Friday, March 26, 2010


Hello, Folks,

Of course, I forgot to list one of the most popular highlights of our voyage — ENGINE ROOM TOURS given by none other than our very own good Captain Alexander Pruss! It was quite fascinating to see the inner workings of our ship proudly maintained by our Russian Crew.

In regards to the South Georgia exclusive voyage which I will be on board with, beginning this October— I have been told that there is a possibility that Captain Pruss will be the captain of the ship, Plancius! This would be fantastic. I will keep you posted.

And, I would like to list one additional adventure that Morten and I may collaborate on— a visit to Midway Island to see the nesting seabirds, monk seals, and more. We shall keep you posted.

Albatrosses forever,

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

What's Next? Future Voyages & Adventures!

World Travelers,

Having completed the "Voyage of a Lifetime" to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula, one can only wonder if it is possible to top this trip. Probably not. However, many other exciting and unique adventure travel opportunities of equally magnificent proportions can be had! Not one of us has "seen it all, or done it all." So, let's keep the good times rolling!

First, let me say that many of our charter adventurers asked about future trips that Morten Jørgensen and I might be offering. We have given this some thought and are currently in the early planning stages of joint collaboration on future voyages! See more below.

The first question is: Is it worth it to return to Antarctica, South Georgia, or the Falkland Islands? Well, you know the saying, "You can never go home." In my opinion, having "discovered" what I consider to be the world's most pristine and magnificent lands, it is always worth a return visit. Obviously, some of you agree, as at least eight folks on our charter voyage were making their second trip to the Antarctic region. One lucky soul made her third voyage! These are my thoughts on returning voyages for our 2010 charter passengers. Some of this advice might well apply to others following the blog. 

SOUTH GEORGIA: Having journeyed to South Georgia several times, I can say in all honesty that it is one of the places well worth returning to, time and again. Only a handful of voyages are on offer, worldwide, as a South Georgia exclusive trip. I will be on board the new ship, Plancius, on such a voyage this coming southern season. This exclusive South Georgia voyage begins in Montevideo, Uruguay on October 18th. This voyage will have many unique aspects to it, including a circumnavigation of the island, a visit to Cape Rosa where Shackleton and his men landed after their epic 16 day voyage from Elephant Island, and ample opportunities to for hiking on shore. The voyage ends on November 4th in Ushuaia, Argentina. The voyage already has enough booked passengers to assure that it will operate. I invite you to join me on board this unique voyage and experience much more of South Georgia's wildlife. We will be visiting new landings that we did not visit on our January voyage, including Stromness Harbor, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay, St.Andrews Bay, Maiviken, Prion Island, and others. Of course, we will also call in at some of the places we visiting on our January voyage, such as Grytviken. If you would like a detailed itinerary, please let me know. All cabins are private. Rates are twin at $9590 and for superior at $10,990. 

FALKLAND ISLANDS: I plan to return to the Falkland Islands on a land based visit, either in late December 2010, or early January 2011. It is possible to fly from Chile to Port Stanley in the Falklands. Once in Port Stanley, it is possible to fly to several of the islands, and stay, either in B & B type facilities, or in small huts. You may have noticed these while we were visiting Carcass and Saunders Islands. In fact, I plan to return to both of these island, as well as a few additional places. I have not yet set my itinerary. I plan to spend a lot of time photographing the wildlife! If you would like to join me, please let me know, as it will be easier to accommodate a party of folks from the early stages of planning.

ANTARCTICA, SOUTH GEORGIA & THE FALKLAND ISLANDS GRAND VOYAGE: Given the current world economic situation, most companies are reluctant to charter an entire ship for the Grand Voyage at this time. However, I do plan to return to this voyage. If you have friends who could not make our charter voyage of 2010, please let them know that this adventure will be on offer, again— hopefully, with Morten and myself on board.

ANTARCTIC PENINSULA: Owing to the incredibly good weather while we were in the Weddell Sea, we choose to spend more of our time there, rather than head to the west side of the peninsula (where the weather was near gale force, according to the reports we received). This turned out to be a fantastic decision! Few trips ever make it inside the W Sea, or spend as much time as we did. However, the western side of the peninsula is spectacular. This could be a trip which would greatly enhance your adventure travel to date. Peninsula trips typically run for about 10 days. This is a good trip for those who do not have a lot of time off from work and for families with children. Trips begin and end in Ushuaia and are lower priced than trips which include the Falklands and South Georgia. I hope to fit a voyage to the peninsula into my travel schedule in either early December 2010, or January 2011. 

ARCTIC VOYAGE: THE OTHER END OF THE EARTH: Morten and I are currently in the planning stages of a voyage to the high Arctic for the summer of 2012! This would be a very small ship based voyage to Svalbard. We would be targeting all of the high Arctic species including polar bear, beluga, walrus, Arctic fox, Ivory gull, little auks (dovekie), murres to mention a few species, as well as glaciers and fjords. This exclusive voyage will be limited to 11 passengers! If you are interested in joining us, please let me know as soon as possible. Expect some stunning scenery and great photographic opportunities.

RUSSIAN FAR EAST: THE OTHER END OF THE EARTH: Morten and I may also be leading a voyage in the Russian Far East, possibly in the summer of 2012. To date, I have made three such voyages. Each one has been fascinating! Steller's sea eagles, brown bears, thousands and thousands of common and thick-billed murres, parakeet, crested and least auklets, and the holy grail of the alcids— whiskered auklets. Stay tuned for more information regarding this voyage.

NEW ZEALAND SUB-ANTARCTIC ISLANDS & MACQUARIE ISLAND: THE REST OF THE WORLD'S PENGUINS & ALBATROSSES— well, almost. New Zealand is the center for world diversity of penguins and albatrosses! You have seen a whole lot of penguins, including half the species of the world. What about the rest? On this voyage, we should see many of the "other" penguins: Snares, erect-crested, yellow-eyed (the rarest penguin), along with king, gentoo, rockhopper and blue. Royal albatrosses on the nest are another highlight. These NZ islands experience warm and wet weather. There is no snow. Vegetation is as interesting as the birds themselves. Where else in the world can one find penguins and (endemic) parakeets on the ground? Again, Morten and I hope to collaborate on this voyage.

OPEN OCEAN VOYAGES: In a few short days, I'll be joining one of the most specialized seabirding voyages on offer— the WESTERN PACIFIC ODYSSEY. This voyage begins near Auckland, New Zealand and visits many of the islands of the western Pacific. It is targeted, specifically, for seabirds and marine mammals, especially the rarest of the seabirds (recently rediscovered New Zealand Storm-Petrel and Beck's Petrel and others). We shall be visiting many unusual islands. Some of these include: Norfolk Island, Micronesian Islands, four days in the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia for Kagu, and passing near Tori Shimi, the island where most of the world's Short-tailed (Steller's) Albatrosses nest! The voyage ends in Yokohama, Japan. Near the end, I hope to see the Japanese Murrelet, the only alcid in the world that I have not seen to date! Amazingly, three folks from our charter 2010 voyage jumped on board with me for this trip. The four of us are hooking up with a friend of mine in Japan to go birding on Mount Fuji after the voyage ends. This unusual voyage will only be repeated for two more years— 2011 and 2012. Next year is currently sold out. If you would like to book for 2012, please contact me as soon as possible! You can follow our voyage on my blog:

TRAVELING INDEPENDENTLY ON VOYAGES: I've traveled to many other places of the world by ship. For instance, the Atlantic Odyssey, Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa, and many other places. If you would like advise or assistance with your travel plans, I would be happy to help book your journey. I do not "upcharge" as some agents do. In fact, I can sometimes find and offer good discounts on voyages. 

THE REST OF THE WORLD: It's a big world out there, of course! I plan to go birding in PERU for the entire month of November 2010. I'm already booked on a bird tour for most of the month. I'm wondering if there is anyone who would like to join me for some independent travel to some of the lodges in Peru in late November or early December. Let me know, if you are interested. I just had a hankering to see a lot of different kinds of birds. For long range planners, I have the following trips on the boards— EAST AFRICA: TANZANIA (This would be a returning trip for me which would include some of the "standard" places, as well as out of the ordinary places, including the Selous!). SCOTLAND & SINGLE MALT— I've been wanting to do this trip for a long time. My idea is to bird in the morning, and go tasting single malt in the afternoons/evening, while enjoying some great Scottish music! TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS— not a pure birding tour, but certainly an adventure. It is at the top of my list. PANAMA— Don and I spent the month of December 2009, birding all over Panama. I may plan a small group tour to this excellent birding country.

It IS a big world. I hope to see you "out there"!

From the Pacific— 39˚36'N and 126˚31'W en route to Ensenada, Mexico from Hawaii,

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Shearwater Journeys' charter voyage to the Falkland Islands, Shag Rocks, South Georgia, Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula, January 6-24, 2010 was, hands' down, a resounding success!

Here, I present a final recap of our incredible voyage—

PENGUINS— We saw eight species of penguins: Emperor, King, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Southern Rockhopper, Macaroni and Magellanic. Pre-trip Chile participants also saw  Humboldt Penguins. This represents half of the world's species of penguins! Of these, we saw all but the Emperors at their breeding colonies.

NINE EMPEROR PENGUINS! En route to the Weddell Sea, and inside the Weddell Sea, we had encounters with the majestic Emperor Penguins. Our good Captain Pruss, navigated the ship so close to three five month old Emperors that we were able to obtain stunning images, as well as vocalizations for those of us who used video cameras! The vast majority of voyages to this region do not encounter any Emperor Penguins, let alone having such close encounters with them.

DIVING PETRELS— We observed Common, South Georgia and Magellanic Diving Petrels. Pre-trip Chile participants added Peruvian Diving Petrel, as well. This represents all of the world's species of diving petrels!

ANTARCTIC PETRELS— Most voyages to Antarctica hope to see a few of these enigmatic petrels. Average counts for most voyages range from none at all to 3-8 individuals. Among dozens of voyages that Morten, Don and Debra have completed, their all time high count of Antarctic Petrels was 27 on one voyage. Our final count approached 500! Flocks of a hundred or more, sometimes lifted off of passing icebergs.

ALBATROSSES— Wandering Southern and Northern Royal, Gray-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses—all of the expected species were recorded. At Steeple Jason in the Falkland Islands, we experienced the rare opportunity to observe the world's largest Black-browed Albatross colony. At Grytviken, we saw Light-mantled Sooty Albatross on the nest with its young. At Elsehul, South Georgia, we saw nesting Gray-headed Albatrosses.

SEALS— We experienced close encounters with seals by being able to walk up to all of the expected species without causing any disturbance to them whatsoever! Seals we observed and photographed were: Southern Elephant Seals, Antarctic Fur Seals, Leopard Seal, Weddell Seal, and Crabeater Seal. 

FALKLAND ISLANDS— We spent two glorious days on wildlife rich islands, in gloriously warm, T-shirt weather. After being greeted by the Cobb's Wrens and Tussacbirds on Carcass Island, we enjoyed a proper Falkland Islanders' tea with the McGill family. On Steeple Jason the stunning and sweeping scenery was as awesome as the albatross colony itself. And, one full day on Saunders Island just wasn't enough— from watching Commerson's Dolphins and Rockhopper Penguins playing in the surf, to fluffy skua chicks and Magellanic penguins in their burrows to the Johnny Rooks stealing our socks on the beach— it was non-stop wildlife! In all, we tallied all of the Falkland Island endemic species, as well as all of the endemic subspecies

SHAG ROCKS— In gloriously calm seas our Captain gave us quite the show of these small, lonesome, isolated sub-Antarctic islands, as he slowly navigated our ship around the rocks. To be sure, tens of thousands of Antarctic Prions were swarming the ship, while several thousand Georgian Shags could be seen, coming and going from their nests. It was so calm that we could see the waves breaking over Black Rock some 17 km away. It is only possible to observe this rarely seen rock that just barely breaks the surface of the sea during periods of flat, calm conditions! None of the staff on board had ever seen it on prior voyages.

SOUTH GEORGIA— Five outings were executed in South Georgia, one of the most incredible places on earth. On our amazing 8 pm Zodiac cruise at Elsehul, we saw Gray-headed Albatrosses on the nest and Macaroni Penguins at eye level on the rocks. Four landings included the second largest King Penguin colony at Salisbury Plain, visiting the whaling station at Grytviken, Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave and a Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nest with a chick; stunning scenery of Fortuna Bay fjord, among others. Both the South Georgia Pintail and Pipit were found at several sites. 

WEDDELL SEA & ICE— Our experiences with ice were second to none! Staff maintained a 24 hour watch, spotting Emperor Penguins. The Captain cruised our ship north of Paulet Island, along the pack ice for a lunch date with Emperor Penguins. Immense tabular ice surrounded us. The ship cruised Fridjhof Sound where icebergs of every shape and size could be seen. We experienced true expedition cruising by walking on pack ice! This is a rare event on most voyages to Antarctica. Frazil and grease ice could be seen, forming on the surface of the ocean, as we cruised under heavenly conditions. Tens of thousands of Adelie Penguins were standing on the pack ice edge. Hundreds of them were porpoising at the edge!

ANTARCTIC LANDINGS— THE SEVENTH CONTINENT! We landed on a small cobble beach at Byrd Point on the Tabarin Peninsula— almost certainly where no other people have ever landed in the past, nor will ever land again, in the future. This, too,  was part a true expedition experience. Snowmen and women were built. We left only our footprints on this most unusual and out of the ordinary landing. We also experienced a more "standard" continental landing in bright sunshine at Hope Bay. This is one of the many spots where most ships' passengers land. Still, we were thrilled to have not one, but two continental landings!

ESPERANZA ANTARCTIC RESEARCH STATION— At Hope Bay, we were given a guided tour of the Argentine Antarctic research station, Esperanza. Here, entire families live and work. It was amazing to see children walking to school amongst the Gentoo Penguins. 

NORDENSKJOLD TRIFECTA— We achieved a trifecta with the Nordenskjold huts, visiting the remains of the hut that Larson built on Paulet Island, now overtaken by Adelie Penguins; visiting the hut built by the Anderson party at Hope Bay, and seeing the hut that Nordenskjold built on Snow Hill Island! Many of us were quite taken by the lecture about Otto Nordenskjold's Expeditions. Seeing the huts brought this to life for us.

PAULET & DECEPTION ISLANDS— Amid tens of thousands of Adelie Penguins, we hiked the pink, krill stained hills of Paulet Island. Truly, this is one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles open to public visitation in Antarctica. Just how long it will remain open for future visits is unknown. Navigation and geology were on tap for our visit to Deception Island. Entering Neptune's Bellows, we cruised the the inner parts of this active volcanic caldera.

WEATHER— We experienced all Antarctic weather! This included a Force 11 gale which we waited out in a sheltered bay at South Georgia (while other unlucky ships had to do battle with it at sea), complete sunshine and T-shirt weather on the Falkland Islands, snow, rain, and glassy, flat calm seas! 

CAPE HORN— Because the weather forecast called for a gale from the northwest, our Captain turned the ship toward the Cape Horn area on our return route. This made for a much more pleasant ride on our last day of crossing the Drake Passage. It also allowed us to see, from a distance, Cape Horn! Few ships returning from the Antarctic Peninsula ever see the Cape.

OTHER SEABIRDS & CETACEANS— We saw all of the expected species of seabirds that could be hoped for on this voyage. Arctic Terns were a bonus! We also encountered all of the expected cetaceans, except Orcas. These included: Fin, Sei, Antarctic Minke, Southern Bottlenose, Southern Right, Humpback Whales; Hourglass, Peale's, Dusky and Commerson's Dolphins. 

LECTURES— Our staff presented 25 lectures in 18 days on subjects covering a wide range of topics from the flora of the Falkland Islands by Linda Terrill to the effects of global warming on Adelie Penguin populations by Scott Terrill to the world's most polygamous mammal— the Southern Elephant Seal by David Vander Pluym, and more. Don Doolittle's presentation of the Nordenskjold Expedition was so popular that it was repeated a second time! And, his recaps about the west wind drift, Coreolis Effect, and "How far is the horizon?" were mini-lectures in themselves. As well, our evening DVD wildlife programs were highly sought after. 

CAPTAIN ALEXANDER PRUSS— I list our Captain as one of the highlights of our voyage because— well, he was! Completely unlike any other ship's master, he was involved with our activities at a level never seen before this voyage. He and Morten scouted our landing at Fortuna Bay! He gave us 110%! We shall never forget him. Certainly, we hope to see him again on one of our voyages.

MORTEN JØRGENSEN— Head's above all other Expedition Leaders, Morten worked tirelessly for all of us. A highly skilled communicator, he was able to bring new experiences and new places to all of us. Helpful to the end, even in the airport on our return flights to home, Morten was there for us! Naturally, we expect to travel with him on future voyages.

KATE GOLDBERG— Ship's doctors are seldom birders or wildlife enthusiasts. Not so with Kate! I don't think anyone spent more time on deck, searching and finding wildlife than Kate did. Rather than a doctor who was simply on board for a vacation, Kate was an active participant at all levels, including, of course, tending to any minor injuries. She was a tough gangway master, too! 

DANIELA CRISTOFF, MARCEL ALEJANDRO CANEL & JUAN ANDRES SOZA— As our hotel manager, we could not have asked for a better person than Daniela. Always cheerful and positive, she had to solve a wide range of issues. Accommodating chefs, Marcel and Juan, helped make our sometimes crazy landing times possible. And, the food— over the top! 

MASSAGE— No, we were not on a luxury cruise ship! However, on board massage was on offer by one of our passengers, James Doolittle, who is a certified massage therapist. Many passengers had the kinks of holding binoculars, or other body aches worked out by James. As far as I know, no other small expedition ship has had massage on offer. 

USHUAIA BIRDING— Three, short pre-trips were offered in Ushuaia, our port of embarkation and debarkation. Birding with 46 people in Tierra del Fuego National Park certainly does not sound like the picnic that it ultimately turned out to be! Nevertheless, with eight leaders, we were able to find many of the specialty bird species and get everyone in this large group on them! Some of these species included: Austral Pygmy Owl, Magellanic Woodpeckers, Andean Condors, White-throated Caracara, Thorn-tailed Rayadito and White-throated Treerunner. In a comedy of errors, a gang of Chimango Caracaras made a feast of an unattended picnic lunch, including eating the chicken on the hot grill! A short field trip up to the Martial Glacier on the morning of our embarkation produced the frosting on the cake— White-bellied Seedsnipe!

PROMISES MADE & KEPT— The pre-trip information which I provided stipulated a number of things which made this exclusive charter expedition unique. These included the following promises which were made: a voyage based on searching for wildlife first and foremost; a voyage that would make as many landings as possible; landings for as long as possible; a dedicated search for Emperor Penguins in the Weddell Sea; quality leadership; one of the highest passenger/leader ratios of any voyage to the region; a voyage scheduled at the absolute peak time of year for wildlife activity and viewing chicks in the nest; travel with a group of like-minded folks; and one of the best values in travel to the Antarctic region. I promised to wake you up on the ship's PA system for wildlife sightings. This I did on the very first day at sea, after leaving the Falkland Islands, when Southern Right Whales and Fin Whales were just off our bow at 6:15 am! This trend continued throughout the voyage, when Morten did not hesitate to wake you, gently, at 4:30 am for the first Antarctic Petrels! I promised to interrupt meals for significant wildlife sightings. This we did, when Linda Terrill spotted the first Emperor Penguin during lunch, causing a stampede out the doors! I promised to make unusually early or late landings, so that we could fit more wildlife into each day. This we did with an 8 pm Zodiac cruise at Elsehul and a 4:30 am landing at Godthul. All of these things could only have been accomplished with the co-operation of our Expedition Leader, Captain, and hotel/restaurant staff. Ordinary expeditions are not able to offer all that was offered on this special voyage, even if they are charter expeditions. Truly, in every sense of the word, this was not only the "Voyage of a Lifetime," but the "Experience of a Lifetime."

Many, many thanks to all!

Debra Shearwater

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Disembarking Professor Multanoskiy

24 January 2010
Ushuaia, Argentina

Early this morning, we disembarked our cozy home of the past 18 nights, Professor Multanovskiy. Many of us headed to the airport, bound for connecting flights to North America. A few lingered in Ushuaia, a town I could never have enough time to spend visiting. The dozen or so of us who participated in the pre-trip in Chile, boarded our bus headed to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Each of us collected many memories, and some, photographs of the special places we had visited during our time in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Weddell Sea, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Over the weeks, we have come to reflect on our remarkable days in what is surely one of Earth's most pristine and glorious destinations.

Here are the words of Bernard Stonehouse:

"Well, we've visited Antarctica—in reality and in spirit—and now we're rolling back to civilization. This is the time when thoughtful travelers sit down and think. On the way south we were too excited; in Antarctic waters we were too busy. Now there is time for reflection. What have 1, 2, or 3 weeks in the wilderness taught us? What are we taking home from Antarctica? Has it all been worth it?

Most passengers I've met, on dozens of cruise ship voyages, are at this stage exhausted but pleased with life. They have had a wonderful experience. There have been things to complain about on board—the cabins, the plumbing, the food, the stuffy lecture room—all matters that good cruise operators want to hear about and take seriously. There are seldom complaints about Antarctica. itself. People have loved it: in sunshine, sleet or rain, in howling gales or flat calm, with three landings a day or none—Antarctica has met and far exceeded their expectations.

Underlying the euphoria is often a sense of unease, perhaps even of guilt. We have put down money and bought Wonderland: Is it really as easy as that? Have we harmed Antarctica? Do visitors like us really leave no trace? Are there no lasting effects on the environment? Don't we owe Antarctica something in return? Then come the practical questions. Who owns Antarctica? Who manages it? Who controls its exploitation? Who left all that rubbish, and why are they allowed to get away with it? How many people visit each year? Who keeps an eye on tour operators, to see that they stay up to the mark, and who sets the mark anyway? [And, he goes on— this could have been the topic of another lecture on board!]

Many travelers regard their Antarctic cruise as a turning point in their lives. They want to keep in touch, possibly to return, certainly to learn more about the place and its problems, perhaps to contribute in some way to its protection. Of these, a portion retain their interest for many years or forever. The Antarctic bug—the one shipboard naturalists didn't warn them about— has claimed many victims.

Whether or not you keep in touch, keep your memories alive and warm. Antarctica was, and is, a wonderful place. It needs friends— folk who will cherish it for its own sake, not just for the living, the knowledge or the prestige that they gain from it. If you enjoyed Antarctica, tell your friends about it. If they are the right kind of people, don't be afraid to get them to visit Antarctica too. "— Bernard Stonehouse

Some, have already gone on to become "ambassadors" for the Antarctic region. This is as it should be. David Campbell in the Crystal Desert has this to say:

“I’ve never lived in a place where light mattered more than in Antarctica, where the photons seemed newly minted... Today, more tourists than scientists visit Antarctica... making a pilgrimage and returning home transformed. This is as it should be. Antarctica should no longer be the exclusive province of government-funded scientists, whalers, and krillers. It should be a world park—the first ever—accessible to all people but possessed by none... The Antarctic Treaty was designed, at least in part, to show us a way out of the cold war, and it seems to have done that. On a continent where the blood of no mother’s son has been spilled in defense of homeland and where no brother has slain brother, people have laid down the tooth-and-claw lessons of savanna and forest, of city-state and nation-state and, by necessity, learned tolerance. This may be Antarctica’s greatest gift to the rest of the world. Is it the way of the future? Perhaps not. But for a while, at one place and for one brief time in human history, we are living up to our name: Homo sapiens.” —David G. Campbell, in Crystal Desert.

Antarctica forever,
Debi Shearwater
Charter Voyage 2010

Crossing the Drake Passage

22 & 23 January 2010

Crossing the Drake Passage was a "piece of cake" on 22 January. Generally, we enjoyed very calm seas. Most of us were out on deck, watching the seabirds drifting by and, perhaps, reflecting on our most successful voyage. The evening of 23 January the forecast report was for tougher seas. So, our captain turned our course toward the northeast. Finally, about 2 pm, we turned again, and we were in quiet, following seas. This course diversion brought us within six miles of Cape Horn.

Cape Horn is widely considered to be the most southerly point of South America, and marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage. For many years, it was a milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. It is a notorious sailors' graveyard. But, our passage and views were in remarkably calm seas.

The authorities at Cape Horn would not allow us to approach any closer. Nevertheless, we were able to make out the Cape Horn Memorial. Captain Pruss brought his laptop out and showed pictures of this memorial from a trip where he was able to get much closer. Morten, our Expedition Leader, read the inscription, both in English and Spanish. It goes as follows:

I, the albatross that awaits for you at the end of the world...

I, the forgotten soul of the sailors lost that crossed Cape Horn from all the seas of the world.

But die they did not
in the fierce waves,
for today towards eternity
in my wings they soar
in the last crevice
of the Antarctic winds

Sara Vial
Dec - 1992

And, so the ending of our voyage was nearing. This evening, in the lecture room, one last time, Debra showed three different slide shows, set to music of our adventures together. These would be the shows on the final voyage DVD given to each of us in remembrance of our special travels together.

Long live the Southern Oceans,

Debi Shearwater

Professor Multinovsky, charter voyage