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Friday, January 14, 2011

Antarctica, Day 2 On The Ioffe

 

Somewhere in the night we officially enter the Drake Passage but with little fanfare. The seas are so relatively calm that they keep me asleep right through breakfast.

With three full meals served everyday, missing one or two of them should help me slim down for summer.

 

SAM 027 However, that diet plan evaporates faster than a boiling pot of tea as I soon find myself in the lunch queue.

 

 

 

 

Like dinner last night there is a small salad bar, soup and a menu offering a fish, meat and vegetarian dish. Orders are taken and our entrees are served by a serious group of hard working mostly Russian dining room staff.

 

 

SAM 034 After lunch the dining room is converted into one of two presentation rooms where lectures on various subjects related to Antarctica are given.

 

 

 

The lectures are split between port and starboard side passengers in order to avoid overcrowding the room. This afternoon, we are learning about sea birds and I find the albatross fascinating.

To enhance our bird learning experience we are given the challenge to walk out on the deck and see how many of them we can spot.

 

 

 

CAN 117 Albatross In Flight

 

 

 

CAN 076 Although on vacation, we are in some ways a part of a scientific research team.

Our wildlife sightings are noted and posted on a daily public record.

 

 

There are a few surprises even to the some of the expedition staff who are research scientists as some birds that are rarely seen in this area are spotted.

Out on the stern, I capture photos of several birds that are following in the wake of the ship although it is very difficult getting them to pose for the shots.

 

 

 

CAN 090The ship's propellers while moving us forward stirs the ocean’s depths and brings a nice buffet to the surface for our flying friends.

 

 

 

It seems as if Neptune has granted us favor as the weather this afternoon crossing the Drake Passage is surprisingly calm and beautiful although storm clouds can be seen far to the west of our position.

Enjoying my weather good fortune, I spend a fair amount of time on the deck taking it all in.

 

 

 

SAM 054Near the starboard side stern, kayakers are busy making preparations for their outings in a few days.

This offering that will set you back about $800.

 

 

I guess, no Starbucks for you next month.

 

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