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12/09/2009

At Ushuaia

We arrived at the port of Ushuaia – the City at the End of the World – from all corners of the globe and boarded mv Minerva. After we had been shown to our staterooms, there was time to have a plentiful afternoon tea and wander leisurely around to explore the layout of the ship. Then we had to take part in the mandatory Emergency Drill (carried out on all ships) in which we learned how to gather at our muster station and put on lifejackets. Captain John Moulds instructed us in the regulations and procedures that are so necessary for making shipboard life safe.

The next item on the program was to gather in the Darwin Lounge and learn more about shipboard life from Cruise Director Jannie Cloete. Expedition Leader Larry Hobs outlined the plan for the cruise. He 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.

During dinner the lines were cast off and we set sail on our adventure to the South. The rain that had damped our boarding of the ship had stopped, the clouds had rolled away and we sailed down the Beagle Channel with the setting sun creating marvellous light effects over the wooded coastline and distant mountains. Then it was time for an early night. Tomorrow we will be well out in the Drake Passage.
 

   

The city of Ushuaia is framed by the snow-covered Martial Mountains

Hungry Dolphin Gulls parade along the Ushuaia pier

Both fuel, water and provisions are taken aboard the Minerva

Chief Housekeeper, Ann Bennett, and her stewardesses help us to find our cabins

Our Expedition Leader, Larry Hobbs, greets us as we get off the bus


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