|Position:||54°48.6’ S / 068°18.0’ W|
|Wind:||SE, Force 6/7|
It was a sunny and breezy day in Ushuaia as we boarded the Ortelius, our new ‘home’ for the next 10 days. As soon as we had settled into our cabins, we began to explore the ship, enjoying the view from the outside decks.
As soon as we had everybody aboard, we gathered in the lecture room on deck 3 for the first of many meetings with the Hotel Team and Expedition Staff. Hotel Manager Michael introduced us to the daily life on board and told us all about the ship, its facilities and on which deck to find them. This was followed by a safety briefing by our Third Officer Warren who explained precisely how to act in the event of an emergency. Soon afterwards, we had to prove that we had listened carefully, as seven short and one long blast were sounded and we mustered in the bar, wearing warm clothes and our bright orange life jackets. When all our names were checked, we followed the Hotel Managers to the outside deck and to the lifeboats to have a look at them.
Then we were about to set sail! It was an exciting moment when the gangway was raised. Soon the last rope was cast off and we were on our way in the Beagle Channel.
After a bit of time to finish unpacking or take in the views on deck we gathered again, this time in the bar, for a toast to our voyage with the Captain, Tuomo Leskinen. The Expedition Staff introduced themselves, and then Michael called us to the dining room for the first of many delicious meals on board Ortelius.
During dinner, the ship headed to Puerto Williams on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, and we finished our meal in time to witness the arrival of the two helicopters on board Ortelius. Almost everybody was out on deck, camera in hand, to take photos or videos of the helis against the evening sky with its colorful clouds. It was very exciting to watch! Afterwards, most of us retired to our cabins while others paid a visit to the bar. In the meantime, Ortelius made her way towards our next destination, the Drake Passage.