Today we had to get up at 4am to be taken to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia in Patagonia.
On arrival in Ushuaia we were taken for lunch then had an opportunity to walk around and take pictures. The Andes end in Ushuaia so the views were spectacular, I have included a photo of Ushuaia surrounded by the Andes but it doesn't really do the scenery justice.
Finally we boarded our ship the Silver Explorer which is going to take us to Antarctica. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and shown to our cabin. I was surprised to find a load of 'Happy Birthday' balloons stuck to the ceiling of the cabin and a bottle of fizz in an ice bucket on the table.
The cabin is very comfortable especially the beds. Having beds on board ship is a novelty after having bunks on sea trips as a child.
Our first activity was to go to the muster station (actually the lecture theatre) to be taught the emergency drill.
Soon afterwards everyone gathered on the rear deck for drinks to watch the ship depart from Argentina.
We then assembled in the lecture theatre to meet the key personnel for the expedition. A cocktail was given to us on entering the lecture theatre. There was a wide range of scientists introduced especially those knowledgeable in the wildlife we may meet on our cruise. I have also identified some staff that may advise me best how to make the most out of the expeditions considering my limitations.
Dinner was excellent. I was brought a birthday cake to music as my dessert. Sadly I couldn't finish it as it was both too large and too rich.
Ruth and I then returned to our cabin to finish unpacking and make a start on the fizz.
The sea is relatively calm especially since we are going through the notorious Drake's passage. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays like this.