For years prior to boarding the R/V LAURANCE M. GOULD, I have heard tales. Tales of the sea. The Drake Passage is infamous for high seas. Seen as how it is where the Atlantic and Pacific ocean meet, there are numerous currents jostling around for superiority. The apprehension of boarding the boat and what was to come was huge and very unnerving.
We left around midnight on a Friday. Which was unfortunate because we missed the spectacular Straits of Magellan. They are supposed to be wonderful. Perhaps I will see them on the way back. Many of us gathered on the top deck as they pulled the gangway away.
We got one last amazing view of Punta Arenas lit up at night. It was nice to see the quiet city that way. We won't see it again for another six months.
When we woke in the morning, we were treated to a vast ocean of nothing. We are looking South in these photos and there is nothing between us and Antarctica but empty, cold ocean. And I know what your thinking. "Keith, it doesn't look that bad out. You have boating experience. What are you so afraid? Why does it seem your doom is at hand?"
I don't know if this is legible or not, or if the ramifications can be understood. If you read closly, the posting says, "The outlook is not a good one. 20-25 foot seas!!"
That's the size of a two story building, yall.
These photos do no justice, but for the better part of five days, we were rocking back and forth in the Gould. Laying in the bunk beds or watching a movie in the lounge was about the only respite one had for this turmoil. And even then it wasn't enough. I nearly fell out of my BOTTOM bunk several times.
What seemed like a lifetime later, we finally get to see our first sighting of the Palmer Peninsula and what will be our home for the next six months.
Stay tuned shortly for pics from my first Rec Boating trip. They are wicked awesome...
THE AFOREMENTIONED VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MINE AND MINE ALONE. I AM NOT ENDORSED BY OR AUTHORIZED TO SPEAK AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR SPOKESPERSON FOR ANY COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION.