In the early hours our drake shake has turned into a Drake lake. We have the seldom pleasure of experiencing both extremes of this famous stretch of water within one crossing – and not just a crossing, a fast crossing. By breakfast the stories of seasickness have become a memory to talk and laugh about – for most of us that is. There are only a few knots of wind left, and we are smoothly motor sailing toward the unknown. Light mantled sooty albatrosses and cape petrels follow the ship. In the deckhouse we learn about different sailor knots. As the wind has shifted a bit more to the east we brace. The sails are still up, even though it is very, very calm by now.
But halfway the morning the wind picks up and once again we can turn off the engine. We are making good speed – about 7 knots, and we keep this speed the whole afternoon. Icebergs are spotted – whales as well, a first penguin is spotted in the water - and then: land! It is sunny, warm and calm. We can now see Robert Island on our port side, and Greenwich Island on starboard. With this wind direction and speed captain Eric decides to try an entrance that he has never tried before. Everyone is out on deck – our 8 o´clocky is delayed until 9 – and takes place out on deck so no one has to miss a minute of the spectacular sights around us. We are able to sail all the way to our first destination. And that means literally all the way. We can see Barrientos island already when we start taking away the sails. The engine that has been warming up for a while – just in case we had to make a sudden manoeuvre in the unknown waters – is turned on the very last moment, to make the final turn to our anchoring site. Penguins are spotted in the water – penguin highways are visible in the snow on land. Everyone is out on deck. Then the anchor drops. Silence. We are here.