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The Drake Passage

ANTARCTICA | Saturday, 8 December 2012 | Views [1689] | Comments [1]

View from the bridge, Drake Passage

View from the bridge, Drake Passage

Everyone onboard - at least anyone with a shred of common sense - was dreading the infamously violent crossing of the Drake Passage where seas of 30 and even 50 feet are not unheard of and the mariner's prayer "Lord your ocean is so big and our boat is so small" is ended with Roy Schieder's line in Jaws, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!  Amen."  We were certain we would have to pay for the glorously calm weather we had in the Gerlache Straits.

Well, the crossing was calm by Drake standards but rough enough for us.  It wsa best to remain on the more stable lower decks, prone if possible.  Connie and I replaced our half-patches with full doses of Transderm Scop and made it through without embarrassment.  I did skip a dinner, partly as a precaution and partly to avoid the sliding chairs, rattling tableware and slopping soup of the dining room.  And we stayed in our cabin during the ritual "Rounding of the Horn."  Too much motion on the ocean.

By Connie's count I took 1300 photos during the cruise, not an extraordinary number considering the scenery.  Mark Cowardine, the zoologist/author/photographer/guide took 2500 in one morning!  But no amount of photos, no number of journals and no BBC videos can do justice to Antarctica. Whatever your expectations, Antarctica will surpass them.  And I suspect that a second trip - or even a fifth one - will continue to surprise.

         "Help me!  I'm melting!"

For most people it is the trip of a lifetime.  For many it is a life-altering experience, for others a life-affirming one.  Besides the natural beauty and the wonderous wildlife, Antarctica gives you a reason to reflect on how intimately connected such a distant and other-worldy place is to our own lives.  It is more than saving the cute penguins.  It is knowing how an event in Peoria can affect the size of the ice in Antarctica, which can affect the weather in London.  The knowledge should transform the unaware into concerned citizens, concerned ones into activists.  No one returns from Antarctica unchanged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

1

I've been looking for photos and articles on this topic over the past few days due to a school assignment, safetoto and I'm really happy to find a post with the material I was looking for! I bookmark and will come often! Thanks :D

  safetoto Dec 30, 2022 3:52 PM

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