Antarctica Day 21 – Approaching the Beagle Channel

During the night it had rained but still the sea was relatively calm – we awoke to blue skies as well. First thing in the morning I finished helping with the virus situation by giving them instructions they’d need to follow as an Administrator in order to stop the virus spreading.

I then had a brief period of time to pack my suitcase before there was a documentary titled “Antarctica: Of Ice and Men” which was just a recording of a BBC programme. It covered a lot of what had been spoken about already from the earliest human history of the continent up to the first tourists setting foot there.

There was then a brief talk about what other expeditions the company caters for, such as trips to the Arctic. It was quite a short talk and was followed by decks being called one by one to return Wellington boots.

By the time lunch was served we could see the first signs of land – Cape Horn and the other islands off the tip of Tierra del Fuego. It meant it was likely that by the evening meal we’d be approaching the Beagle Channel for our approach to Ushuaia. After lunch each group had to settle their bills to save time the next day. I think around this time we must have slowed down as we didn’t seem to be getting any closer. I had heard rumours that as we were 12 hours early we wouldn’t be allowed to enter the channel until later.

A little later there was a planned slideshow of passengers photos – this however was shorter than they anticipated as the virus limited peoples ability to add more pictures to it. To remedy this they used some of the crews photos and shown a time lapse video from one of the passengers. I didn’t like to say anything but I thought the time lapse video was quite poor – the slideshow was excellent though and brought back memories of the previous couple of weeks.

This was followed by a celebration for our last day onboard the Plancius – a cocktail was handed out to everyone and the Captain said farewell. The expedition team also gathered for one last time to say goodbye. There was then a bit of time for people to mingle before heading down for the last dinner – an Argentinian sirloin steak. At the end of the dinner the hotel staff for the boat were introduced one by one, and said farewell to us.

As the day came to an end we were stationary in the Beagle Channel waiting for the pilot to take us the rest of the way in the morning.

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