Day 2: The Dreadful Drake

Day 2: The Dreadful Drake

[Location: Drake Passage].

We all know that Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent. Unsurprisingly, it is also the most remote. To get to it, one has to brave the furies of the infamous Drake Passage, the confluence of three oceans where waves can reach 4 stories high. It is not known as one of the world’s roughest seas for nothing.

eorlov roll1

eorlova roll2The two photos above courtesy of the lovely Lori Gibson

As we set off into the Drake, Jill and her crew tell us that the severity of the waves could vary greatly. Depending on our luck, we could get anything from the Drake Lake (severity: 1/10) to the Drake Shake (severity: 10/10). On our crossing, we had what they called a “fairly calm Drake Lake… maybe 2/10”.


Lesson of the Day: The crew are great people with terrible judgment about wave severity. They’ve already grown almighty sea legs from hundreds of crossings, after all. No matter what they tell you, any crossing of the Drake will be a Drake Shake.

The porthole of my Deck 3 cabin is at turns completely submerged in water, making it uncannily like a churning, foaming washing machine, and at other times completely filled with a cloudless sky. Left, right, left, right… the MV Orlova rolls endlessly from side to side like a giant cradle (only I don’t think cradles make you lose your breakfast quite as much). Drawers and wardrobe doors all need to be locked down, or else they fly out with every pitch and roll of the ship. Items you leave on the bedside table have a tendency to relocate to another part of the room on their own, too. If the nauseating motions or the sleep-inducing seasick pills don’t take you out, the flying objects in the cabin will.

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