Blogs from South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, Antarctica - page 4

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Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 30th 2008

The wind picked up again as we approached Penguin Island, creating a short, choppy sea. By 9.15 a.m. Lisa and I were ashore on the rocky beach and set out to climb to the top of the 170m caldera; unfortunately, the way up was too crowded with petrel and albatross nests for us to pass without disturbing the brooding birds, so we spent our time along the beach and up on a headland with a large Chinstrap Penguin colony. For the first time we saw baby Chinstraps still at nest - the Chinstraps make a gathering of stones in which to lay their two eggs. And I watched a Brown Skua as it surveyed the scene from a big rock in the centre of the colony and then made a sudden dive for a chick when ... read more
Chinstrap Penguin
Southern Giant Petrel at nest
Chinstrap Penguin colony

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 28th 2008

We woke up from time to time when the ship pitched particularly violently, but managed to sleep to about 7.30 a.m. - although Lisa got up for a cup of tea around four. After a shower she was feeling quite reasonable, and had a light breakfast; she seemed to be getting her sea legs. It was a beautiful morning with not a cloud in the sky. The wind since we left South Georgia had been about 20-25 knots on our nose, and the sea height a not insignificant four to five metres. Up on the bridge John told me the wind and sea combination was slowing us down to about 9-10 knots rather than our target 13, so we had some ground to make up if our time on the Antarctic Peninsula was not to be ... read more
Minerva's bow hitting the swell
Night snow on the aft deck
Minerva's bulb shaped bow

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 25th 2008

Merry Christmas - ho ho ho!!!!... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 21st 2008

Sunday 21st Today is Sunday, and only because I have looked back at the previous journal dates do I know it is truly the day purported. This is what vacation should feel like. Last night, although I wanted to recount my day, I was a bit disappointed we were leaving the mainland to return to the Shetland islands, which is still part of Antarctica, but unmistakably a unique set of islands. Also, the cross over the straight made for some mild wave cruising, which put me into nausea mode by the time I was ready to sit down and write. Today, in anticipation of making it back to mainland, I swamped some mud after dinner. Between that and the activity filled day, I’m a little wired. But I’m also the only person sitting in the library ... read more
Me and Papa

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 18th 2008

Thursday 18th Making excellent time across the drake passage, the captain decided to drop us in the Shetland Islands, at Half Moon Island. As I was eager to see land, not because of fear of the open sea, rather excitement built up from anticipation that I would be traveling to such a crazy place, I remained up top while all the passengers scurried to the lounge for an expedition procedure briefing. While I looked around, thinking I should practice my self-portrait technique, I noticed the two professional Nat Geo photographers chatting nearby. One of them pointed to an iceberg, which I had “spotted” only moments before, ahem. Apparently, as one of the photographers explained to me, there was a competition, which of course I knew about, where the first person to spot an iceberg would win ... read more
Room with a View
Seal

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Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands January 10th 2008

After two days of excitement building up in Ushuaia (The Southern most town in the world) we finally made our way to the port to meet up with the ship - a Russian icebreaker called the Professor Molchanov. Sailing through the Beagle Channel to meet the open ocean and take on the legendary Drake Passage. The mood on the ship was full of anticipation as we were shown to our cabin by the Russian crew before going through the emergency drills....Sheena and I instantly made a name for ourselves by being the only ones to turn up to the muster point during the drill without our lifejackets! We sat in the water tight enclosed lifeboats being shown the equipment and rations of food/water should we need to follow in the footsteps of Shackleton and his crew ... read more
Albatrosses
Watch Out!
Our First Taste of Wildlife


Overnight we sailed away from the Antarctic peninsula so we wake feeling a little sad. Kate gets up for early to watch sunrise over a huge tabular glacier. I´m slightly more lazy and get up at 7.30am! In the morning we have a landing at Half Moon Island back on the South Shetlands. We land on a beach and walk along the shore and over some rocks to the tip of the island. There are lots of Chinstraps here and only a few Gentoo´s. Kate is still looking for the perfect penguin shot so we spend some time watching the penguins and their antics. There´s also a large colony of fur seals here. They are not as pretty as the Weddell seals with their mottled belly but there are lots of them and they are very ... read more
Views over the South Shetlands
A Fur Seal
Trying to find the perfect penguin shot

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 26th 2007

"Antarctica is a separate world. One can feel its presence in the approaches, sailing south from more temperate climes. Standing on deck, one may follow the reeling albatross, feel the drop in temperature, the bite of the wind and the motion of the waves. Yet it is the presence of ice, from the first occasional fragments, escalating in shape, form and frequency, and finally dominating all else, that brings assurance of arrival in Antarctica" Mark Jones, Wild Ice. We wake up to rain today, typical! We can´t even see down the Beagle Channel - all the mountains are covered in mist. Which is actually quite annoying as our hotel is in a great location on the edge of the channel. We decide not to join our Antarctic tour group on its visit to the local national ... read more
All Aboard
Huge icebergs at sea as we approach the south shetland islands
Claire & Andrea on our first Zodiac ride




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