And then we were out of the fjord and into the Southern Ocean. And for the next three days we were confined to the interior of the ship. The extremely strong winds continued, so that the ship could make only about 8 knots. We were allowed in the bridge - we were always allowed in the bridge, except when the pilot was on board - from which we could watch the bow slam into huge waves, which would break well above the bow and slam into the exterior of the bridge, which was on the ship's eighth deck. Traveling through the Southern Ocean, in a modern ship that is capable of communication with the outside world, gives one a great appreciation of those who explored or worked in those waters in sailing vessels, totally dependent on and subject to the mercy of the weather, and totally isolated from the outside world. It is almost beyond my comprehension.
And so it continued until we neared the sea ice extending out from the Antarctic continent, at which point we were once again allowed on deck and observed Southern Fulmars, Pintado Petrels, a few Snow Petrels and even one Antarctic Petrel, which came and left before I could get it in focus. Oh yes - there were icebergs galore. And our first Adele Penguins. And Crabeater Seals. We were in Erebus and Terror Gulf (named, I'm happy to say, after the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, which were used in exploring the area, and not after anything that had happened there) nearing Antarctica.
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