Matt & Emmy in Antarctica & Easter Island travel blog

Sunset in the Scotia Sea

Today was spent at sea, beginning our transit of the Scotia Sea towards South Georgia Island. The ship is surrounded by sea birds (mainly albatrosses), and many of the passengers and crew are scanning the sea for signs of a whale, but we haven't seen on yet.

Our day on board was relaxing, with moderately high seas in the morning causing a bit of queasiness all around. However, as they day passed the seas became calmer. We expect to cross the "Antarctic Convergence" sometime tonight - this is the biological and meteorological beginning of the Antarctic region. South of this line (which moves throughout the year), the wildlife will be more abundant and of types typically seen in the Antarctic region itself, such as certain varieties of penguins, whales, and birds. At the same time, the water temperature will drop from about 6C down to 1C or lower, over a short distance. This is also the region affected the most by weather patterns caused by the continent of Antarctica - so the likelihood of fog and storms is much greater. Up until now, we have been blessed with spectacularly good weather for this region - barely any rain, no storms, and relatively calm winds. The crew we spoke with said this was extremely unusual for this time of year, but it's to our benefit.

To pass the day, the naturalists on board gave various lectures on the things we will be seeing soon. One gave an "Introduction to Penguins" talk; she was followed by a geologist, whose lecture was "Plate Tectonics, the geography of Antarctica and Why Penguins are dumb" (I think he may be a bit jealous of the attention the penguins are getting at the expense of his rocks and ice.

As the day went on, the seas became calmer and calmer. We expect to reach an outlying rocky island tomorrow afternoon, and then South Georgia the next morning. We're traveling at about 13 knots.

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