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Daily Archives: 9. January 2015 − News & Stories

Ushua­ia & Bea­gle Chan­nel

Unbe­liev­a­ble how much 152 peop­le are sup­po­sed to eat wit­hin 31 days. Well bey­ond a dozen of us nee­ded an inten­se cou­p­le of hours to car­ry all tho­se boxes with things from fro­zen fish to big melons up the gang­way and down the stairs into the various free­zers and holds. Which seems to be as effi­ci­ent as loading a coal freigh­ter with buckets. But good to keep us fit! And good to see that all the fish boxes have got the MSC stamp which is sup­po­sed to gua­ran­tee sus­tainab­le fishing. Good thing.

We would have been fas­ter if Argen­ti­ne cus­toms had not taken hours to stamp the papers for the last few boxes of vege­ta­bles. And at the same time, fuel bun­ke­ring was going on. Smo­king on and near the ship is obvious­ly strict­ly for­bid­den then. Fun­ny to watch Argen­ti­ne offi­cial rela­xing with a ciga­ret­te while lea­ning against the fuel pump. I guess the die­sel knows it’s offi­cials who are smo­king so it doesn’t inci­ne­ra­te.

The­re isn’t much left befo­re we real­ly start, so I refrain from my usu­al last walk to one of Ushuaia’s many lovely cafés and rather get orga­ni­zed in the cabin that I will share with Dmi­tri („Dima“), a fel­low team mem­ber, Rus­si­an mari­ne bio­lo­gist who lives in Seat­tle and Japan. Think about that. But wit­hin the con­text of this staff team, it even isn’t too unusu­al, the­re are many gre­at cha­rac­ters and extre­me­ly expe­ri­en­ced peop­le, a good gang. Peop­le like Don Mac­Fad­zi­en, our fearless expe­di­ti­on lea­der, who does pro­bab­ly not even know any­mo­re how many times he has been to the Ross Sea. Or Jim May­er, who used to work for the Bri­tish Ant­arc­tic Sur­vey, blowing things up in Ant­arc­ti­ca. Then he deci­ded that was too much noi­se and joi­ned the tou­rist indus­try. Well known names in the­se lati­tu­des.

We spend the after­noon with the usu­al hec­tic of the first day, wel­co­m­ing 93 pas­sen­gers, put­ting them and their lug­ga­ge into their cabins, going through the man­da­to­ry life­boat drill – may we never do it again! – and having a toast with our Chi­lean Cap­tain Ernes­to Bar­ría, ano­t­her well-known cha­rac­ter on this ship in the Arc­tic and Ant­arc­tic. At the same time, the Bea­gle Chan­nel is gli­ding past us in slight drizz­le. We drop anchor for a while at Puer­to Wil­liams to get the 3 Chi­lean heli­co­p­ters on board (yes, 3, last time we had only 2, but we are also more peop­le now). Good to see friends amongst the heli­co­p­ter crews, very expe­ri­en­ced peop­le also on this side of the ope­ra­ti­on.


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