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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesAntarctic blog → Dra­ke-Pas­sa­ge – 20 Janu­ary 2018

Dra­ke-Pas­sa­ge – 20 Janu­ary 2018

Wind and wea­ther are always big news here. Some­ti­mes the wind is stron­ger, some­ti­mes it takes a rest. Never ful­ly gone, never blo­wing up to a real storm. Ear­lier today, it was a bit stron­ger again, 25-30 knots (force 6-7), later it cal­med down again. When we have more wind, the sails yield a good bene­fit and then we steer manu­al­ly, which makes being on watch much more inte­res­t­ing. Curr­ent­ly, being on watch means just wat­ching out for poten­ti­al pie­ces of drif­ting gla­cier ice (grow­lers and ber­gy bits), but we haven’t seen any of their likes yet.

But it can’t be far. We have crossed the Ant­ar­c­tic Con­ver­gence (the ocea­no­gra­phic-bio­lo­gi­cal boun­da­ry to Ant­ar­c­ti­ca) and the 60th par­al­lel (the poli­ti­cal boun­da­ry to Ant­ar­c­ti­ca) yes­ter­day. The South Shet­land Islands are within 40 nau­ti­cal miles now. We should be able to see them if the clouds were a bit hig­her, but it is not clear enough for that distance.

The main attrac­tion today were cle­ar­ly the Orcas! The­re was a small pod around mid-day, cle­ar­ly curious about us, as they came all clo­se to the ship, one by one. An ama­zing view how they sur­faced from the big waves to dis­ap­pear again a few moments later! Gre­at fun unless you are a pen­gu­in or some­thing else on their menue.

Drake-Passage - 20 January 2018 - Orca

Bird­life was a bit limi­t­ed until recent­ly, but now, we have got Cape pet­rels and Sou­thern ful­mars, indi­ca­ting the pre­sence of land not too far way. Tomor­row we should have our first oppor­tu­ni­ty to step on ant­ar­c­tic ground, and it is safe to say that we are all loo­king for­ward to that!

Gal­lery – Dra­ke-Pas­sa­ge – 20 Janu­ary 2018

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

last modification: 2018-02-07 · copyright: Rolf Stange