Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Southern Atlantic Ocean

Posted at 9:30 pm, December 30th, 2003

The boat is still steaming away on the passage from Ushuaia to the Falklands. Temperatures have been in the 40’s, skies have been mostly clear, and surprisingly the ocean has been really calm. However, despite the flat water the boat has been rocking a bit, as it seems icebreakers have flat hulls and aren’t exactly the most stable boats on the water. It took a while for me to figure out how to walk across the decks without being battered into the walls, but I think I’ve got my sea legs now and by mid-afternoon I was sitting balanced on the bow with one leg draped over the side.

The wildlife sightings for the day included thousands of seabirds — the black browed albatrosses were at first the largest, with wingspans of seven feet, but as the day wore on we began seeing a few royal and wandering albatrosses, each with wingspans in the ten to twelve foot range. Watching them skim the water, swooping and soaring but almost never flapping their wings, is an awesome sight. A few penguins, a whale, tons of other birds, and three dolphins (who popped up for all of about a half second) rounded out the animal life for today. I left the bow once to attend a photography lecture by Rod Planck, an amazing nature photographer, although sadly once the lights went down the lack of caffeine caught up with me and I dozed off a couple of times. Now I’m off to bed sunburned but happy, and with a full day in the Falklands to look forward to tomorrow.

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