The Drake Passage is the body of water between the southern tip of South America, Cape Horn, and Antarctica and has some of the worst sea weather in the world. It is 400 miles wide and is the shortest crossing from Antartica to the rest of the world’s land.
Since none of the other continents extend south more than 40 degrees, and Cape Horn is 56 degrees south, cyclonic lows can literally chase each other around the world unhindered by landmasses. Cyclonic lows of near-hurricane strength travel through the passage roughly every three weeks. Top that with waves racing from two and sometimes three different directions as a result of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans converging, and you have the makings for some very rough water.
We were issued our jackets and boots that we will wear each time we go ashore in Antartica. We also had to have our waterproof pants, gloves, hat, backpacks specially vacuumed for biosecurity.. Tom and walked around the deck a few times dressed in all our warm clothes to see if we could tolerate the cold.
The day started out with the ship just rolling a little, but by dinner I was SO seasick that I could not eat. (missing a meal is definitely not normal for me). This morning I feel much better and the sea is calm now that we are near the land in Antartica.
This morning we saw our first iceberg and it’s -1 degrees!