Sunday, 3 November 2019

The Drake Passage

 Of all the things Marie-Laure was most anxious about (and there was no shortage), first and foremost was the Drake Passage.

This was mostly her fault as she'd read and/or listened to just about every horror story about. I had also (misguidedly perhaps) sent her some pretty appalling photos. She was watching her "Windy" App religiously over the days preceding our embarking, and willing safe passage.

The boat itself, "Ocean Adventurer" was a pleasant surprise. Well appointed, older (wood, brass, teak) fittings, but well maintained, and with quite charming small cabins with en suites. The food was an even bigger surprise, amazing, and basically as much as you could possibly eat, 3 times daily.

As we popped our sea-sick pills and pulled away in to the Beagle Channel in eerie light, the Quark crew called a meeting which concluded to cheers as they announced a likely three-day 'Drake Lake'.

We saw whales, lots of birds, the thrill of our first iceberg, then the impossible beauty and awe as we made first landfall at Deception, Smith and the South Shetlands. It was like entering another realm, or a previously undreamt-of dimension.

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