Today is our final opportunity for Antarctic exploration before the long and tumultuous excursion back to South America through the Drake Passage. The venue at hand is the Cierva Cove, a deep inlet on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, on the south side of Cape Herschel, within Hughes Bay. There will be no beach landing here; only cruising through this ice filled bay will be possible given the rugged terrain.
The excursion this morning has been through the Antarctic Sound on our way to Brown Bluff, our first landfall on the Antarctic Continent. As the Sea Explorer powers towards our disembarkation site, we're blessed with viewing multiple tabular icebergs along the way in beautiful morning light.
It's storming on South Georgia Island today. The Sea Explorer is tossing and turning in large ocean swells. Our normal itinerary for today has gone out the window. The group leader of our trip is in consultation with the captain of the ship in an attempt to develop an alternative plan. A decision is made to enter the Drygalski Fjord on the southern part of the island. None of the staff has ever been to this bay before. We are told to remember, "flexibility is the key."
It's my last afternoon in the Falkland Islands, and I'm cruising down the main drag in Stanley along the ocean. The temperature is cool, but not oppressive, and there is a slight drizzle in the air. This is enough to keep my camera in its bag. I will pull it out when I need it.
We have just spent 2 days at sea, going from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Falkland Islands. I'm not going to lie. Not having my sea legs on the first part of this trip has resulted in a persistent state of nausea that I would rather forget. Nevertheless, we've made it to the Falkland Islands, and I'm anxious to make my first landing.
After an arduous day and a half of travel, I've finally made it to Ushuai, Argentina. This is the southern tip of South America, the gateway to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. I've been planning this trip for 13 months, and now it is all coming together.