Antarctica Journal – The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage Outside My Cabin

Warning:  If you’re prone to seasickness, I don’t recommend watching the video below.

It’s months later and I’ve yet to get those last two days of my January trip uploaded.  My apologies, it’s been a bit nuts – made all the more so by a bout of pneumonia that lingered for almost 2 months and an excessively busy spring semester (which turned out some amazing scripts from student-writers).  Oh, and, let’s not forget the storms that knocked power out, practically ripped the roof off my hay barn, and…

My Stargate SG-1 novel which has had to suffer in the backseat while I dealt with the above insanities.

Happily, the insanity has quieted down (for the moment) and the novel progresses well.  Of course I rapidly switch back and forth between moments of exhilarated enthusiasm for this crazy book which feels more and more like a film than an episode (just close your eyes and pretend SG-1 got that third movie!) — and then there’s days where I think I must be the worst writer on the face of any planet in any galaxy.

Typical writer stuff.

So… those last two days of Antarctica goodies will have to wait for when I finish THE DRIFT.  Look for postings come late June.  In the meantime, however, here’s a bit of video for those of you who aren’t prone to seasickness.   This video was taken inside the library on the 3rd floor of The Polar Star while traveling back to South America.    While there’d been a pretty good case of rocking and rolling on the way down to Antarctica, it barely compared to what we experienced coming back.  According to the ship’s logs, we hit gale force 8 winds.  On the Beaufort modern scale, that equates to 39-47 mph, but there were definitely times we had to have peaked up at force 9 which is aptly described as “High waves whose crests sometimes roll over. Dense foam is blown along wind direction. Large amounts of airborne spray may begin to reduce visibility.”

Suffice it to say that the smell of vomit in the corridors was ripe.  Personally, I LOVED every minute, sneaking outside on several occasions even when we were ordered to stay in our cabins.

See for yourself:


Penguin Preview
Gentoo penguins at Port Lockrey

Day One – December 29, 2010
Ushuia, The Beagle Channel

Day Two – December 30, 2010
The Drake Passage & Its Avian Escorts

Day Three – December 31, 2010
Arctowksi Station – Icebergs, Penguins, Seals

Day Four – January 1, 2011
Aitcho & Deception Island – Chinstrap Penguins and Volcanoes

Day Five – January 2, 2011
The Antarctic Peninsula: The Errera Channel, Alimante Brown Station, Port Lockroy
(Blue Bergs & Glaciers. Penguin Squabbles. Crabeater, Weddell & Leopard Seals.)

Day Six – January 3, 2011
Part I: LeMaire Channel, Vernadsky Research Base, Wordie House
(Breaking Ice, Ozone Research and Vodka!)

Part II: Adelie Penguins, Yalour & Pleneau Islands, Sunset over LeMaire Channel

Day Seven – January 4, 2011
Part I: Humpback Whales Ahoy!

Part II: We Almost Became Leopard Seal Bait

Day Eight – January 5, 2011

Part I: The Drake Passage Home


More to come…