We started heading back on the Drake during Christmas Day after our stop at Roberts Island. Here we were able to Elephant seals that seriously made every type of noise imaginable that made you want to gag a little! I am glad they had the big Christmas dinner the night before since the Drake wasn't looking very "lake" like on the way home. There was two storms that were going to be coming together so as our Captain would say, we needed to use torpedo mode to get home. You knew things were going to get rough when the hotel staff was putting puke bags on every railing in the hallways. All you saw was a bag ever 10 feet in the hallways. I went to bed right after dinner becuase you could already tell it was getting rough and I wanted to get a little bit of sleep. Wishful thinking. All night we were in 7m swells (21 foot waves) where I kept getting thrown from one side of my bed ot the next. At one point, the drawer I apparently forgot to hit the lock button for, went flying across the room hitting our desk. Whoops! The Drake Shake was here.
On the first real day of the Drake I got up for Breakfast and went back to bed until lunch. They were doing lecutres about glaciers and I knew I would just fall asleep during them so why not just nap in my own bed. In the afternoon they had a movie about Cape Horn. Christine informed me that it was from 1920 footage and why would they be showing us something about Africa. Well since it was dealing with Africa and I can't stand old Movies we just hung out in the library reading books and editing photos. You could tell many people were not feeling well since they weren't at any of the meals. Jonny the hotel manager was a little irritated at some at our table since they wanted to really feel what the Drake Shake was - we were in it! It finally started getting a little calmer around dinner time. The concave windows though in the dining room really make you feel like you are sick - the waves were up over them at points and when the boat is tiliting at a 30 degree angle staring right at the water, you are on a roller coaster for sure.
Day 2 of the Drake, we made great time getting through and beating the storms. When I woke up we were almost at Ushuaia with a day to go. Andrew got on the announcement saying that we had just gotten permission to go to Cape Horn. At this point my brain is already foggy from lack of sleep and I'm remembering what Christine said about Africa...How can we go to Africa and back in a day - what is going on?? Once he started talking about getting permission from the Chilian's then it all started clicking. So we headed within 3 nautical miles of Cape Horn. It was great seeing land after 2 days of just water.
Today is the last morning on the boat. They are giving us breakfast and then we all will be heading our seperate ways. I am just going to take my luggage on the airport transfer and hangout there. Hopefully there will be some wifi that I can upload some of these posts and some pictures. I will be flying to Buenos Aires and catching the midnight plane to NYC. I will have a 6 hour layover in NYC before finally arriving in Baltimore around 4. Getting home will take about 35 hours...I'm dreaming of my nice warm bed right now!
To say this trip was incredible, amazing, unreal, spectacular - it doesn't do it justice. Antarctica is one of the most breathtaking places on this planet. You feel so small in this massive place hearing the carvings of the ice, humpback whales feeding around your boat, penguins coming to explore who is visiting their islands. While my footprints in the snow will be covered by the next snowfall or penguin poop, this trip I will always remember. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people from all around the world on the boat - we surely had the times of our lives!