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Destination Antarctica: First Day on the Drake Passage

Destination Antarctica: First Day on the Drake Passage

[ November 9, 2009 - 5:59pm ]
Clipper Adventurer
Dek: 
Sam Bass, aboard a ship en route to Antarctica, on avoiding sea sickness, royal albatrass, and Cape Horn.

I haven’t gotten seasick yet, even though our ship, the Clipper Adventurer, is currently crossing the notoriously violent Drake Passage. It’s 10:16 PM on Saturday, November 7, and we’re somewhere near the Antarctic convergence—the zone where the cold waters surrounding the Antarctic continent mingle with the slightly warmers waters of the southern oceans.

I went to bed last night while we were still within the protected waters of the Beagle Channel, but noticed that around 2 AM the boat’s rolling increased noticeably. I assume that was when we turned due south and headed out past Cape Horn. I woke up feeling queasy, but managed to eat some cereal and yogurt and go back to bed for a while. After that, I felt much better, but now the nausea is beginning to creep back.

Cinematographers Tom Day and Colin Witherell and photographers Adam Clark and Keoki Flagg have been hard at work documenting two kinds of life—the kind that lives aboard the ship and the kind following the ship’s stern. The latter includes several species of petrel and albatross. I haven’t managed a glimpse of a royal albatross yet, a bird whose wingspan can reach 3.5 meters, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

I’ll check in tomorrow. Gotta go get horizontal before I lose my dinner.  —Sam Bass

Skiing Magazine Senior Editor Sam Bass is heading to Antaractica for an 18-day ski-mountaineering trip. You can follow his journey—and watch a video interview of him before he took off at skiingmag.com.antarctica.

Clipper Adventurer

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