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February 2nd 2023
Published: February 3rd 2023
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Bird's Preferred LocationBird's Preferred LocationBird's Preferred Location

Thought folks may appreciate viewing Bird in her preferred habitat. When awake, and left to her own devices, we often find our Bird here observing icebergs, whales, or other birds (you know, her kinfolk).
As we compose this blog the ship heads further south, and unfortunately back in the open ocean and...yes rollers. Being a small ship, we have 175 souls aboard, she is more affected by waves, especially abeam. Yet, we are also able to enter places larger ships cannot. In fact, no ship that carries more than 500 passengers can land anyone in Antarctica. We'll take the small, nice ship, thank you and this one is only six months old. As an added "benefit" we occasionally feel a bit of a "shimmer" as we encounter an iceberg. Ventura is expedition built PC-6 rated hull capable of plowing through many of the icebergs we encounter.

On 1 February, Bird exited the ship for the initial occasion. She bounded into a zodiac, then climbed onto the conning tower of a sub, and descended into the sub itself. Yeah, for the skeptics, we have a pix. Other than the sub, there are a few pix of a British Base at Port Lockroy that was used during WW II as a listening post for the Nazis and remains occupied in the summer for folks like us to purchase souvenirs at hugely inflated prices. Nonetheless a couple
Proof of AntarcticaProof of AntarcticaProof of Antarctica

For conspiracy theorists who are disinclined to believe someone would volunteer to sail in the frigid Antarctic, we offer proof by way of our passport endorsed at Port Lockroy.
of diminutive monsters have something en route. And no, we are not in the Shetlands, well south of that at Lockroy, but you recall the issue with this program, and Lockroy is not available. Ditto Detaille where we head next and will include in this post.

Well, we arrived at Detaille on the afternoon on 2 February, but all operations were cancelled due to weather. Aw heck, the eagerly anticipated kayak tour was similarly disallowed. Bird now demands honesty, so I must confess continuing adherence to the wimp clan. Looking at the weather yesterday, I cancelled my tour in advance. Yet, I maintain my good sense as the expedition leader followed my wise example today.

One final noteworthy event is we crossed the Antarctic Circle at 10a on 2 February and continue to proceed south. So, we now have both circles under our belt. Certainly, the Artic circle is much more conducive to human habitation. In fact, some humans live there year-round, while none do so below the Antarctic Circle.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Our Sub RideOur Sub Ride
Our Sub Ride

Sub contains six passengers and one driver. The driver is communicating conditions to the surface. Notice Bird's left knee and hand toward the left bottom of the picture. Another passenger took several photos of her descending into the sub but none arrived by the publisher's deadline.
Three Hundred Feet DownThree Hundred Feet Down
Three Hundred Feet Down

In booking the descent, we entertained what was obviously a delusional fantasy of circling submerged icebergs. Well no, the sub acquired ballast until we reached the bottom at 300' and observed this wolf starfish. Apologize for the focus issues here and on the following two. Shooting through acrylic, and while invisible to the human eye tends to deceive a camera.
Not the CarribeanNot the Carribean
Not the Carribean

There is not much color in Antarctica, so we were surprised to see any where minimal light reached. These sea fans and coral really are a football field (American football) below the surface and way down south.
Port LockroyPort Lockroy
Port Lockroy

The actual building where the British fought the war against the Nazis during WW II via intelligence efforts. Sure, of course, it's snowing. Doesn't it snow at your house in the summer. Had snow every single day, typically several times per day. Finally, notice the penguins. Penguins must find a location without snow to build a nest. Under this building is ideal. Competition must be ferocious.
Electronic EquipmentElectronic Equipment
Electronic Equipment

Actual electronics used by the British following the war.
Seventy Year Old CansSeventy Year Old Cans
Seventy Year Old Cans

In the early fifties, we believe, the base was abandoned leaving behind food seen here and other items. The British elected to reopen the facility as a tourist destination and museum. This is part of the museum.
Port Lockroy ArtworkPort Lockroy Artwork
Port Lockroy Artwork

There are numerous paintings from sometime in the 60's when the occupants were exclusively male. Yes, obviously so. Bunks on each side of the locker. Bird disallowed including this photo as it depicted no handsome hulk, but she is currently asleep, so here you go. Bit of a postscript. Currently, the base is "manned" by four females, three of them quite young. One did inform me she is considering her own artistic artwork.
Blue WhaleBlue Whale
Blue Whale

Just below the center of the picture is part of a blue whale jawbone. The Blue is the largest animal on the planet.

The obligatory penguin. Not quite as cute as a puffin, but don't you agree all birds are cute?
Snow CliffSnow Cliff
Snow Cliff

Another obligatory picture, vertical snow pack.

3rd February 2023

What a great experience and achievement of having both circles under your belt!! Awesome indeed!
4th February 2023
Proof of Antarctica

More beautiful pictures and historical narrative. No where did you tell the temperature, or I missed.it. Would you have really kayaked in that water? Burr! What a beautiful big room. I believe I would have joined Sheila in that viewing spot. Does 'shimmer" mean you feel the boat crunching through the iceberg? what does it sound like. Keep warm and enjoy!!
5th February 2023
Proof of Antarctica

Correct Carol Ann
Yes, when we travel through ice, we hear a bit of a crunch and the boat shakes a bit. Not a frequent event, however. Temp we guess has ranged 25-35F. It was above freezing south of the pole, which staff say they have never encountered before.

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