Ann and I again loved the rocking of the ship during as we slept last night. Imagining that we are floating in a hammock was so peaceful.
On the way back to Ushuaia we did not have any landings. That could have made for a very long day so the crew provided information and entertainment for us.
Ann, Fred, Bill, Dawn, Rick, Jane, Joni, and I were in the 2nd group to do a bridge visit. The Captain showed us the instruments, maps, etc in the bridge and answered any questions we had.
Then we went to a talk about Penguins and humans. We learned :
- 1497 was the first contact for occidental man with penguins.
- Penguins were at first a food source up to about 1930.
- In the 40s and 50s various countries began issuing Antarctica Penguin Stamps. The ones I used for my postcards were Great Britain ones. It became a political issue.
- Beginning in the 30s, 40s, and 50s the commercialism of Penguin paraphernalia began. Manuel showed us many comics and a multitude of penguin items being sold. He said that penguins are the most frequent animal used in commercial projects.
I actually took an hour nap today. That was a first for this trip. By the way my patch worked well again.. Did you know that the Drake Passage is the largest current in the world. They said that it is 137 times more that all of the rivers in the world combined. The word they use to measure these currents is Sverdrup.
We also went to a talk about Cape Horn.
- Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage and marks where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide.
- For decades it was a major milestone on the clipper route , by which sailing ships carried trade around the world.
- The waters around Cape Horn are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers made it notorious as a sailors’ graveyard.
- The need for ships to round Cape Horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914.
- The cape lies within what are now Chilean territorial waters, and the Chilean Navy maintains a station on Hoorn Island, consisting of a residence, utility building, chapel, and lighthouse.
- A short distance from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture made by Chilean sculptor, José Balcells, featuring the silhouette of an albatross, in remembrance of the sailors who died while attempting to “Round the Horn.”
Fred, Bill, Dawn, and Rick had a little party in the observation lounge today and invited me. I sure have enjoyed being with them on this voyage. In addition to being so supportive of me when hiking up the hills they have kept me laughing so much of the time.
After our party I went to a talk about points of interest:
- Wing span of birds
- What the staff members carry in their packs when they set up our landings
- Some differences between Zodiac Boats and PolarCruise Boats (what we used on this ship).
- The PolarCirkel boats have a rigid structure above the air-filled rubber tubing
Before dinner some of us went to a showing of the old movie, “Evita.”
I forgot to write in previous posts (which may tickle the funny bone of people who have read about my past trips) that I ate ice cream for dessert at least once per day and mostly twice.
This voyage has been so far beyond any expectations I formed before we embarked. I already miss the penguins, whales, glaciers, icebergs, and seabirds. I will also really miss the new friends I met.
I think this would be a good place in my blog to share the video that Fred created about Penguins. It brings back great memories.