Visitors 71
Modified 7-Nov-11
Created 17-Aug-08
308 photos, 1 videos

It was a dark and stormy night. (Well it was!) And if I have a few minor regrets, one is that I never made my way to a vantage point overlooking the bow of the Vavilov during very rough seas. Many times between the Orkneys and the Peninsula I was awakened by the deep resonant BOOM of the bow being stopped by waves that may have topped twenty feet. The sensation was not unpleasant, just a bit like a moment of weightlessness followed by a giant gentle hand pushing me into my mattress. But by morning we were in calm waters off Paulet Island on the east side of the Peninsula, surrounded by ice and pastel shades of yellow and orange.

Soft focus. My mental images of the five days cruising around the peninsula are not very sharp. Maybe Scopolamine buildup, maybe the buildup of so many images and so many days removed from my "other reality". Others agreed that their journal entries faded as the many images of Antarctica came into focus. Mountains, glaciers, sunrises, sunsets, penguins, seals, whales – and to our good fortune the almost ghostly appearances of two three-masted sailing ships. At Ronge Island, Port Lockroy and in the Lemaire Channel they posed as they would have, carrying the earliest explorers to the end of the earth.


The Horn. The legendary Horn, a few miles to the north and separated from us by quite uncharacteristically calm seas. Crossing the Drake Passage, we could have been tossed by the “Drake Shake”, but instead sailed peacefully on the “Drake Lake”. As the Horn came into view, Chris Edwards – guide, geologist, historian – reading the inscription from the Cape Horn Memorial, provoked a tear, sealed the moment in our memory, and we turned eastward … toward Ushuaia … toward home …

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