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01/25/2009

Ushuaia

We arrived at the port of Ushuaia – the City at the End of the World – boarded mv Minerva as she lay alongside the dock. After we had been shown to our staterooms, there was time to wander leisurely around and explore the layout of the ship before the lines were cast off and we set sail on our adventure to the Falkland Islands and farther south. We then had to stop admiring the view of the Beagle Channel to take part in the mandatory Emergency Drill. We learned how to assemble at our muster stations and put on lifejackets. Captain Giovanni Biasutti instructed us in the regulations and procedures that are so necessary for making shipboard life safe.

Those on deck were already spotting some of the spectacular wildlife that will be a key feature of the cruise: penguins, albatrosses and dolphins. The next item on the program was to gather in the Darwin Lounge and learn more about shipboard life from Cruise Director Jannie Cloete, while Expedition Leader Suzana Machado d'Olivera Harker outlined the plan for the cruise. She introduced the members of the Expedition Team who will enrich our experience with lectures and conduct the all-important landings in Antarctica. Each one said a few words about their role, which left no doubt that they have the knowledge and enthusiasm to deliver a very memorable cruise. It was then time for dinner and an early night.

 

   

Minerva awaites for us at the dock in Ushuaia.

In the distance, Mounts Olivia and the five sisters can be seen.

The galley crew has prepared a magnificent spread of food for Tea Time.

For some, it is their first time.

But Dusky Dolphins are there to see us off in the Beagle Channel.


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