18-19 January 2018 – So now we are really on the way! On Wednesday, we cruised through the Beagle Channel again, and we reached the open sea on Thursday during the early morning hours. Since then, we have had everything between force 4 and 8 on the Beaufort scale, resulting in a daily life on board that you have to consider almost comfortable, at least in relation to the expectations one should realistically have in the Drake-Passage on a 22-metre boat. Which does not mean that everybody is constantly smiling, there has been some fish feeding, but all within reason.
Gallery – Drake-Passage – 18-19 January 2018
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The watch scheme gives us some orientation in time which is otherwise rather indifferent, so we are living pretty much from watch to watch. Four hours on and eight hours off, that’s the deal, following good maritime tradition. There are several of us in each watch group, so we can take it in turns on the wheel, usually spending half an hour so we can swap before we get cold. That’s altogether not too bad at all. Nobody is forced to do anything in case of seasickness or whatever, but for most, being outside and steering the ship is actually a pretty welcome change from the routine otherwise. Being on your own on deck for a little while, sharing time with wind, waves and the occasional Giant petrel or Black-browed albatross that is passing by, is a good thing. Time is getting slower, and this constant urge to get something done is already left behind somewhere beyond the northern horizon. Daily life on the ship next to the watches is mostly sleep, half-sleep, reading, meals and conversation. Life at sea, which will last for 3-4 days altogether. We expect to reach the South Shetland Islands on Sunday.