December 16th, 2000 – by: portia
In the bridge of the ship, these big windows were where the next 2 photos were taken from.
Well, the Drake Passage lived up to its name. We were lucking going south, but not so lucky going north now. I was in the cabin sleeping it off, it was hard to walk around the pitching ship. My husband took the video from the bridge, where the water came all the way to the window of the bridge!
The Drake Passage was named after Sir Francis Drake, who in 1578 sailed through the Magellan Strait (where we would go tomorrow), and then got blown backwards south of the horn (Cape Horn, that's also tomorrow). The misadventure proved that Tierra del Feugo was not part of Terra Australis Incognito, but an island. The Drake Passage was in the Furious Fifties latitude where the west winds constantly blows, and is frequently stormy.
About 2 months later in this infamous Drake Passage on another return trip from Antarctica, on March 2, 2001, at 5am, the first officer of our ship the Caledonian Star saw a rouge wave of 30m (yes, meters!) high coming toward them, windows of the bridge were smashed, the bridge was flooded, and the communications and navigation equipment almost destroyed, but the engine was alright. They were able to limp back to port. The ship is now named the National Geographic Endaevour and still makes her voyages to the Galapagos islands. Wow!