||57°10.06’S / 064°29.4’W
Our first night of this voyage was, as quite a few put it: interesting. The rocking and rolling made some of us sleep profoundly, others less and even others did not have a great time at all – not everyone showed up for breakfast. We hope they get better soon.
The program of today is filled with as much preparation for the visit on the Antarctic Peninsula as possible as weather condition are said to worsen during the night and tomorrow. And if you wish to leave the ship and take part in any of the activities, it is mandatory to attend.
We start with the mandatory zodiac safety briefing during which we learn how to put on our zodiac life jackets which are different from the ones we used yesterday during the drill. We now know where to find the shell doors, know how to embark, and disembark a zodiac, how to dress and how to behave – all this is new to us and very exciting.
This is followed by the mandatory IAATO briefing – IAATO being the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators whose primary goal is to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. And so, we learn a lot about the rules and regulations, wildlife, and biosecurity - the dos and don’ts, the can and cannot-s. We too want to leave as little trace as possible on our voyage down to Antarctica. Shortly after that, Mal invites everyone wishing to participate in any mountaineering activity to yet another mandatory briefing. We learn that mountaineering is mostly fun after the activity itself but also, what we can expect of our mountaineering excursion. We do get excited.
At around midday, boot camp starts. We are called by colour groups down to the expedition deck where Muck Boots are fitted, and we all leave with a pair we call ours for the next 10 days.
Lunch gives us a well-deserved break from a lot of information – more is to come.
The Camping and Kayak briefings are happening in the afternoon. Here again, we learn, how the activity is organized, what we can expect and what is expected of us. Most of us are much looking forward to these special activities.
Later in the afternoon Julia holds a lecture about “some things about photography” – a more philosophical than technical approach to the subject. This is surprising but highly interesting.
During daily recap, Pippa, our Expedition Leader presents the plans for tomorrow: activity signs-ups, lectures, and bio security to prevent bringing any alien species to Antarctica. And due to the weather and sea conditions. Christmas celebrations are postponed to the 26th thinking that by then, most of us guests will be able to participate and enjoy them. This all sounds great, and we are looking forward to yet another day in preparation.
After a lovely dinner, some of us spend the evening in the lounge, others find their way to their cabins early and hope, against all odds, for a calm night.