This blog post was written by Ali from the Expedition Team on Ocean Endeavour in Antarctica
Ocean Endeavour: December 28 - December 31
On the 28th December the Ocean Endeavour entered the final phase of her epic Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula voyage of discovery.
Over the next few days the plan was to make a continental landing at Brown Bluff, plunge into the frigid waters of Kinnes Cove, cruise the giant tabular icebergs in Antarctic Sound, and explore Mikkelsen Harbour, Cierva Cove, Whaler's Bay at Deception Island, and finally Yankee Harbour.
Given the extraordinary success rate throughout the voyage could we expect anything less than perfection in our final days? We certainly were not disappointed. Antarctica continued to welcome us to her gentle shores and grant our zodiac drivers crystal calm waters and abundant sunshine to explore the ice and wildlife in the water. Our list of up close interactions continued to expand with Humpbacks whales, Leopard, Weddell and Crab Eater seals along with spectacular ice sculptures and the ever present porpoising penguins.
"Our cup runneth over". There are not enough superlatives for our Antarctic adventure. It has surpassed all expectations and a special place will be reserved in the annuls of voyages within these waters.
As we sailed north back to Ushuaia we had time to reflect and piece together the elaborate mosaic of memories. Our entrance into the notorious Drake Passage could, by some, be described as a real disappointment, a non-event, but the reward was to be able to round Cape Horn, yet another unexpected pleasure and privilege afforded to the Endeavour. Such was the calm which had guided us throughout the thousands of nautical miles, and continued until we arrived in the Beagle Channel to watch the spectacular sunset as a final curtain came down on our adventure.
It was time now to celebrate not only an incredibly successful and awe inspiring journey but also a New Year. The Endeavour staff and crew provided a wonderful and sumptuous farewell party which perfectly topped off the final chapter in this epic voyage.