9 March 2020
Yesterday we flew from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia after two nights in BA , and a full day which we spent visiting the famous cemetery where Eva Peron lies, the art gallery, and La Boca. The vibrant colours and warmth of Buenos Aires gave us a newfound energy after twelve hours travelling.
Yesterday’s arrival in Ushuaia was somewhat of a shock, with temperatures dropping from 30 degrees celsius in Buenos Aires to around 9 degrees in Ushuaia. The crisp Southern breeze blowing over the ocean to the town served as a reminder of where we are headed. There’s something quite magical about Ushuaia, sitting at the bottom of majestic yet brutal mountains, staring out at the ocean, with the Antarctic Peninsula out somewhere beyond the horizon. We imagine that Ushuaia turns to hibernate in the winter time, when the cold winds and storms from the giant Southern icy continent become too much for the isolated town at nearly the bottom of the world.
We set off from land last night, headed towards the notorious Drake Passage. For now it is calm, although some of us are still getting used to the constant movement of the sea.
“Not gonna lie, there were times I wanted to be on land today – but I know that good things come to those who wait!” – Sadra
Standing on the top deck with our eyes on the horizon helps a lot, and is a good opportunity to bird watch – so far we have seen albatross and petrels, and even a very brief whale sighting.
“It took me three years to say yes to this opportunity because of the fear of not seeing land. But I spent today on the deck and realised that home is always home. The ocean is the albatross’s home. It was freewheeling, and going with the flow. I realised that every day is an opportunity.” – Andrew (Official Supporter)
There are various lectures being run on the ship, which we are making the most of. We have been briefed on the safety protocols for kayaking, and are hoping to be able to get out on the water later tomorrow. We feel so lucky to have this wonderful opportunity to learn and challenge ourselves.
“It’s unbelievable. We are from Otara, South Auckland, and to be able to be on the boat and look at the sea. Two Pacific Island students going to such an amazing continent in the world is cool.” – Jaylee
“I feel comforted by the fact that I couldn’t see land. I’m a bit of a workaholic, and my work phone tends to be an extension of my hand. So it’s been nice just being able to let go and connect with other people and enjoy the moment.” – Laurette
“I think for me it was lovely to have a day to think a bit. The main thing in my thoughts was seeing all the young people evolving and growing, their strengths starting to come out, and seeing them relating to each other. What will tomorrow bring? It will be even better.” – Bill (Official Supporter)
But for now, our bellies are full from the ship’s buffet dinner, and we are all set for an early night, ready to recharge for a day of watching the ocean, and keeping an eye out for the creatures that live in and off of it.
Written by Inspiring Explorer Ihlara McIndoe