We officially entered the Drake Passage just I was hitting publish on my blog entry last night. There was a distinct increase in the size of the swells and the amount of motion you felt in the boat. I slept like a baby. I got up feeling fine, had a shower, sat down on my bed and that’s when it hit me. The overwhelming urge to vomit… and this is a calm Drake! The nice thing was that once that was out of the way I felt much better and I was still able to participate in most of the activities planned for today. That said, I’m keeping this blog post a little shorter today because I feel a tiny bit queasy still and I want to get a full night sleep for once because tomorrow we make landfall and I want to be ready!
Because today was entirely at sea, the agenda today was made up of a variety of presentations. Attendance was lower at these as the toll of the Drake kept a number of people in their cabins. First meeting of the day was an introduction of the Lindblad and National Geographic teams as well as a quick introduction of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow program. There is nothing like trying to walk a straight line to the microphone when the sea is tossing you around. This was followed by a photography talk and break out sessions to work on individual types of camera. I’m not going to get into too much detail here, but plan to write a more lengthy post at the end of the trip about the photography tips I’ve learned.
I may have taken a 2.5 hour nap this afternoon. Which meant that I missed the bird photography lesson, but I’m sure I’ll have lots of opportunities to work on that in the coming days. I did wake up in time for the talk on “Krill and Penguins: Life in a Changing World”. Rudolpho, the naturalists presenting this topic, spent many years working for the WWF and now is active in PEW. He spoke to us about the importance of Krill in the Antarctic Food web, as they supply nutrition to countless other species in the oceans surrounding the continent. However Krill populations are under pressure due to two primary factors, climate change and fishing (they are used by pharmacology for omega 3 fatty acids). It is difficult to determine which factor is having a greater impact, but are working with scientific models to help them predict. The problem is also compounded by not having proper data for other species that would in turn be affected by declining Krill numbers, including the Chinstrap penguin (who we will likely be meeting tomorrow).
At dinner I sat with a couple of guests on board the ship, including Australian Mary who was having her 60th birthday! This trip was her present to herself and so it was quite a festive dinner complete with champagne and cake. I am getting spoiled! The guests on board this ship are just about as fascinating as the voyage itself. Everyone comes from such diverse backgrounds and I’m really enjoying just sitting and listening to their stories. Most of them are very well travelled and I definitely have a couple of more places to add to my list.
After dinner Nichole and I made the decision that if we were in our cabin that we should just leave the door open so that it was easier for people to stop in and visit us. This paid off when Rudolpho stopped by and pulled up a chair for a chat. We spoke more about the Krill and fisheries and regulation by the CCAMLR. He’s agreed to do a video interview with Nichole and I about his roles and responsibilities so that we can use it as a resource in our classrooms.
Not many pictures today… I’ll make up for it tomorrow. Time for bed, sunrise tomorrow is 3:27am!