In the city square of Punta Arenas, there is a huge statue of Magellan. Magellan overlooks the strait named for him, and he will grant you safe passage out of his strait and across the Drake if and only if you rub his brassy toe. So rub I did.
The weather picked up pretty significantly today: below is an attempted self-portrait in front of the pier… the face I’m making is a genuine “HOLY &$#@, I almost lost my laptop to that gust of wind!” This wind means business.
So, assuming our Drake crossing is going to be rough, I’ve spent the last day securely tying down everything in my lab on the ship. It feels good to break out my bandana and steel-toed boots. Do note the pink laces on my boots.
We’re all looking forward to New Year’s Eve con cerveza on land, rather than rolling somewhere across the back of a 40-foot wave. Tomorrow morning we’ll leave the pier, and by the morning of January 2nd we should be well on our way to crossing the Drake. It’s a cool feeling, looking out across the water from the southernmost point on the mainland Americas, knowing you’ll be plowing through floating chunks of ice within a few days. Adios, y’all. Talk to you from the Drake!