The Drake Passage



The various members of the party travelling to Antarctica arrived at the pier in Ushuaia and made our way onto the Professor Multanovskiy. 

We were scheduled to leave at 6pm on December 23rd, but two people and seven people's luggage were missing!  The missing luggage and our two 'stragglers' arrived on the next flight into Ushuaia, and we set off around 7.30pm.

I was lucky enough to have a comfortable 'room' to myself on deck 4, convenient for all the important areas (the bar, the dining room, the main deck) and right next to 'the tags'. 

The tags are blue numbered discs, and every time you leave the ship you must remember to turn your tag (to off) so everyone knows you've left the ship.  Woe betide you if you forget to turn your tag!

The other thing that you have to do is to wash your boots before and after every landing!

The Drake Passage is one of the roughest seas in the world and although I don't get any other type of motion sickness the first full day on ship was not pleasant.  I managed breakfast and the lifeboat drill, but then it required some seasickness tablets to keep me on my feet.  At least I didn't miss the Captain's welcome cocktail and dinner, that offered us all a chance to get to know each other.

Still, it could have been worse.  The Professor Multanovskiy has passive stabilisers, if we had been on a true icebreaker there would have been no stabilisation and we would have been in for a rough ride.

The next day, Christmas Day, was a little disappointing.  No presents from Santa Claus!  I guess he had trouble finding the ship.  This was the day we crossed the Antarctic Convergence, an area marked by a belt of fog where the warm surface currents moving south from the Tropics meet the cold Antarctic waters.  The currents create a nutrient rich environment for sea birds and mammals.


Jamie and I try out for the remake of the Titanic. You can just see Anna at the right (pretty in pink!) helping out on the photo shoot.

A Cape Petrel in flight

The sun prepares to set over the Drake Passage

A pale faced sheathbill perches on the side of the ship