December 10, 2012 – Drake Passage, on route to Antarctica
Posted on December 11th, 2012
Temperature: 42˚F (6˚C)
Wind speed: 7 knots
Cloud cover: 100%
After our first night on board ‘Le Boreal,’ we woke to calm seas. Fortunately for us, the dreaded Drake Passage had not reared its ugly head.
Yesterday as we first entered our suites, we were happy to see A&K’s signature red parkas laid out for us on our beds. This morning our first job was to make sure they fit. Those of us who found the fit a bit small or large were able to make an exchange with the Expedition Team in the reception area of our ship. The team was efficient in getting us properly fitted — clearly they had done this before!
We spent the majority of the day enjoying truly compelling lectures from several of our on board experts, including photo coach Richard Harker and historian Bob Burton.
In between lectures, we also had some wonderful moments on the outer decks with our expedition team. That’s where we experienced seabirds in numbers we couldn’t have imagined — Antarctic prions by the hundreds, Cape petrels close enough you felt as though you could reach out and touch. We even spotted an iceberg that dwarfed ‘Le Boreal’ as well as two sei whales. Our day was truly a start for the books.
Before dinner, we returned to the theater once more to join Captain Etienne Garcia for his Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party. The Captain introduced himself, his heads of department and welcomed us on board. He then wished us bon appétit before we made our way into La Licorne for a dinner prepared by our head chef and his team.
Full from a fantastic feast with our minds still abuzz with everything we had learned in the day’s lectures, we felt more prepared than ever before for the next day and our first glimpse of Antarctica.
– Chris Srigley, Naturalist