As I settled in and began to find my way around the ship we cruised gently down the Beagle Channel. We had no idea what lay ahead. As we entered the exposed waters of the Drake Passage, the force nine gale was upon us and there was ‘no soup’ (we quickly learned that ‘no soup’ was a portent of rough seas).
Waves several metres high driving spindrift over our heads provided exhilarating conditions for the light-mantled sooty, the royal and the great albatross and the acrobatic ‘Pintados’ or Cape petrels who follow the ship.
After the storm we were able to pick up some speed to head to our first sighting of land in over 600 miles of ocean, and the ‘convergence’ which creates lumpy seas all by itself.