Antarctica Day 20 – Drakes Passage

Over night we had entered the Drakes Passage, an area of sea that is notoriously rough. Throughout history there have been stories of how bad it is, and during the exploration of the New World it often resulted in shipwrecks. Though surprisingly it wasn’t all that rough when we reached it, so in some ways it was a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, it would have been nice to have seen what it could throw at us though.

In the morning there was a lecture from the onboard Atmospheric researcher on how to survive in Antarctica. This covered the various ways of getting to Antarctica and what the research bases are like once there. In the case of Neumayer station the majority of it is under the ice, which means it’d have a finite lifespan due to the weight of the snow and ice above. There were also a couple videos about life and research in Antarctica. I can imagine it must be quite an experience to stay in Antarctica that long and to keep returning.

The afternoon consisted of a second lecture and a quiz. The lecture was on the Norwegian explorer Hjalmar Johansen who had worked his way up from stoker to assistant meteorologist on a North Pole expedition. This then went on to cover his visit to Antarctica with Roald Amundsen.

A little after this I heard mention of the computers on the ship having a virus, and soon discovered it had spread to many memory cards owned by the ship’s passengers. I then spent the rest of the afternoon working on cleaning memory cards and USB sticks as well as trying to remove the virus from affected machines without having an internet connection available for any reference or Anti-virus pattern updates. It turned out the Raspberry Pi I brought with me had an alternative use as it’s a Linux based computer that wouldn’t get infected but could be used for cleaning.

In the evening I was finally able to locate the virus however could not remove it due to not having sufficient privileges on the machines so would need to leave it until a member of the crew with privileges was about.

Sunset over Drakes Passage

As the day came to an end we’d headed far enough North to get a sunset at a decent time so got the opportunity to finally photograph one, and also got to see the full moon reflecting on the water. It’s not often I get to see either from the sea, and certainly the farthest South I’ve ever seen them.


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