Our Antarctica adventure truly began today as we left the port of Ushuaia at 6am. The advantage of having been delayed by the weather in the Drake Passage was that we were now be sailing down the Beagle Channel in daylight hours.


It’s so great to be out on the water. I woke to this view from my twin port holes . . .


I find it quite peculiar to sail down a stretch of water with one country, Argentina, on one side and another country, Chile, on the other side.


Our first whale sighting

We had our first whale sighting this morning! It was a Sei whale, apparently. I’m looking forward to the talks that the Expedition Team will be holding on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica so I can get to know more about the fabulous area we are sailing into.


There were also sightings of dusky dolphins which made me smile as we have those dolphins in New Zealand too.


The Beagle Channel is surrounded by mountains on which Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorants and Sea Lion colonies live but I didn’t spot any in the water.


Valentine’s Day on the Beagle Channel

Today is Valentine’s Day. In keeping with the spirit of sharing the love the crew asked for volunteers to create a giant heart.

{Photo credit – Polar Latitudes}


In case you’re wondering what the people in black are doing, they were the arrow piercing the heart (in a very gentle kind of way).


A touch of sun

Before the cruise I was wondering what the mix of people of people on the cruise would be in terms of age and location. It’s a fabulous mix!


The US has the largest number of passengers with people from the UK, Israel, France, Germany, Canada, South Africa and Sweden all on board. There are three Kiwis although none of us actually live there anymore.


The youngest will be celebrating his 25th birthday while on the cruise.


The sun was out so we enjoyed watching the view (and doing our best to avoid thinking about the upcoming crossing of the Drake Passage).


Recap and review

Each night members of the Expedition Team give us a recap of the day and let us know what is coming up for us tomorrow.


Today’s waves were 3-4 metres as we entered the Drake Passage. I’d been impressed during the day at how well the Herbidean Sky handled the waves. The ship has flippers (okay they are technically called supports but I prefer to think of penguins) that stabilise the ship. I saw first-hand how effective they are as I watched the big waves roll towards us and then they appeared to vanish as the ship glided over them.


Everyone was very keen to see the weather report…


I’m really enjoying the food on board. Scottish smoked salmon, mango bavaroise and one of the best soups I’ve ever had – green pea, mint and cumin.


Surprisingly half of the passengers were missing from dinner. It looks like not everyone appreciated the stabilisers!

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