Cape Horn to Antarctica

After 36 hours of literally going in circles to wait out some inclement weather (9m swells and 70mph winds) we finally set sail from the relative shelter of Tierra del Fuego for Antarctica. First we had to round the infamous Cape Horn, which looked quite terrifying even from a reasonably sizeable cruise ship in calm weather, must have been hellish in a small wooden ship in bad weather. Many a ship has been lost in these waters. As is traditional the ships horns sounded once we’d rounded the horn and we were into safer waters heading south.

About two thirds of the way from the bottom of South America to Antarctica we came across our first iceberg. An American lady next to me asked “What is it? Is it a rock?”. The mind boggles…

The crossing thankfully was smooth, and after 24 hours sailing I had my first sight of Antarctica.

Which became significantly more impressive as we got closer. I’m a fairly cynical and hard to impress traveller but it was a quite magical experience to sail through these islands of the Antarctica Peninsula in perfect weather. Two hours on deck went by very quickly.

The locals also put on a show for us, with multiple sightings of pods of humpback whales, and some splashes in the water, which with maximum zoom and cropping on the laptop later revealed themselves to be penguins jumping out of the water.

The colours started coming out as the sun began to set, though this far south in December it never really sets fully.

We spent a few days in Antarctica, more to come…

Author: jontycrane

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