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Antarctica Marathon 2014: First Night at Sea

Antarctica Marathon 2014: First Night at Sea

This is a quick summary of my first day and night on the Valvilov crossing Drake’s Passage.

Once we boarded and the ship left the port, we had a lifeboat drill. We had to find our life jackets and make our way to the designated lifeboats. There is a large life boat on each side of the ship and depending on which side of the ship you were on, the lifeboat on that side is yours.

As we sailed out into Drake’s Passage, we saw a double rainbow on our way out. It was the most photographed scene on our 10 days in Antarctica.

Dinner was served in the main dining room before we got to the Drake Passage. The dining room can hold about 110 people so it was enough to hold about the 100 guests onboard. The normal entrance is in the reception area as you can see from the third picture.


Before the food is served, the staff usually gives a short speech summarized what happened that day and also a quick schedule of the next day. They will usually say when the next meal is as it changes slightly from day to day. They will also announce any shore excursions and what to do there.

It was during this speech that we were told to “Drake Proof” our cabins. In Drake’s passage, the ship can get tossed around because of the waves so make sure that any object you place on a table cannot fall any further (like onto the ground). I kept everything in the dressers in our rooms and made sure to tie my camera to the railing on the table so that if it did fall, it wouldn’t fall onto the floor.

After dinner, I took another tour of the ship and then went up to the bar.

This screen is linked to the ship via wifi and shows the map. This device is usually up at the bar near the coffee/tea area by the bar. There are a few of these screens spread throughout the ship telling you where you are (like anyone would really know anyway), our heading and speed.

I had a drink or two with a few people the first night on the boat. The boat started rocking when we entered Drake Passage about 11pm. We played cards with the other passengers in the lounge and stayed up till about 1am.

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