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In a traditional Antarctic cruise from Ushuaia almost 2.5 days are spent crossing Drake passage. I will try to reproduce my personal diary I maintained during this trip.
10 – Jan – 2018
Our journey to Antarctica has began. I was very excited since morning. I went for some last minute shopping and also got some USD in cash from a local exchange. I also visited local prison museum in Ushuaia to kill few extra hours. We were allowed to board the ship after due immigration formalities at about 4 PM.
First few hours of the journey is crossing through Beagle channel. We left Ushuaia shortly after 6 PM. Crew members introduced themselves and we toasted the beginning of our journey with a fine glass of Champagne . This is summer time in southern hemisphere and days were pretty long. Most of us spend first few hours watching scenic Beagle channel. Dinner was served at 7.30 PM . I again settled down outside with cup of coffee after dinner.
11 Jan 2018
We had hit Drake passage at 12 AM. This is roughly the 800 mile stretch of water between Cape Horn and South Shetland island without any significant landmass around. This is where Pacific ocean meets Atlantic . The water is very turbulent here most of the times. During our crossing we negotiated waves of up to 7 – 10 meter. Our ship was both rolling (side wise) and pitching (front to back) at the same time and it was practically impossible to stand upright. Any furniture which was not bolted to the floor was flinging around. Most of the people had suffered from serious sea sickness. Some people also got injured which is very unfortunate.
12 Jan 2018
We are now pretty accustomed with the routine . Breakfast at 7.30, lunch at 12 and dinner at 7. Lunches and dinners were always a three course affair , starting with soup /salad and ending with desert. Breakfast was little boring it was same buffet every morning.
There was also a bar on-board where passengers can buy their drinks and pay by card at the end of the trip. There was also an on-board gift shop , two computers and collections of books. The turbulence had no sign of abetting , it was a pretty boring day except couple of interesting lectures. One on sea birds and other on whaling history in Antarctic peninsula. Today also people got injured , one Japanese lady broke her knee. Our safety briefing for Jodiac landing which was scheduled today afternoon got cancelled.