Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 7: Last day in Antarctica

Woke up this morning for our final continent shore landing. It was a hike up a really steep hill with views over a beautiful bay. I got about 2/3 of the way up and then was retarded and looked down. I promptly chickened out at that point. :-) The incline to come back down was so steep that I got a little bit of vertigo looking down it and trying to figure out how to get back down. So I did the only sensible thing: i sat down an watched all the senior citizens file past me. I hung out there, velcroed to the side of a steep mountain and contemplated Antarctica for about an hour. Chris hoofed it to the top, so I bet she has awesome pictures, which we may someday get to see. There were fir seals all over the place there so I finally went back down the hill and took some pictures of them. Fortunately, I do not feel like too much of a schmuck because a whole bunch of people didn't even try - they got there, took one look at that hill and then got back on the boat to come back to the ship.

When we rolled into our last stop, where we were supposed to go on one last zodiac cruise, the water was really choppy. Woody, our expedition leader dropped down in a zodiac to assess the gangway conditions. Between him and Annie (the second in command) they decided that the water was too choppy to get us all out onto the zodiacs safely, so we scrubbed that mission. Instead, we all took what we have deemed "polar naps" and then met up in the bar to have some spiked Hot chocolate & to take our group photo for the end of the tour DVD.

Speaking of the DVD: part of what you get with this tour is a DVD with pictures that all of the passengers have contributed, as well as maps of where we went, a recap of the expedition and other assorted goodies as a keepsake. Everyone has had their laptops out in the bar, going through all of the pictures that they have taken to add to the pile. I bet we are going to get some spectacular shots. The Chinese contingent has been out with 500 millimeter lenses that are the length of my arm, so I am eager to see what they took.

The next 2 days are the Drake Passage again on the way home - cross your fingers for an easy crossing - and we are going to attempt to come up in the Pacific Ocean so that we may actually turn east and round Cape Horn in it's entirety. This is a right of passage as these seas are usually really really rough, and old time sailors would measure their worth in how many times they have rounded the cape.

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