Antarctica 2007 Adventure
Antarctica, the 7th continent, and my 7th continent, was not 'discovered' until 1820.
My Antarctica adventure began January 21st, 2007. This tour was through the University Alumni Association in cooperation with Gohagan Travel. Everything that Gohagan touched was excellent and well organized.
We departed the US on January 21st. An overnight flight took us to Buenos Aires (BONUS EYE-RAYS). After a day of fun in Buenos Aires, we flew to Ushuaia (OOSH-WHY-UH) in the province of Tierra del Fuego on the Cape Horn, where we boarded the French ship, MS Le Diamant. The regular tour ended February 4th, however, I did a 3 day extension to see Iguazu Falls in the jungle between the Misiones province of Argentina and Brazil. My return date was February 6th.
While my all-time favorite tour remains Egypt, this trip will always be memorable in many ways. We made 10 Zodiac landings. We saw 3 kinds of penguins (Gentoo, Chinstrap, & Adelie), including over a quarter of a million on one island. We saw birds, seals, and whales. Our lecturers were mostly excellent. A storm on the return trip across the Drake Passage trashed the ship and caused some personal injury. In spite of that, it was another great adventure.
Afterword for those who like to read: The New Yorker magazine December 19&26, 2011 issue contains an interesting short story about Arctic landings from a cruise ship. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood.
I took over 600 pictures on this trip. A few are below, or on the linked pages above.
10 ZODIAC LANDINGS
|Friday||01/26/07||12:30-4:30pm||Aitcho Island, Shetland Islands||Elephant seal, birds, Gentoo & Chinstrap penguins. 'An elephant seal smells worse alive than dead.'|
|Friday||01/26/07||7:00-10:30pm||Half Moon Island, Shetland Islands||Argentine Camara station & nesting site. Passport stamp.|
|Saturday||01/27/07||6:30-10:30am||Deception Island, Shetland Islands|
|260,000 Chinstrap penguins.|
|Saturday||01/27/07||11:15-12:30pm||Deception Island, Shetland Islands|
|Swimming. Black sand.|
|Saturday||01/27/07||2:30-7:00pm||Deception Island, Shetland Islands|
|Calderas, ash on ice, good hike. Eruptions as recent as 1970.|
|Sunday||01/28/07||12:30-4:30pm||Neko Harbor, Antarctic Peninsula||Antarctica continental landing. Gentoo penguins. Glaciers calving.|
|Sunday||01/28/07||7:00-9:00pm||Jougla Point||Penguins and whale bones. Ecstatic display.|
|Sunday||01/28/07||9:00-11:30pm||Port Lockerby||British Antarctica Survey summer station, 64° 49' south latitude.|
|Monday||01/29/07||7:45am-12:00||Petermann Island||Southern-most point of travel, south of 65°, 90 miles from Antarctic circle. Gentoo and Adele Penguins and crazy skua (Gulls on steroids)|
|Tuesday||01/30/07||1:30-6:15pm||Devils Island||Weddell Sea. Hiked the right horn.|
|Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina is the southern most city in the world, and the self-proclaimed 'End of the earth'.|
|Drake Passage. The first crossing was smooth. Drake Passage lived up to it's reputation on the return crossing.|
|On the fo'c's'le (forecastle), when the anchor is being dropped. The chain dust flew. The bosun (boatswain) is tightening the brake. You can see the brake smoke.|
|Landing crew ready to help with passengers at shore.|
|Landings were made by Zodiac, with 6 to 12 people, depending on conditions. We are all decked out in rain gear, thermals, life jackets, and knee high boots, ready to wade through the surf. There were no docks.|
|Note the geothermal steam rising along the shore line. That is where we went swimming.|
|More climbing. The glacier in the background was calving near the ship, the small white object on the left.|
|Going higher still on the Antarctic continent. I was called back because there were hidden crevasses.|
|Zodiac in waters with much more floating ice.|
|Tabular iceberg, taller than the ship. Some are as big as a small city.|
|Iceberg that has broken and rolled.|
|Curious penguin chicks.|
|Whale bones at a former whaling station.|
|Penguin with a newly hatched chick. The chick was hatched too late in the season and won't be mature enough to survive when the penguins leave.|
|The 'World' floating condo, constantly cruising the world, at temporary anchor in Antarctica.|
|Time to say goodby to an old friend, which succumbed to either the zodiac salt spray, or the Iguazu Falls spray.
Update: It is so cold and dry in Minnesota in February, that all the water vapor leaked out of my watch. Maybe it has a few more years after all.
Antarctica Reference Links
Ships run aground or sunk
- Norwegian Coastal Voyage's Nordkapp - 3 days after our visit to Deception Island.
- ICE BOUND - A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole
- Rounding the Horn by Dallas Murphy
- Quark Expeditions - Darien, CT
- Antarctica Logistics & Expeditions - Very interesting, but expensive. $16k to $65k.
- Antarctica Flight from Chile - Stay overnight in a container.
- Antarctica XXI - Fly-Cruise
In addition, many cruise lines have cruises to Antarctica from Argentina, Chile, Australia, or NZ.
- International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators - Basalt, Co
- Abercrombie & Kent - Oakbrook, IL
- Expeditions Inc. - Bend, OR
- Lindblad Expeditions - NY, NY
- Zegrahm Expeditions - Seattle, WA - maybe not after their China disaster.
Copyright © 2006 -
Dale Stenseth. All rights reserved.
These pages may be freely linked to, but may not be duplicated in any manner without the author's express consent.