We finally arrived in Punta Arenas at 18:00 hours on April 23rd, two days ahead of schedule. Land was a wonderful sight to behold. The transit across the Drake’s passage was a bit rough but the ship rode well. We were also able to conduct the crossing ceremony. This was the first time I ever helped to plan it. Under the circumstances I think it turned out well. I think the most exciting part of our transit to Punta Arenas, at least for me was when I got to drive the ship! It is not as easy as it sounds. You really need a feel for it when adjusting the rudders. I tended to over compensate for the heading. But it was A LOT of fun and I learned some new things.
For a while now I have been debating on whether I would participate in a long cruise such as this ever again. During the cruise I could only think 'Heck no!' but now I am not so sure. I did have a good time, met great people and hopefully collected a nice set of samples. It was good experience and also a great challenge. Depending on the circumstances I would probably do it again. The crew, the mates, the Raytheon folks, everyone was fantastic. We had great support. If there was any ship on which I would participate in a 70 day cruise, the Palmer is the best.
I head to the airport in about an hour. I have about 24 hours of traveling ahead of me. I always get really anxious before I travel, particularly in unfamiliar territory. I am ready to be home. Yay! I hope everyone enjoyed the blog as much as I enjoyed creating it.