Panama Coral Reefs

Panama Coral Reefs

Antarctic SeaScience

Antarctic SeaScience

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Goodbye Antarctica, Hello Drake Passage

Yesterday we officially left Antarctic waters and started across the Drake Passage on our way back to Punta Arenas, Chile.

On our last day in Antarctica we were fortunate enough to have had some of the most beautiful weather and scenery of the whole trip.

Shortly after leaving Palmer Station we went through the Neumeyer Channel, a relatively narrow channel with snow and ice covered mountains jutting straight up out of the ocean on either side.

And with blue skies, sunshine, and very light winds, the scenery was absolutely spectacular.  A great final image of Antarctica as we said farewell.

A high, snow covered peak rising up from the ocean.
The mountains here are an extension of the Andes mountain range in South America.

Clear blue skies made a beautiful backdrop for the scenery in the Neumeyer Channel.

Now, crossing the Drake, conditions are about the opposite.

There is no land in sight, 30-40 mph winds, and 15-20 foot seas.

The view out one of the ship's portholes while crossing the Drake Passage.

Waves splashing up into view from the bridge of the ship.

And although one situation is seemingly "better" than the other, they are both equally as spectacular to witness.

We are set to arrive back in Punta Arenas in two days and our team is enjoying all of the variable weather and scenery during these last few days!

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