Crossing the Drake

Today we spent the day crossing the infamous Drake Passage, known for horrible weather and giant waves. The weather was amazing, call and clear – but getting colder – between 35-40 (f).

We saw some beautiful sites today. Wandering Albatrosses were one of the highlights. These are huge birds with wingspans of between 10-12 feet. They soar mere feet above the waves looking for squid and other bits of food at the surface. One of the naturalist on board told me that they can live from 30 – 40 years. He also mentioned that their population is declining steadily due to long line fisherman. The birds see their bait on the surface and will eat it and die as they get hooked on the lines. There are simple and cheap measures that these fisherman can do to prevent this, but they have not done so yet.

An answer to Leah Richardson’s 4th grade class:¬†Another highlight of the day, was my Mom and I were invited to dinner at the Captain Philipp Dieckmann’s table. It was great to learn more about what it was like to be a captain of this ship. Apparently as we get closer to the ice, he is watching and working all the time! There are also times when the sea is calm, like today, that he can put the ship on auto-pilot.

We are going to Elephant Island tomorrow, some great history to write about after that visit.

-Colin

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