Day 10 (10th Jan): Girard Bay in Antarctica and Argentina Travel log

  • Jan. 23, 2023, 4:30 a.m.
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  • Public

Last day in Antarctica. This day we were supposed to be back at the South Shetland Islands, but windy conditions prevented us from going back there. So instead we went further south, with a planned landing at Yalour Islands. But icy conditions there prevented us from entering that too, so we went to Girard bay for ice cruising instead. It was windy and at times snowy, but apparently it was the best condition in the region, so we made the best of it. We were the last group to get off the ship, and while the other scouting teams were on their zodiacs, our ship repositioned several times, chased by the fleet of zodiacs. We were wondering if we would be allowed off the ship at all.

The water was rough, the wind was fast, and the ice made the sea bumpy. We saw lots of icebergs, and no wildlife. It wasn’t a scenic cruise as much as an experience akin to an amusement park ride. Not the best outing, by a long shot, but it was fun to experience the rough weather once. Hurtigruten even had a zodiac dedicated to delivering hot chocolate to people. They call it the “bar boat”. By the time we came back we were all soaked.

After we got back, we went to the hot tub to warm up and got a shower before catching the lunch buffet before it closed. It was surreal to be in a jacuzzi, while surrounded by glaciers and icebergs, as snow falls on you. By the time we got to lunch the ship had already sailed out of the island to open water, so it was very choppy. The sky cleared up as we sailed out onto the passage, so I went out to see the scenery and saw some penguins hopping the waves. The ship was tilting a lot (I think there were three to five feet waves), so there were a few passengers positioning themselves at the front of the ship, treating it as a giant seesaw.

There was a presentation on one of the visiting scientist’s findings (basically measuring salinity, temperature at various depths on fjords), and presented samples of phytoplanktons, but by then I was getting sea-sick even though I’d already take bonine, so I slept until dinner. I put on sea sick patches at dinner (totally forgotten I’d brought them along until a fellow passenger reminded me of them), and that, combined with us sailing into relatively calmer waters - it’s now back to Lake Lagoda level now - made it more tolerable. There’s two more days of Drake passage ahead of us, so hopefully I won’t get worse. I’ll take a couple of dramamine and call it a day.

Panoramic shot of Zodiacs chasing the ship as we repositioned on Girard Bay:

Last updated January 22, 2024

Zappel January 23, 2023

Seasickness would definitely be my biggest worry on a trip like that -- I'd worry that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself at all! I'm glad the good drugs worked for you!

I love love love being in a hot tub in winter; I'm imagining how it would feel to be there after an Antarctic outing on the water and then being surrounded by that scenery. Magical.

nds Zappel ⋅ January 23, 2023

Yeah, we were lucky with the seasickness. We saw videos of Drake Passage crossings on line and were braced for having to stay in bed for two days each way. But we got lucky.

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