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11/22/2009

Buenos Aires

We arrived at the port of Buenos Aires – the capital of Argentina and boarded mv Minerva as she waited alongside the dock. After we had been shown to our staterooms, unpacked and taken afternoon tea with a celebratory glass of champagne. There was a leisurely time to wander around and explore the layout of the ship before we set sail on our adventure to the Falkland Islands and farther south. At 6.45 we had to gather for the Emergency Drill which is required by law at the start of every voyage. We learned how to assemble at our muster stations and put on lifejackets. Then Captain John Moulds instructed us in the regulations and measures that are so necessary for making everyday life safe and the procedures for emergencies.

The next item on the programme was to gather in the Darwin Lounge and learn more about shipboard life from South African Cruise Director Jannie Cloete. He informed us that the complement of 200 passengers includes 126 from the UK and the remainder from as far apart as New Zealand and Austria via Mexico and Canada. Our Expedition Leader, American Larry Hobbs, outlined the plan for the cruise. He introduced the members of the Expedition Team – the lecturers and boat drivers - who will enrich our experience with lectures and conduct the all-important landings in Antarctica. Most of the team have experience of Antarctica that stretches back many years. Each one said a few words about their role, which left no doubt that they have the knowledge and, perhaps even more important, the enthusiasm to deliver a very memorable cruise.

The lines had been cast off during this gathering and we were sailing out into the huge estuary of the River Plate as darkness gathered. It was time for dinner and an early night.
 

   

In the country of spring, The Argentinean flag.

And spring it is in the Southern Hemisphere.

Arriving at Minerva, being greeted by the staff of the ship.

We celebrate the beggining of the expedition with a glass of Champagne.

Upon sailing, the sunset over some of the skyline of Buenos Aires.


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