Today, we continued our northward route across the Drake Passage with conditions like those on our initial southbound voyage. We observed the usual seabirds: black-browed and royal albatrosses, giant petrels, and sooty shearwaters. The birds soared majestically back and forth across our stern as they looked for anything edible sent to the surface by our churning wake. By midmorning, we were abeam of Cape Horn, known as one of the ‘apex predators’ of the maritime world. It has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 mariners ‘rounding the horn.’ A monument of an albatross in flight (the seafaring symbol for souls lost at sea) stands watch on a point near the famous lighthouse.
Shortly after entering Argentine territorial water, we had the unique experience of watching (via streaming) the FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and France on the five big screens in the lounge. The bar was open, and pizza was served. What a game! A Hollywood blockbuster couldn’t have done better: 2-0, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, then a shoot-out that gave the Cup to Argentina. As most everyone on board (except the bartender) cheered for Argentina, there was a great deal of joyous celebration after the deciding shot. And competition continued after the game, when five teams participated in a rousing game of Jeopardy in the lounge.
The last miles of our fabulous Antarctic adventure traversed the famous Beagle Channel with Chile on our portside and Argentina on starboard. Partly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 40s F (9° C) provided a bittersweet ending. We were sad to leave the wild beauty of Antarctica, but we are looking forward to home and the holidays. The traditional Captain’s Dinner was followed by shore time in Ushuaia to experience raucous Argentine joy.