03.03.2012 - 03.03.2012 -2 °C
Surrounded by nothing more than a churning sea and blue skies, which extends as far as the eye can see, one cannot help but be filled with a sense of isolation, well that is if you care to ignore the other 100 people on board. Drakes Passage in the Southern Ocean, the body of water which separates the tip of South America from the Antarctic Peninsula, is renowned the world over for its rather unforgiving weather, but today according to the Captain we have been most fortunate to receive nothing more than force 5 winds....as the boat heaves and drops away underfoot I’d kindly recommend that he reconsider the use of ‘fortunate’. A quick head count pretty much confirms that most of those onboard have already sought the refuge of their bunks below, yet somewhere above me on the top deck I can just about make out the unmistakeable form of young Russell, armed with a manic grin, a set of binoculars and standing by the onboard ornithologist she’s in her element watching the giant Wandering Albatross that is following in the wake of the ship....Captain Salty no less!
As I head off to bed later that evening I pop into the well stocked onboard library and come upon ‘The battle for the Falklands’ by Max Hastings & Simon Jenkins (1983), an excellent account of the war here in the South Atlantic back in 1982. With Argentina refusing entry of two British ships last Monday and all the sabre rattling going on re who is the rightful owner of the Falkland islands (Malvinas as the Argies call them) I ponder whether all will still be the same upon our return in 12 days time...only time will tell!