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3 January, 2002


Our first day at sea was a busy one. We had a safety lesson, we tried on our lifesuits, and we got inside the lifeboats. We watched Peele's Dolphins swimming alongside the ship. They looked like they were having fun in the wake from the ship. We watched the Chilean pilot leave the ship once we passed out of the Straits of Magellan. We had a safety drill. A very loud alarm went off. We all had to get our safety suits and meet in the lounge. Luckily, no one was taking a shower at the time!

This is a view of Punta Arenas, Chile from the ship as we began the voyage.

We had a Chilean pilot who came on board from this ship. He is here to advise the ship's crew on local conditions in the Straits of Magellan. He left the ship many hours later when we left the Straits of Magellan. To leave our large ship, the small pilot ship had to come alongside, and the pilot jumped from our larger ship into the smaller one. It was exciting to watch, and I am glad I didn't have to do it!

Shortly after we left the dock, we had a safety drill. We climbed into our one piece orange safety suits. We also entered these torpedo-shaped lifeboats and strapped ourselves inside. Each lifeboat holds 44 people. It is a tight fit.

Shortly before we sailed, a Chilean immigration officer came on board to check that we all had passports and other documents.

As we neared Punta Delgada (a narrow place in the Strait of Magellan), this pilot boat came out to take the pilot back to port.

Look at this transfer of the pilot from our ship to the pilot boat! The ships were both steaming ahead. The seas weren't as rough as they can be, either!

The white-haired gentleman (the pilot) on our ship is about to step across with the help of a seaman on the pilot ship. (These pilot transfer photos were taken by Amy Chiuchiolo)

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