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12/20/2009

Port of Ushuaia - Beagle Channel - At Sea

Although we were awaiting the arrival of our fellow guests or day was to go ahead as previously planned within our onboard schedule. After breakfast and a nice stretch on the decks we would have the opportunity to exchange our parkas and receive wellingtons from the ships supply if we wished. Having pre ordered our parkas there was always a chance our size choice would be slightly off. Carol, Rich and Monte set up shop on B deck for this exchange while J.J, Russ and the Chris’s went about the process of handing out wellingtons.

During this time the young explorers got together in the card room with Kristin and Rich to grab their activity books and for a fantastic scavenger hunt! Making their away around the ship they had to search out such things as, how deep is the pool? How many instruments does the Minerva quartet have on stage? And what is one thing that you have learned today from reading the bulletin board?

As the 1100-hour rolled around our twenty-three missing guests arrived to join us onboard the MV Minerva. Captains Moulds came over the public address system to announce our departure from Ushuaia. Gathering on the outer decks with the expedition team we pushed off just short of 1130. Our fellow guests were happy we had waited and everyone was excited to see the lines being dropped.

Quickly Ushuaia disappeared behind us in the brilliant light of the day as we enjoyed cocktails and a Mexican buffet on the pool deck while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Beagle Channel. We had been listening to the expedition team during their introductions last night. Almost all of us had his or her camera gear and binoculars at the ready. Our first chances at spotting wildlife would not be missed!

The expedition team was out on deck once again in the afternoon pointing out various species as the numbers began to increase. Sooty shearwaters, white chinned petrels, giant petrels, black-browed and wandering albatross, sea lions and magellanic penguins were all spotted during deck time.

Something none of us wanted to miss was our photo enrichment coach Richard Harker’s lecture at 1700. Tearing ourselves away from the outer decks we headed to the Darwin lounge. Traveling in an area that will present, as many opportunities as it will difficulties Richard took us through what we can expect and how to prepare for them. We all seemed to walk away eager to get out and start snapping away.

At 1900 we once again gathered in the Darwin lounge. This time however we were all dressed in our best as we joined Captain John Moulds for his welcome cocktail party. Introducing his officers he assured us we were in good hands and had chosen well when joining the MV Minerva for our voyage to Antarctica. Shortly after dinner was served in the dinning room.
 

   

It was a beautiful day and guests were on deck as we sailed away from Ushuaia.

Passengers spent most of the day outside watching for seabirds and other marine wildlife.

Guests took advantage of the sunny weather to enjoy a glass of wine on the pool deck!

Captain John Moulds officially welcomed the guests at the Captain's Welcome Cocktail party.

After dinner, we were treated to a fantastic sunset.


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