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  • Writer's picture2041 Hong Kong

📍 Ahoy and Crossing! 橫渡海洋之旅!- Part 2/9

Aboard the Ocean Victory, the most efficient Antarctic cruiser of its ship class, we were briefed on the many safety protocols and expected conditions of our journey. We would sail across the Beagle Channel of Chile, and eventually reach the Drake passage, a treacherous part of the ocean (the Halfway Convergence) where the warm currents mingle with the cold currents to produce startlingly high waves of 7-10 meters, like the movies. Yet, treacherous as they are, this part of the ocean is also where the rich bounty of nutrients coalesce. The convergence attracts a whole ecosystem of diverse sea creatures - many of which we would see on our way to the Wild Continent - krill, humpback whales, hourglass dolphins, etc.


We were really grateful that, unlike explorers of old who had only wooden ships to brave the whirling weather, our cruiser was well built to withstand the worst of the elements. To imagine the daring and skill it took to pilot through rough seas on mere wood constructions was beyond me. Still, the weather report was concerning: many windy developments indicated a brewing storm might encounter us on the way. Such is to be expected of the Antarctic weather. Never quite calm.


Being on the ship also allowed us to better know the members who will also be experiencing this life-changing experience together - that is, if we could overcome the gnawing feelings of seasickness and the drowsy effects of our sickness medication. At least good thing was that sleep became the most relaxing activity: we had the whole ship as our rocking cradle.


A beautiful sight was seeing the first snow layering on the deck. And despite the prickly winds, I did my best to gaze out across the ocean, feeling a sense of disquiet to see endless waters with no land in sight.



南極巡洋艦之中,The Ocean Victory 是同級別效率最高者。我們乘搭這艘船艦之時,已被告知多項安全協議與旅程預期狀況。不久後,我們將會橫渡位於智利的比格爾海峽,最終到達著名的死亡走廊 — 德雷克海峽。這片海峽被稱為世界上最危險的航道之一。當暖流與冷流混合一起,便會產生高達7-10米的驚人巨浪。當刻即如電影,大海波濤洶湧,翻騰不息,凶險無比。浩淼海洋的這一部分是如此危險,卻又蘊含著豐富營養。我們前往野生大陸途中所見的多類海洋生物,如磷蝦、座頭鯨、沙漏海豚等,更深受這處吸引。


過往,探險家只能以木船抵禦惡劣天氣。如今,我們十分感恩能以堅不可摧的巡洋艦對抗極端環境。我更加無法想像,若要在波濤洶湧的大海之中駕駛木船,需要何等的勇氣和技術。儘管巡洋艦十分完善,但天氣報告依然使人擔憂:刮著大風的環境表明,一場風暴或在醖釀當中,我們更可能會於途中遇上它。但畢竟南極天氣從不穩定,我們早已預料會遇上這種情況。


我們乘搭船艦時,通過交談對其他成員了解更深入。大家都十分期待共同渡過這趟改變人生的旅程 —— 但前提是我們必須要克服暈船的痛苦感覺,以及藥物的嗜睡副作用。當船隻隨海浪不斷搖晃,或許唯一好處便在於那搖籃一般的感覺,令人睡覺時尤其放鬆。


自然,途中不乏美景,就如船頭甲板上的初雪。我竭力無視那刺骨寒風,放眼凝視著一望無際的無盡大海。那刻,毫無陸地山影,盡是汪洋大海。於是,一絲不安漸漸纏繞在我的心頭,久久不散。




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