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12/18/2008

Drake Passage


We are paying a bit of the “Drake Tax” as the ship rolled a bit throughout the night. Yet we continued to stream back towards Ushuaia. It was our last chance to attend the many enrichment lectures from the expedition staff. Historian John Dudeney told us about how 28 nations ‘govern’ Antarctica. After time out on deck we joined Cruise Director Jannie Cloete for a disembarkation briefing to learn about our travel details. Photo coach Richard Harker told us about various techniques for editing photos.

In the afternoon we gathered for our final tea time and today we enjoyed Crepe Suzettes made fresh by the Maitre d’ Greg Nerman.

Our last formal activity of the day was an Expedition Overview. Expedition Leader Larry Hobbs thanked all the guests for sailing with us and talked about how smoothly the trip had gone. Russ introduced a slide show that featured photos of our various landings and many people recognized themselves disguised in their red parka. There were some incredible images and we were stunned when we realized how lucky we had been with the weather most of the time in Antarctica and the wildlife we had encountered.

We also raffled tickets to benefit the “Save the Albatross” campaign and the ‘Minerva’ welfare fund. Guests who purchased tickets stood the chance of winning a sea chart with our route and signed by the senior officers onboard, or one of Patricia Silva’s ink drawings. There was excitement in the room as the winning numbers were announced.

These final days of this expedition have been dominated by reflection and celebration. Guests gathered together for lunch, dinner or an evening cocktail to commemorate the wonderful time that we’ve all shared together in Antarctica.

What an amazing place Antarctica is! We are so fortunate to have experienced it, and Antarctica stands as a reminder of how powerful and yet fragile the natural world is.

   

Heavy traffic around the awesome coffee machine

'Shipshape' means lots of work for our diligent deck crew

Lecturer John Dudeney discusses the governance of Antarctica

Peg takes a look at the most recent additions to the photo wall

As we approach Cape Horn, a card game commences in the Verandah Restaurant


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