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Day Six: The Drake Passage

Posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Dave!And so... not the smooth sailing I was hoping for.

The open sea has proven so treacherous that the ship seems to be floating on its side from time to time. You look out your portal and you can see your own wake. Naturally, this has caused a lot of discomfort for a lot of people onboard. As for me? I don't get seasick, but I put one of those patch things behind my ear just in case.

Unfortunately the patch can't prevent a door from slamming on my finger.

I went to leave the cabin just as a big wave struck the side of the ship. This swung the door back with my hand still attached. Ouch. My right ring finger now has a pretty big chunk of skin ripped off of it.

It's surprising how simple things like sleeping, opening a door, brushing your teeth, and going to the bathroom become a major ordeal when attempted on rough seas. During breakfast this morning, a wave struck the ship and rolled it pretty hard. All the breakfast plates, glasses, mugs, and utensils went flying. It was then I learned that each season over half of the dishes on this ship have to be replaced. The cost of doing business in the Antarctic, I suppose.

And it's not just the dishes that are breaking... regardless of how careful you are, the potential for injury on a trip like this is huge.

Yesterday a guy tripped on a busted sidewalk in Ushuaia and couldn't board the ship because his ankle was jacked up. Then this morning during some particularly turbulent seas I heard a man screaming in the hallway. I went out to see if I could help and ran into somebody who told me that a man had just fallen down the stairs and broke his leg. Turns out he has a very bad compound fracture and has to be air-lifted to a hospital. We were going to head back to Ushuaia to drop him, but there's a hurricane-force storm to the north which means we can't. So... we are making a detour to the only nearby place a plane can land... King George Island.

Considering the seas are as violent as they are, I would not be surprised if there end up being more such accidents.

In better news... we saw our first iceberg today. It was kinda tough to get good photos when the ship was rocking and rolling, but I did my best...

M/V Ushuaia in The Drake Passage

M/V Ushuaia in The Drake Passage

M/V Ushuaia in The Drake Passage

And Antarctica is still a day away...

Antarctica Map
©2017 Google Maps

More rough seas ahead, I'm sure.

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Categories: Photography 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink


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