, but for us, we tried to avoid sitting near anyone, as much as we could. It wasn’t until later, that we found out that we could order room service, for all our meals. In hindsight, we should have done that.
There are three special excursions offered by Albatros Expeditions: camping on the continent, snow shoeing, and kayaking. Due to weather conditions during our cruise, only kayaking was possible. The week you chose to take this adventure comes with its own weather conditions. For instance, in February, it’s really a lot warmer with less sea ice. The timing also affects what the wildlife is doing. In our case, the penguins were nesting and the whales were feeding, albeit elusively. So, we saw a lot of penguins loving each other, fighting about it and then making nests.
- Camping: is open air, no tent, just you in a mummy bag, lying in a shallow grave that you have to dig out yourself first.
- Snow-shoeing: is guided, single file hiking, so as not to fall into a crevasse (in which no one could get you out of again).
- Kayaking: is the best bet in terms of actually happening, and you can get close to sea life! I recommend it, if you have some experience.
Our day closed with IAATO training (why and how to respect nature in the Antarctic) and teaching us how to embark and debark from a Zodiac.
This post is part of a 10-post series of my adventures on the White Continent. More to come…