Tuesday – December 18, 2012 –
After sailing the more than 700-mile voyage across the Drake Passage on Sunday and Monday, this morning we sailed into Ushuaia. It was great to be back to civilization in southern Argentina, but part of me missed the wilderness and wildlife of Antarctica.
Last night we rounded Cape Horn, Chile before sunset. We saw the lighthouse in the distance and were jubilant as we rounded the Horn.The scenery reminded me of the scenes from the movie, “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.” We hoped that an albatross wasn’t following us into the Beagle Channel.
For dinner last night, we celebrated with a great meal of coconut prawns and black rice. Our guide Geoff led us on a ship tour of the engine rooms last night for a behind-the-scenes look at our ice-class expedition ship.
This morning after breakfast, we left our postcards on board to be mailed from Antarctica. The Akademik Sergei Vavilov would be stopping on the next voyage at either Ukraine’s Vernadsky Station or the U.K.’s Port Lockroy Station. We thought maybe will receive them later this year! Then we said goodbye to our friends and guides as we disembarked. Jeff and I had to separate, as I was returning back to Michigan via Buenos Aires and Newark to Michigan. Jeff would continue his travels backpacking in Argentine Patagonia.
My bus left at 11 a.m. from downtown Ushuaia for the airport. After paying my departure taxes, my Aerolineas Argentinas flight left at 13:20 for Buenos Aires’ Aeroparque Newberry. There I grabbed the Manuel León bus after collecting my luggage to head towards Ezeiza International Airport. My United flight was supposed to leave at 9 p.m. for Newark, but it was four hours late due to a storm in the United States. I enjoyed my layover in Buenos Aires catching up on news from the rest of the world after being on what seemed like another planet for 12 days!
I think Antarctica will probably haunt my dreams forever. It truly is a magnificent place that is hard to describe how beautiful it is. I will never forget this magical journey to what must be the most isolated and scenic destination on earth. It surely is the last great frontier.