Antarctica Day 5 – Happy New Year (At Sea)!

As it was a day at sea it meant breakfast was later so it was possible to get a reasonable amount of sleep after having been up late for the New Year. Breakfast was the best one yet – you could chose from continental and cooked, though sadly there was no bacon – just hash browns and sausages.

The weather during the morning was cloudy and wet so there wasn’t a great deal to see. From 11:00 until 12:00 there was a talk in the dining room about the history of the Falkland Islands, or the Malvinas as the Argentinians refer to them as. The islands have had some turbulent history ever since they were first settled and eventually this led to a short war in 1982. Again, in 2013 tensions started to rise but the population of the islands do not want to be part of Argentina.

After this we were called deck by deck to visit the boots room for fitting ready for the excursions that would start the following day. It was a relatively quick process but still took almost an hour for the whole boat to do this.

Whilst waiting for lunch at 13:00 I went back out on deck, in the rain, to see what photographs I could get of the sea birds. Although there was no land in site a number could still be seen such as the Sooty Albatross, and various Petrels. The lunch was again a set menu starting with a soup and followed by a chicken salad. Unfortunately the salad was coated in a dressing I didn’t like the taste of so left it and had the chocolate mousse dessert.

Juvenile Southern Giant Petrel

There was then a little more free time on deck before there was another lecture, this time one on the birds we could expect to see. This consisted of a large number of slides and in each case the guide described them and stated if they were unique to the Falklands. Not long after this there was then a mandatory briefing about excursions and how the Zodiacs would be used.

There was then another short break before a briefing for the following days activities and what options would be available. At this point we were told that if weather conditions prevented landing on Carcass Island there was an alternative plan available. By this time the sea had gotten quite rough, though the crew referred to it as calm – I couldn’t determine if they were being serious or not though.

At 19:00 the evening meal was served – once again they’d done a great job of preparing the food, though there were only small parts of it I liked. By this point I was hoping the following days lunch would be a buffet style meal.

After the meal it had started to get dark so there would unlikely be any chances to see anything at sea until sunrise. Over night though we arrived at the Falkland Islands, having made good time during the day.

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