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Drake Passage

Edwin Mickleburgh wrote ‘Antarctica left a restless longing in my heart beckoning towards an incomprehensible perfection forever beyond the reach of mortal man. Its overwhelming beauty touches one so deeply that it is like a wound.’
Explorer II was well and truly in the Drake Passage now, having left the great white continent in her wake. Through the night the swells and wind picked up quite substantially, we felt a bit of the ‘Drake shake’ and fairly enough, it was a small price to pay for what we had experienced down south. We were paying a bit of ‘Drake Tax’ now as the ship rolled around, but as long as we moved around carefully, the ship was incredibly stable.

Onboard photo coach, Richard Harker presented ‘I’ve got the shot – now what do I do?’ an illustrative talk about how to save, store and edit one’s images in the ever-changing digital age.

Patricia Silva followed with a presentation on a very serious situation affecting the Southern Ocean and seas worldwide: 'Albatross – We have a problem.' Longline fishing is destroying albatross populations but simple measures can prevent deaths.

Michael Schmid gave a presentation to our German guests entitled ‘Leben in Meereis – kalt, eng, salzig’ which described life in the sea ice.
Lunch was served in the Main Dining room today, as the ships movement precluded a buffet luncheon in the Verandah restaurant. In the afternoon, Russ Manning gave an illuminating talk on a 'Year in Antarctica'. In the 1990s, Russ was Base Commander of the British Antarctic Survey station on Signy Island in the South Orkneys.

The last lecture for today discussed 'The Antarctic Treaty – Frozen Ambitions' presented by Bob Burton, with Michael Schmid and Larry Hobbs discussing. The preamble to the Treaty includes the statement: "……it is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord……". The Treaty is a simple document and at its heart is Article IV which avoids the problem of territorial claims by allowing nations to 'agree to disagree'. It has been largely successful in over 40 years of operation and has spawned such organizations as The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the Protocol on Environmental Protection, which, among other things, regulates the operation of cruise ships.

There was just enough time to change for Captain John Moulds’ Farewell Cocktail Party. He told several amusing anecdotes and reminded us of some highlights of the expedition, and we all shared in a toast before going into dinner. We had a very pleasant evening during the gala dinner and people lingered over cocktails in the bars.


Yet another delicious buffet at tea time.

The safety officer was welcomed us for a short tour of the bridge.

We toasted a wonderful cruise during the farewell cocktail party.

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* Please Note: Daily cruise logs are posted each day based on communications and log entries received from the vessel. We will strive to keep the cruise log's updated daily, however, communications are dependent on internet connection and delays may occur due to communication interruptions and other variables outside of A&K's control. Your patience is appreciated.