We spent our first full day at sea in the Drake Passage, named for that English Corsair Sir Francis Drake, who first navigated these waters in 1587. All day long, waves sculpted by wind and current thumped the side of the ship. Curtains of spray were thrown up from the bow. The wind increased until we had some weather that rocked the ship, compelling the passengers to do the Drake Dance as they negotiated their way around the vessel. Several albatross, however, used the wind to their advantage and soared around the Fram all afternoon. Beautiful, large birds, the wandering albatross may have a wingspan of 10 to possibly 11 feet in length.
We began our comprehensive lecture series today, with discussions about biology, history and geology of the Antarctic region. We also encouraged people to get out on deck to observe the birdlife as well as take in the fresh air combined with a little rain. For the most part, it was a quiet day. We attended lectures, read, ate and slept.