And so our trip comes to an end: a month of sailing and many glories seen, many penguins photographed, many icebergs floating by.
For over two days we’ve been sailing almost due north toward Valparaiso, and we arrive at about 6 a.m. tomorrow. At about noon I’ll disembark (i.e., “leave”). The next night, assuming I’ll pass my second PCR test for covid in 2.5 days, I’ll fly back home for a several-week respite before the next trip.
There’s really nothing much to tell about the last few days. We’ve had lectures to watch, though none of them have been recorded, meals on tap, recaps of the trip, which just make me nostalgic and the sea all around. A whale was reported off the starboard bow this morning, but when I got up on deck there was a big crowd with binoculars but of course the whale was gone.
All I can proffer as my final post is a map and the one meal I’ve eaten (in the Aune) since my last report. Food first, with the menu descriptions:
The daily bread basket in the Aune. I’m reduced to posting pictures of rolls!
“Chicken liver pate, grilled rustic bread and cornichon.”
This is why I ate in the Aune yesterday: to try this dish: “Reindeer roasted root vegetable and wine sauce.”
The meat was very lean, as you can see, and very tender, but lacked flavor. But at least I got to try reindeer.
As Ishiguro would call this, “The remains of the plate.” It reminded me of an abstract painting.
Chocolate soufflé. As usual, dessert was the best dish of the meal, served piping hot with a poached strawberry:
The Expedition Team kept a running map of our journey (this is the second one; the route was different on my first). We started in Punta Arenas, took the Beagle channel to the South Atlantic, and then headed to the South Shetlands. We wound around the Antarctic Peninsula for a few days, and then headed north, passing Cape Horn. After tooling around the fjords for a couple of more days, we exited to the Pacific. Now it’s full steam ahead for Valparaiso, where the ship will refuel and head north to Alaska and then through the Northwest Passage back to Norway. But that last trip will, I think, be without passengers.
Here’s an enlargement; the Team conveniently numbered the high spots. For me? It’s hard to match the beauty of the Lemaire Channel, and of course any place with penguins is a high spot. I still say that if you can get.yourself down here once in your life, do so. I’ve never seen anything like it. And don’t forget Torres del Paine National Park as a side trip. I did that in 2019, and it’s stunning.
My favorite picture from the trip (click to enlarge the next two):
And second favorite picture. Sense any theme?