On Friday December 30, 2016, I officially moved aboard the Laurence M. Gould (LMG) icebreaker ship for the final leg of my journey to Antarctica. My heart felt heavy saying goodbye to my husband, since we would be apart for six weeks, including New Years, my birthday, and Valentines Day. I am also leaving behind our two dogs, and I know they will be missing the extra belly rubs and long walks while I’m away. Here’s a big THANK YOU to my husband for taking care of our furry family in my absence.
On the other hand, I also felt nervous and exhilarated. The LMG would be at sea for about five days. Two of these days will be spent crossing the roughest waters in the world. The Drake Passage is a body of water between Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
The Drake Passage is where the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern oceans converge, creating a roaring mix of currents – similar to a washing machine. This means that 30 foot waves are not uncommon in the Drake Passage.The intensity of the Drake Passage depends on the variable conditions at sea.
Check out the video below of a Russian vessel crossing the Drake Passage between Ushuaia (Argentina) and the Antarctic Peninsula. The vessel was hit by a storm sailing north that lasted two days with 14m waves! This extreme example is known as the “Drake Shake.” However, this passenger (yours truly) is hoping for a much smoother crossing, similarly called a “Drake Lake.”