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01/26/2009

At sea

We awoke to find Minerva steaming across calm seas. The landmass of South America had been left behind during the night and we had the sea to ourselves and the accompanying seabirds. After a leisurely start to the day, the Grand Parka and Boot Swap allowed adjustment in the sizes of these items of apparel that enable us to be well-dressed in Antarctica.

The programme of enrichment lectures started with a presentation on seabirds of the Southern Ocean, and Richard Harker, our photo enrichment coach, gave hugely useful advice on how to make the most of our digital cameras. Later, in the afternoon, Expedition Leader Suzana gave us an overview of the expedition's itinerary, which has to be very flexible given the nature of the area we will visit. She followed this with details of our visit to Stanley, Falkland Islands, tomorrow.

Between these formal gatherings, the pool deck became a popular place because it was warm enough to sit in the sun. The Expedition Staff were present to help identify the albatrosses and their relatives following in our wake, and to point out a group of pilot whales.

If this was not enough to fill our day, Captain Biasutti invited us to a Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party in the evening, followed by a Welcome Dinner notable for its magnificent menu and a buzz of conversation as we developed new friendships.

 

   

The morning Exchange of Boots…

Normally we follow the 'boot trail' to get there.

Our first lecture of the voyage, by Matt Drennan, onboard Ornithologist, about Sea birds.

Captain's welcome aboard party was a good time for our staff to socialize with Maryette Beers, guest from last voyage who decided to stay on for this one.

At the end of the Captain's speech, a toast to the most important factor in an expedition, the weather.


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