Drake Passage - Friday, December 31, 2004
Long: 55° 06 S
Lat: 56° 37,5 W
Temp: 10 C°
Water Temp: 7,5 C°
Wind: 30 Knts
Wind Direction: WSW
Photo ci contre : Giant-Petrel (by Ken Wright)
Brad's dulcet tones woke us in the morning with the declaration that the weather was a rare calm, perfect for wildlife spotting. After breakfast, while the 35mm set basked in the sun and watched the black-browed albatross, royal albatross, and southern giant petrels buzz the ship, Kennan and Karen hosted another digital photography seminar. This one centred on the downloading of pictures from the camera to a computer; simple enough for the computer-literate but mind-boggling for those of us who, when they hear "3.5 floppy disc", think of a very small, very soft Frisbee. Just as Ken was ready to introduce David Attenborough's film on the evolution of flight, the call came from the bridge that we had come across a pod of pilot whales. Brad's prognostications had come true and everyone rushed out on deck, camera in hand, to catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures. Our resident whale-watching experts Brook and Colin estimated between 70 and 100 animals in total. One clever wag noted, much to Ken's dismay, that you can always get people to rush out of a bird lecture to see whales but can never seem to get people to rush out of a whale lecture to see birds. After lunch, the calm and sunny weather continued. Despite this, both Ian and Colin deemed it necessary to drag everyone inside the lecture hall for their respective talks. Ian droned on and on about some guy named Shackleton and Colin waxed eloquent on the subject of seals.
Brad held a little pre-dinner reception in the Explorer Lounge to help welcome in the New Year. Afterward, the Captain and Chief Engineer joined us for dinner in full gala uniform. The following party was said to be quite a to-do with much drinking and jocularity until the wee hours. This author wouldn't know however as he went straight to bed after dinner.
Programme de la Journée - planning of the day
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