Congratulations are in order for Francis and Stephanie!
Photo Coach, Richard Harker, helps us make masterpieces out of our photos
Among our escort of Pintado Petrels are several lovely Antarctic Petrels
Cruise Director, Jannie Cloete, welcomes guests to the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail
Le Boreal - December 17, 2011
At Sea, Drake Passage
Temperature: 39° F
Wind speed: 15 knots
Cloud cover: 80%
The wind we experienced the night before had dropped off considerably, though the rocking and rolling of the ship continued well into the morning hours. Some of us slept in a little extra, just because we could. It had been quite a stretch of very active days of landings in Antarctica, so a low-key day to relax and recuperate was very welcome.
After a leisurely breakfast and some good conversation over coffee, we joined Photo Coach Richard Harker in The Theater for the first enrichment lecture of the day entitled, "Photographing Antarctica: Making a good shot great!". Richard had many good ideas for how to travel with the many images we now have of our trip to the Antarctic, how to archive them, and how to subtly adjust them.
We grabbed a cup of coffee and went out on deck for some air after the lecture. We joined some of the Expedition Staff there, who helped us identify the seabirds that were following the ship. Two Antarctic petrels and a whole mob of cape petrels were the stars of the show, playing in the wind right alongside the ship.
Before lunch, Assistant Expedition Leader Marco Fever and Ornithologist Patricia Silva gave a talk called, "Albatross - We have a problem". They discussed the issue of bycatch in fishing, specifically the accidental catch of albatrosses and petrels in the Southern Ocean longline fishery for Patagonian toothfish. They also proposed some ideas for how we can become involved and make a difference in saving populations of these remarkable birds.
After lunch and perhaps a bit of a nap, we headed back to The Theater to join Historian Bob Burton for his talk, "The Antarctic Treaty". Bob explained that the treaty holds all territorial claims in abeyance, requires all decisions regarding Antarctica's future to be made by consensus, and dictates that Antarctica should remain a place used for peaceful purposes only.
We left The Theater with pride that we humans have come up with such an agreement, and a hope that the treaty and the ideals behind it will be carried forward well into the future. We then went back into The Theater to join Marine Biologist Charley Wheatley for the final enrichment lecture of the day, "An introduction to the whales of the Southern Ocean". This region of the world's oceanic realm is home to some very interesting dolphin & whale species, some of which migrate here seasonally to feed. Charley discussed the biology of the various whale species and gave us tips for identifying them.
In the evening, we met for Captain Patrick Marchesseau's Farewell Cocktail Party in The Theater. We mingled over champagne, and were introduced to so many of the ship's crew that the stage was overflowing. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to see many of the faces that have contributed so much to our enjoyable experience onboard Le Boreal. Soon the Captain stepped up to the stage to welcome us to the party.