24 January, 1998
Yesterday at about 9:00 PM, we passed through the Estrecho (Strait) de la Maire which lies between Tierro del Fuego and Isla de Los Estados (States). This is the southernmost tip of South America and the next land is Antarctica. It was quite beautiful as the sun set at around 10:30. In the Northeast, there was a tiny rainbow, reminiscent of my first day in Hawai'i this summer.
When we left the straits area, we were officially in the Drake Passage. It didn't take long for the seas to get rougher. Why might the seas get rougher? Although we are not under the influence of a storm system, the seas are now running with 6 foot waves. Just learning to type with the movement of the boat is a challenge! I must admit, I'm glad I have seasickness medicine as I am rather prone to that malady, especially when having to do close work like reading or typing. The medicine is working, however, and I am only having trouble with adjusting my balance as the boat sways!
Not much science takes place during the passage from South America to Antarctica. Researchers are carefully watching their equipment to make certain that all has been anchored sufficiently, but no data is being collected. Ships usually want to get out of the Drake Passage as quickly as possible and deploying equipment slows progress down considerably.
Tomorrow we will take a tour of the ship and learn about some of its systems. Warm regards,
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