The real experience, the central factor of today is the simple joy that comes from being on a boat on its way out and fully at sea. I stand on the various decks watching the waves and the clouds and the sky and the albatross and petrels (and once something with a fin) and I am overwhelmed by a subtle but persistent sense of satisfaction. It feels good to be on a boat, especially a boat bound for Antarctica.
Crossing the Drake Passage is supposed to mean you puke. We are lucky. We have some swell and there are definitely people on the boat who need their baggies but Sean and I do not. The first full day at sea is beautiful:
We are in the open sea, no land in sight. Around the Multanovskiy albatross and petrels soar without flapping. When we are not on deck there's tea and coffee, a couple of informative lectures from the expedition staff (the birds we're seeing, and the geology of Antarctica) and our introduction to the fantastic food.
We also nap.
Somewhere between the 19th and December 20th, 2006 we cross the Antarctic Convergence. It gets colder, cloudier, I can feel something coming.