Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Ushuaia and the first day at sea

We arrived early in Ushuaia and were greeted – as usually is the case – with stronger and colder winds than in Antarctica, as the Beagle channel functions as a gigantic funnel where winds are aligned and accelerated; and the pier is a structure that juts out into this natural wind tunnel.

As we do, we bid farewell to our departing guests and started preparing MV Fram for the incoming ones; it is nice to think that to the newly made friends we are saying goodbye to, we will soon add new ones – as friends are irreplaceable! After having checked everybody in, having performed the emergency drill, and having started cruising down the Beagle Channel en route to the Falkland/Malvinas islands, we enjoyed a welcome toast offered by Captain Andreassen and his crew; the first steps of a new friendship…

After a quiet night, we awoke on our first day at sea overlooking the majestic peaks of Staten Island to our starboard. As we gently sailed past the island and into the open sea, we started getting ready for the adventures ahead: showing our passengers how to don their life jackets and board our tendering boats; offering them lectures on the areas we’re travelling through and lie ahead, as well as the animals and curiosities in them; showing them from the outer decks, the various and gracile birds following the ship; giving them time to start building up the emotion of the wonderful trip we are starting.