|Profile of the Drake Passage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drake-Passage_profile_hg.png)|
Early in the morning on December 20 we crossed the Antarctic convergence (typically at about 60oS), the band of ocean that separates the Southern Ocean from the Atlantic and Pacific. The Antarctic convergence is not necessarily something you can see (though at times is associated with a dense bank of fog), but you know you have crossed it based on a rapid drop in air and sea temperature as you enter the Southern Ocean. In addition to a drop of a few degrees in water temperature, the ocean also becomes far more saline (saltier). It is in this location that we leave behind the fauna and flora of the temperate part of the Southern Hemisphere and enter the realm of polar species.
|Just a few of the hundreds of Pintado (or Cape Petrels) following the ship this evening.|