19 Oct 2018

Expedition To Emperor Penguins by Maureen


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I had a leisurely wake-up a bit before 8:30am. Slept like a log mostly. After checking out of the hotel, I took the shuttle into town. Ushuaia is a nice little town and very walkable. The day was beautiful - chilly in the wind, but the sun was really warm. I walked down the waterfront, taking photos of the majestic mountains and common-but-different birds they have on the water — ducks, geese, and gulls that are not quite like the ones back home. After taking in the waterfront, I walked down the main street, not really interested in shopping or stopping in to anything in particular, just people watching and enjoying being somewhere that’s not home. After a late lunch, it was time to meet the buses that need to take us through the customs checkpoint and along the dock to the ship.

Top photo: crested duck
Middle photo: view of Ushuaia’s harbor
Bottom photo: view of Ushuaia

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We all walked up the long gangway, being greeted by the ship’s staff members. I handed over my passport and was shown to my cabin. It’s a nice enough cabin: 1 twin bed, 1 sofa bed that gets converted to a bed starting this evening, a closet with hangers and drawers, a desk with drawers, and a small bathroom.

I’ve met my cabinmate Anita. She’s a hugger and very nice. We agree that I’ll take the sofa bed. I’m only a little worried of taking this bed because of the way it is oriented and my seasickness. I know on the last big ship I was on, I liked rolling from head to toe. On this sofa bed, I’ll be rolling side to side. I hope it doesn’t make the seasickness worse. (Still hoping that I don’t get seasick, or at least not as bad since I’ve medicated myself much better on this trip.)

After unpacking, we had a quick meet-and-greet followed by an orientation, followed by the mandatory muster station training, followed by some free time before dinner. During our free time, our ship pulled up the ropes and began to back away from the dock. WE’RE OFF!

We’re now officially motoring down the Beagle Channel. The scenery here is stunning. The mountains are so big and sharp and snowy. The water is currently quite glassy. I’m trying to take photos, but they’re not doing justice to what I’m seeing. Dinner is called, dinner is eaten, and now we’re all either off to bed or socializing in the lounge for a bit. As it’s quarter to 10 now, I’ve opted to stop the socializing, write in this journal, and get to sleep. We’re predicting to be out of the protective waters of the channel around 12-2am, so we all may or may not be in for a rough night.

Talking to the assistant hotel manager earlier, he said the way down there on the last trip was fine, just a bit of rolling, but on the way back, they had a 30° roll where the 5th deck touches the water. Pretty crazy. I’m on deck 7. Here’s hoping I don’t see my window disappear into an underwater view

Top photo: our ship docked in Ushuaia
Middle photo: cruising down the Beagle Channel
Bottom photo: the mountains are big and stunning and some are really jagged