At Sea, Drake’s Passage

Feb 15, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


“For I say there is no other thing that is worse than the sea is for breaking a man, even though he may be a very strong one” – Homer

We’re now well and truly in Drake’s Passage. Thankfully the swell hasn’t been too bad, although there is still a pitch and roll which has declined throughout the day. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed with most of us choosing to relax in the lounge and rest areas before facing the daunting task of stuffing everything back into suitcases and checking to see if outerwear has lost the smell of guano.

The schedule was kept busy with tours of the galley and then presentations about living and working on Antarctic research stations, how humans have caused climate change and how these impacts are causing, and will continue to cause, serious shifts on our planet. But, it finished with some positive notes on how we can reduce our impacts. Jonathan then finished the afternoon off with a presentation on his travels through all of the United States National Parks. After dinner we had a photo critique session by the onboard photographers, where hopefully everyone managed to find some useful feedback from the review of submitted guest photos.

Throughout the day we did see some seabirds, including the black browed albatross.

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About the Author

Peter Webster

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

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