This is not bad for the Drake Passage they said.
This is very mild they said.
You’ve had it easy, surely you want some rough seas before arriving back they said.
This is only 5-7 metre swells, only occasionally hitting 10 metres they said.
The glasses crashing is normal they said.
The tray load of dishes bursting out the kitchen door is nothing to worry about they said.
The red wine bottles falling in laps is part of the fun they said.
Yes, it can get much worse they said.
You’re lucky they said.
Come on, this is nothing they said.
Now, I don’t know about you… but getting thrown around in the sea in a ship, albeit robust, is not really my idea of fun and certainly not something I go out of my way to experience.
But experience we did as the only way to return to the rest of the world is via the Drake Passage and we were on it, rocking and rolling, like we were in an enormous gyrating aquatic washing machine.
That said, is was kind of fun! Once the motion sickness was contained, you could almost chuckle on the big rolls, especially as the dining room was trying to function normally, with the push and pull being counterproductive.
Would I miss this if I never had to do it again? NO
Would I do it again if it meant returning to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions? YES, IN A HEARTBEAT!
And Port Lockroy is the place to do it. Even though it may take up to 90 days, it will eventually be delivered.
The reason it takes so long is because it goes from Port Lockroy to:
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands by boat (depending when the next one goes)
UK by plane
then disbursed out across the world
“Port Lockroy” is not only an important natural and historic environment, but also a destination for many from around the world who want to come and learn more about the Antarctic. One role is to consistently monitor through a long-term environmental study, now running for more than a decade, the impact of visitors to the site; and, in conjunction with that study, regulate the number of visitors and ships visiting the area, as well as, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, imposing strict site guidelines to ensure the environment is properly cared for.
The gift shop and museum acts as a fund raiser, together with offering the postal services.
New Years Eve spent zodiac cruising around Elephant Island, in particular Point Wild, was an unexpected highlight.
Renowned for being the landing and living spot for the left-behind crew in the famous Shackleton expedition (which features highly in daily presentations on the “Sea Adventurer” by the quark expeditions team), it allowed an intimate introduction to what the extremely difficult conditions would have been like.