Drake Passage En Route to Ushuaia

Jan 04, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


After a busy week exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, we spent a relaxing day at sea, heading north to Ushuaia. Our crossing of the Drake Passage earlier in the trip was incredibly calm and, although most of today had been pretty calm, the ship did start rocking more by about 15:00 and continued to pick up throughout the afternoon.

By the evening there was definitely enough motion to cause some of us have issues sleeping, with swells up to 18 feet. We had a good number of albatrosses and cape petrels circling the ship in the afternoon, keeping the birders amongst us occupied.

There were three talks today. One by Peter, the undersea specialist onboard who talked about his time working on an Antarctic station. After lunch, Marylou spoke about the oft overlooked Antarctic keystone species – krill. Max then talked about working on assignment with National Geographic.

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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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