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The Antarctic Convergence

Leaving Antarctica

A blur. That’s the only way to describe the last two days. After leaving the South Shetland Island group we went back into the void of the Drake Passage. That evening we crossed the Antarctic Convergence. The place where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans smack into the Antarctic Ocean.

Our ship was tossed around like a feather in the wind. We tried to sleep, but everything in our cabin flew around unless it was stuck down. Draws opened, wardrobe doors banged, and suitcases fell out and made the most awful racket. We ended up having to tie the wardrobe doors together with a spare USB cable.

I lay there listening to the noises of the sea, I’ll never forget that night if I live to be a hundred. The waves hit the ship with a loud BANG followed by shaking and shuddering. I burrowed into the bed and pulled the covers over my head, like a small child hiding from a thunderstorm.

The next day came and we spent it in bed, even though neither of us got sick this time. It appeared we had finally found our sea legs. The return crossing was even rougher than the crossing to get to the southern continent. The reality was, it was impossible to walk around the ship in these conditions and even though we had passed the convergence during the night, we both feared for our safety if we were to get up and try to do anything in these. Even from our bed, with the curtains open, we could look out and see that the horizon to us was vertical and the whole world was topsy-turvy, with us on the very bottom.

The deck of L'Austral

The second day, conditions seemed better especially as we left the Drake and passed into the scenic Beagle Channel. The sun came out and Darren and I spend some time enjoying the relative warmth and scenery on deck near the pool, which had been all but useless on this trip.

The ship had to stop in Chilean waters for a while to refuel. We enjoyed looking at the colourful houses on the shore of another town at the end of the world.

Return to Ushuaia

The ship docked back in Ushuaia around 7:30pm and we could disembark, which we did as we really couldn’t stand the thought of another meal onboard and really needed to stretch our legs after basically two days of being flat on our backs.

We had dinner at the Hard Rock Café – which I really couldn’t believe a place like Ushuaia, at the edge of the world actually even had. Walked around a little more just to stretch our legs and reboarded the ship for our last night on board, seemed strange to be sleeping on a ship which was in port and a bit of anticlimactic way to spend the last night of the great Antarctic adventure.

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