Day 5 – Antarctica on the Horizon

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December 20th, 2019

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Woke up to another morning of rocking waves on the Drake. The ships crew keeps a tight schedule, and even though we had nothing to do, we still got our Wake Up Announcement so we could make it down to breakfast. Breakfast was our most consistent meal. Usually a protein, sausage and ham mostly with some bacon sprinkled in, some kind of eggs, and a lot of cheese, fish, and more European things. The European influence on our menu probably was inspired both by the background of our crew and our other adventurers. Charlie was most excited to learn that to save space, they had a baker on board that made fresh daily bread. Throughout our adventure, she would find solace in some bread when served strange new dishes.

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So another day of reading, playing backgammon, playing cards, and checking out the ship. It’s not a big ship, but it did have a library and some things to check out. 

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The Internet was like you would expect – tiny bandwidth for a large price – so I was forced to disconnect for the trip.

Finally, in the afternoon, the sun came out and we started to see small icebergs flowing by us. And by dinner time, we could see substantial land, although the crew told us they were actually islands. And then the call went out. Jackets on and get outside! There were a group of humpback whales that were tough to spot at first. They can move so fast when they dive down and cover a lot of distance, so staring at the same spot doesn’t help. Eventually they started showing some fins and blowspouts to help us to see how majestic they are.

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Later on, we weren’t able to get them on camera because of how far out they were, but a small pod of Orcas also showed up. We ended up learning a lot about them in a later lecture. We ended our night with promises of landfall in the morning and the start of our expedition.

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