30 Oct 2018

Expedition To Emperor Penguins by Maureen

14/16

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I can tell that we are in sheltered waters this morning. The ship isn’t rolling much and so I’m up and out of bed with the wake-up call. We’re very near Argentinian land. Everyone greets me at breakfast and tells me what I’ve missed: lectures, a fundraiser (not as good as Cheesemans’ from I was told (the trip participants weren’t asked to donate items to the fundraiser and that’s a big part of the “fun” in fundraising), but they raised a lot of money for Tom Hart’s penguin research group, so that’s fabulous), some seabirds (though I did watch out my porthole during my cabin days and see albatross and petrels flank the ship).

After breakfast, we entered the Beagle Channel. The Andes have formed it and it is stunningly beautiful as we’re surrounded by mountains and forests and water. I’m hoping to see some Magellanic penguins — would be great to check another penguin species off my list, though also not so great because I would love the excuse to come back down here. There is also the possibility of spotting dolphins here.

Photos: scenery within the Beagle Channel

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This afternoon, we watched the video the staff members put together from photos and videos they took and from trip participant submissions. It was wild to see the conditions during the Drake Passage crossings that I didn’t see from my bed. After the recap of the trip, we gathered in the lounge for the Captain’s Champagne Toast to thank us for a wonderful journey, though of course we were mostly thanking him and his crew. We also applauded so many of the ship’s staff: the helicopter pilots and mechanics, the kitchen crew, the housekeeping crew, the hotel and bar staff, and of course our expedition staff. We were also very lucky that the trip participants meshed so well.

By dinnertime, we were docked back in Ushuaia. We’ll spend the night on the ship and then wake up early for breakfast and disembarkation.