Looking back on our previous post I am more than a little surprised by the low key tone of my description of our collision. Maybe it was the fact that it was a reef and not an Iceberg that kept our reactions muted, who knows. But in any case as time passed Nina began to focus on the question of "How could this brand new, purpose-built, ice-class, polar expedition ship hit a submerged rock?" We never did get an answer to that question, but we did arrive back in port a day earlier than planned and got an unexpected bus tour of what the locals call the National Park.
We spent Thursday night, Friday and Friday night crossing the Drake Passage to the tip of South America. The expedition crew made a valiant effort to keep the passengers entertained with a full program of presentations. One particular presentation was by a young American women who gave a slide show and commentary on her 5 year stint with the US Antarctic Program; including an explanation of the 300 club
We arrived back in Ushuaia mid Saturday morning and after lunch most passengers climbed on board a bus for a tour of what the locals call The National Park (but more accurately is Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego). The park is accessed from Ushuaia by Argentina Highway 3 and leads to the southern end of the Pan American Highway and its well photographed sign.
We spent Saturday night on the ship in port, got an update on the state of the ship's damage (two holes not one, each about 4 inches by 2 inches) and on Sunday morning departed the ship on the original schedule to spend another night at the Las Hayas Hotel.