A Travellerspoint blog

Cape Horn and our Final Day on the World Explorer

February 7th

semi-overcast 38 °F
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This morning we woke to blue skies, sunshine and relatively smooth sailing. I was able to walk the 8th deck track for about 45 minutes after breakfast pretty much all by myself. This morning, we are heading to Cape Horn with permission to get as close as possible as a way to make up for our missed day in Antarctica. As we approach Cape Horn for the second time, the clouds, and wind are starting to prevail and our view may not be any better than what we experienced on the Stella Australis. We’ll see.

At 11am we had a briefing on the debarkation process tomorrow morning and we will be among the first groups to leave at around 8 am and head directly to the Ushuaia airport. At 11:30 we were able to have a tour of the “bridge” which is where the Captain and his team navigate the seas for us. I have never been in a bridge room, and it was pretty interesting. Got a couple shots of our Captain at work as well as his patron Saint Nicholas.

Just a few shots from our last day at sea! We hate to have it end! It has all been quite magical! And the final shot is waking up at 6 am to find us docked back in Ushuaia!

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Posted by Baroni 13:53 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

For all Gin & Tonic Lovers -- Special Blog on Sharash Gin

Okay - so the pictures are entered in completely proper order but you get the idea!

sunny 43 °F
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I almost forgot to focus an important blog on the bar on the World Explorer which is a Portuguese registered ship and so they have their lead bartender from Portugal. Because of these two facts, the bar had an ample supply of Sharash Gin which I discovered this past May during our trip to the Iberian Peninsula! I love this gin and its beautiful bottle and did a service for my Portuguese bartender by introducing many passengers to this wonderful gin. They had the blue version primarily and it makes just a beautiful gin and tonic.
So, this afternoon, I went up to photograph the bottle for my blog and my Portuguese friend said that he would make me a very special gin and tonic that he prepares with Sharash gin, tonic, mint, cinnamon, and lemon. I was able to capture him making this concoction for me in a series of photos that I feel is most fitting to share in this blog!

It is harder to find the clear Sharash gin in the U.S. but the blue is more readily available so you can be sure that I will be buying some and offering this special gin & tonic for my gin-

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Posted by Baroni 20:25 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

We Are Surviving the Drake Shake!!

Navigating the Second Half of Drake's Passage

sunny 34 °F
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Just a quick blog to say that we are doing fine although we have definitely experienced "Drake's Shake" since yesterday morning as we have navigated through the storm on our way back to Ushuaia. We are about half-way now and this morning we have blue skies although still rough sea! We should be through the worst of it by this afternoon.

Both Michael and I have done just fine with the rock and roll but we have heard about other passengers and crew falling out of bed with the big waves. For me, the rocking almost lulled me to sleep and as usual, I slept like a baby!

It is now 11am and the sky is completely blue with sun everywhere. We still can’t see land but we are almost at the end of Drake’s Passage and have all survived! What an adventure!!

Posted by Baroni 11:50 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

Heading Back Through Drake's Passage

Monday, February 5th

storm 35 °F
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We began our return towards Ushuaia last evening based on a very serious storm that is coming into the Antarctic region. They showed us the map of the expected weather and winds with blue and green being the most optimal conditions with purple, yellow, and orange less optimal. Rarely do they see turquoise coloring on the map except last night there were spots of turquoise all over our area which Martin (Tincho) our group leader said he has never seen. So, our early return was a smart call. Last night the ship started rocking and rolling and apparently there was a storm last night that I completely slept through. This morning it was rocky and totally gray with waves coming up close to our 6th deck cabin. Right after lunch the sun came out again and we had an hour or so of blue sky which was great even though the water remains a bit rough. The blue sky lasted long enough to have an iceberg sighting that I was able to photograph from our cabin deck. In fact, as I write, I can see the sun trying to break through even though we still have rough sailing.

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Tonight is expected to be the roughest night, so we’ll see how that goes but thus far, it feels like this phase is just part of the adventure. We are doing fine with on tablet of meclizine a day during Drake’s Passage. We walk the ship like a couple of drunks but then, so is everyone else! As Julio would say, “No pasa nada!” (It’s no big deal!) 😊

Posted by Baroni 00:25 Archived in Antarctica Tagged take passage 2 drake's Comments (0)

Antarctica Day 3 - February 4th

You keep thinking it couldn't possible get any better than this, and then it does!!

semi-overcast 35 °F
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Sunday, February 4th

Just when you think it can’t possibly get any better, it does!

We woke up this morning to a third day in Antarctica with a bit of sun and gradually becoming overcast. I was feeling a little lightheaded this morning and the first excursion was to be our most difficult and rocky landing, so I considered staying behind. I rested a bit and then got up and decided it was worth a try and I am so glad that I did.

We arrived at Palaver Point which is on the west side of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago. The name arose because this site has a large chinstrap penguin colony and their ceaseless chatter resembled the “profuse and idle discussion denoted by the word, “palaver”.

We did this landing in two phases with half of the passengers including us on the first run and then the 2nd once we started to return to the ship so they could have a lot of staff on shore to help with the rocky landing and getting us out of the Zodiacs. The Chinstrap Penguins were amazing, and I will post a few photos, but the best part was a video I was able to capture of two adults feeding their chicks! We had a circle trail in the snow, but the ice was dry, and the climb was relatively easy.

Both Michael and I made the whole loop successfully and loved every moment of our time there. Again, I can’t believe our good fortune to be able to have this amazing opportunity of a lifetime – and the weather has even surprised the staff because of our smooth sailing, amazing whales, penguins, and seals!

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This afternoon's excursion will be Zodiac cruises to see more of the stunning icebergs in the area -- it is like being in a modern art museum or glass sculpture exhibit with the way nature provides the color and textures to the icebergs. They have been breathtakingly stunning!

Our second excursion was also great with some amazing icebergs and glaciers. Upon our return, it was clear that the weather was changing and we were informed that a big storm was coming in tomorrow. Our Captain made the decision to head back to Drake’s Passage tonight and try to stay ahead of the storm. As I write, the winds are howling and we are beginning to rock and roll and we are still in protected waters so we fully agree with the decision! We have had three amazing days and heading home now makes sense. Will do our best to keep you posted!!

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Posted by Baroni 23:49 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

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