So after I got finished writing the blog, I went up to my room as the boat rocked and rolled. It was about 12:30 AM. I could see the waves crashing against the boats port holes as I sat in the lounge. How am I going to sleep tonight? Lets try. I first tried reading. That did not work. I then shut off the lights and tried various positions. As soon as I got into a reasonable position, I slid down the bed and almost off onto the floor. I had to hold on for dear life. I always sleep on my back. I tried every position imaginable. Back, stomach, head, feet etc. Nothing worked. The Drake chased me around my small cabin with a force that is hard to describe. What makes the Drake so powerful? The currents from the Atlantic and Pacific meet here. There is no land mass to absorb the currents force. Before the Panama Canal was built, there were lots of ship wrecks going around Cape Horn and being beaten up by the Drake. At 4 AM I had enough. Did not sleep at all. Went downstairs to the lounge to get some coffee and watch the Drake batter the ship. The beating took until about 3 PM when we entered Beagle Bay. Beagle Bay protects the ships from the Drake. We are currently anchored in calm waters.
Breakfast was an experience chasing our food around the table. Lunch was a little bit better. Mark conducted a critique in the morning and we also had to return our waterproof boots to the ship. Very useful on land and walking over penguin poop. He critiqued some of my images and complemented me. How sweet it is.
After lunch Mark continued his critique, but I nearly fell off the chair asleep. I went up to my berth and laid down for a quick nap. Got up, took a hot shower and packed. I have run out of clean clothes. Twenty days away in extreme conditions. No lying on the beach like the Caribbean. Everything is dirty and my camera gear has taken a tremendous beating. We all survived and will live to tell everyone our tale. Andy invited me to sit at the Captains Table for our last dinner. The dinner was fabulous. Great meat. What else do you eat in Argentina? Meat and more meat.
It was now time for our farewells. Mark and Andy made a video of our adventure and showed some of our pictures. We were also given something special. Each of us was presented a certificate signed by the ships captain saying that we had walked on the Antarctic Continent and passed through the Drake twice. I also thanked Mark and Andy for giving me the chance to join them to take pictures at places I once only dreamed of going to.
So, was it worth it going to Antartica? Of course. Where can you get sprayed by a humpback from his blow hole? Where can you go to a continent where the only citizens are penguins? I know of almost no other place in the world. The icebergs and their beautiful color. Traveling on a zodiac around the icebergs while taking pictures. Laying in penguin poop and watching the penguins interact through your telephoto lens. Antartica is not for everyone. I have said this before. Many of of the places I visit are not for everyone. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The solitude of Antartica and the unspoiled environment. The rules strongly followed to ensure that this special place will always remain special. I get great joy in knowing that if one or more of my grandchildren go to Antartica, they will see much of what I have seen. I hope the world can come up with some solution to global warming.
My pictures of Patagonia and Antartica will follow eventually. I hope they will do these two wonderful lands justice.
I am currently scheduled for three trips next year and have booked them already. Cambodia and China in May. Not tourist China but rural China. Living with the fishermen and farmers. In June, I will be in Botswana, Victoria Falls and Zimbagwe. Mark has talkled me into going with him to see the Caribou Migration in the Canadian Rockies in September. I know at least one more trip that will be scheduled. October is reserved for Olivia.
I will be staying in contact with everyone during the next five months. I love to write my blog and love all the people who subscribe.
Hope everyone has enjoyed my latest adventure.
Stay tuned for much more adventure and fun