Traveling through the unpredictable waters of Drake Passage is not smooth sailing!
The 620-mile waterway between South America and Antarctica is known for its rough seas, and that’s exactly what Natasha Alden, the travel writer behind The World Pursuit, encountered on a recent trip.
In a TikTok video that has since gone viral, Alden chronicled her voyage to the icy continent through what she called “the most treacherous body of water in the world,” where the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean meets the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.
“You can either get the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake,” Alden explains in the video, referring to the unpredictable waters, which can be very calm or extremely choppy.
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In the post, Alden says she spent most of the time “horizontal,” due to the extreme seas which rendered the boat unsteady for the better part of two days.
From eating breakfast at the buffet, where passengers “held on for dear life,” to trying to attend lectures about Antarctica’s wildlife, the seas were angry that day.
“I only made it so long before I had to get back to the room,” she narrates, as waves can be seen battering the balcony outside of her window.
Alden tried to pass the time reading — “a terrible idea” — and watching nature documentaries about the continent but neither soothed her inner ear, although she did take a Dramamine at one point in the video.
The rough day ended with a captain’s toast, which the intrepid traveler downed, figuring “there’s nothing better than champagne to knock me out more.”
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Alden and her fellow passengers, including her husband Cameron Seagle, eventually arrived safely to Antarctica. Later videos show them frolicking with penguins and kayaking in the frigid territory.
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Trips to Antarctica by boat or plane are not without risk.
In November, a 62-year-old American woman was killed aboard the Viking Polaris when a rogue wave crashed into a window and she was struck by broken glass, according to WCVB-TV. Four other people were treated for minor injuries in the incident.
The ship suffered damage as well, and had to turn around and head back to the southernmost city in South America — Ushuaia, Argentina — the same place where Alden and her fellow passengers began their journey.