Saturday 13 December 2014

December 13 The Drake

 Well we have been rocking and rolling our way north! Even this ship is struggling a bit in the wind.  We are now at Beaufort Scale 9. We were in 8 for awhile, and then just before noon we saw the sea change as the wind increased and the sea began to really roll and visibility dropped significantly as the water surface became airborne!  The captain announced the safest place to be was in your bed!

Expedition staff were still out on deck this morning, but by the afternoon, all the outer decks had been closed, so we spent the time indoors with guest on the 10th floor observation lounge watching the waves and reveling in the ones that reached our height.  If you get sea sick this is not a great place to be.  There has been a lot of talk among the staff about other voyages and how bad they were - but I think our 2009 experience crossing the Drake in the Lyubov Arola was right up there at the top!  We had higher waves (8-10-12 m) and a smaller ship.   That was decidedly uncomfortable! You could not walk, the ship rolled up to 32 degrees, and staying in your bunk was almost impossible (some of the smaller expedition ships have seat belts for the beds).  This is mildly uncomfortable, but not life threatening.  Fortunately neither mom or I seem to suffer from sea sickness.  I learned another trick today that some of the other expedition staff seem to swear by - and that is to put an earplug in your non dominant ear....they swear it helps!
We decided to put up the Christmas tree this afternoon!

This is the other end of our cabin - note the "electronic" window!

John Fonseca and I on duty in the aft lounge.

Noon staff meeting to talk about the weather!

Beaufort scale - what all of are talking about is being in this kind of storm in a sailing must have been horrible!!

728-33Near GaleSea heaps up, waves 13-19 ft, white foam streaks off breakersWhole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind
834-40GaleModerately high (18-25 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaksTwigs breaking off trees, generally impedes progress
941-47Strong GaleHigh waves (23-32 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibilitySlight structural damage occurs, slate blows off roofs

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