Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Rites of passage in the Drake Passage

These past two days, we celebrated –at least– two rites of passage on the open ocean: the relatively slow spatial movement from Antarctica back to South America, and the passage at midnight from the year 2012 to 2013. The careful reader will have noticed that we hinted at more possible passages…
Of course, having been to remote and pristine lands like the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica leaves a deep impression on us, and in a way, it is nice and appropriate to have some time during the crossing of the Drake Passage, to recapitulate and put our recent experiences in perspective.

The same introspection applies to the passage from one year to the next; and it so happens that this time, we celebrated this rite on board a ship in the middle of –probably- the most violent seas in the planet – and thankfully, they were in a celebratory mood, too, as they were remarkably calm during our whole trip.

Yet another rite of passage was sailing from the Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean, which we did this afternoon; and in doing so, we are now entitled to wear an earring, as true “kap hoorniers”, or those who successfully rounded the infamous Cape Horn and survived to tell the tale.

Now, we’re slowly sailing back to port and to ordinary life – which will certainly be rather extraordinary after the unusual things we experienced during this journey and now carry in our hearts and minds; we have been through a rite of passage.