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We all had to have a briefing at 9.30 on what you can and can’t do in Antarctica and sign the agreement.
In the middle of the briefing there was an interruption from the captain to say that the Drake Passage had 8m swells so we wouldn’t be doing that the next day and would stay in Ushuaia overnight but we couldn’t stay at the dock so we would anchor offshore and then run tenders the next day so people could find the good coffee ashore.
Decking in Ushuaia was 35 knot winds and I went out on deck and thought I was going to get blown over. A number of boats already there including Silverseas but our captain did a great job of docking.
Some of the views on the way in and full house on the wharf
The excursion I chose was bus to the former gaol The End of the World Prison now a museum. Then to the Tierra del Fuego Southern Railway station where we caught the End of the world Railroad built and used by the inmates. Some of the art work was very interesting. The trouble with being on a cruise is you just live in a bubble so when I got off the ship for this excursion I didn't take anything except my room key so luckily I couldn't buy anything.
Then to the Tierra del Fuego Southern Railway station where we caught the End of the world Railroad built and used by the inmates. Got to station and there were free coffee tea hot chocolate and snacks etc. I know I’m a hot chocolate snob but that was particularly revolting.
There were people dressed up as inmates and you had to have your photo taken before you got on the train and they weren’t happy if you didn’t buy them. The trouble with being on a cruise is you just live in a bubble so when I got off the ship for this excursion I didn't take anything except my room key so luckily I couldn't buy anything
The train was very narrow gauge and the scenery was beautiful but I’m very glad I wasn’t ever a prisoner working out there.
When I woke up the following morning it was obvious we weren't still in the dock. The captain announced that the weather had changed dramatically and so they had headed off. One couple had thought about spending the night in Ushuaia and going somewhere nice for dinner so not sure what would have happened if they did.
One of the Aussie guys had his birthday so his wife had organised a table for dinner and asked that we had Indian food - it was OK but certainly not the best Indian I've ever had and the service was very slow.
An absolutely amazing sunset that night.
As an aside that was one of the things Seabourn was very good at was providing whatever you wanted eg some people ordered sushi in the room every day and some caviar for breakfast. There was never a murmur about anything you wanted but they weren't forthcoming with that. They did you give you breakfast orders but on the first day someone said oh don't bother to order just call when you're ready which is much nicer.
The next day we did the Drake Passage and it was very smooth considering the day before they had 8 m waves.
Did you do the vacuuming of any 'not new and unworn' outer clothes you were going to wear for landings? We had to do it twice - once the day before our first South Georgia landing and then again before Antarctica to get rid of any seeds etc that might be lurking so there would be no introduced contamination.
The penguins here are Gentoo. It took me a while but eventually I could recognise all the different kinds.
There are going to be lots of photos now so just bear with me.
The orange ones are the passengers, Red are the expedition people and blue are crew and they were at the landing to help you get on and off and make sure you cleaned your boots before you got back on board.
It was interesting watching them feed and the smell didn't bother me but they were very noisy.
When you are doing a landing, everyone was allocated a group colour which depended on when you did the landing and the blue group might be allocated 8am one day and 11am the next day.
You must be in the area 15 minutes before your allocated time and you must go to the room with all your gear on and your jackets and lifejackets or as they say zipped and clipped. They had a lot of the staff helping you get sorted. I think it was Day 3 of the landings before I was able to dress myself. Your rubber boots are kept in an area on the deck, so you grab them and then go outside.
The first landing experience I was a bit apprehensive but the crew getting you on and off the zodiacs were great and never felt unsafe. Was very warm though and will wear less clothes next time.
Today we got off at Waterboat Point. The Chilean guys are the island from November to April and a supply ship comes in once a month. After we were all back on the boat quite a few of them came onboard for lunch and left with a big case of beer. They have a small museum and gift shop on the island which I thought was amazing concept.