Blogs from Antarctica, Antarctica - page 11

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Antarctica » Antarctica March 6th 2011

All in all my tour of Patagonia and Antartctica involved an incredible amount of luck. We had warm, dry, still days in Patagonia. We had a smooth crossing of the Drake on the way over. We (well I) saw a leopard seal eating a penguin. We saw an Emperor Penguin. OK so we didn't have clear skies every day in Antarcica, but the weather wasn't too bad most of the time. All this good luck of course meant that our luck had to turn eventually. And oh my it definitely did. On the 5th March we had our last landing in the morning and were due to hit open seas at about 3pm. Since it was our last chance Sara, Lillian and I headed up to the bridge to have a bit of a look to ... read more
The bow... covered in water
It was very windy - just look at my hair
The proud owner of a new additon to my flag collection


So far I haven't told you much about my fellow passengers on the ship except for the 5 that I joined the boat with and my kayak partner. Well it was an intersting mix of people ranging from the very old (over 70) down to mid 20s. A significant portion of whom were Aussie and Canadian. Whilst we were on the boat I did manage to make friend with quite a few. There was Terry the mid-30s Canadian "bridge" engineer. We had plenty of beers and long chats together. There was Warren and Betsy the 40-something couple who had sold their entire possessions and were spending as long as possible backpacking around the world. I think their aim is 5 years. There was Kevin the mid 20s Canadian Environmental Scientist who came to visit one of ... read more
The Aussies Enjoying the Sun
Nudie Run
Maarten in all his Glory

Antarctica » Antarctica March 3rd 2011

Penguins. What is there to say about them? They are cute and they are fluffy and they swim and according Warner Brothers they sing and dance. Now as much as I enjoyed Happy Feet that's not quite what they are all about. I think one word can sum them up. And that word is "guano". As soon as you approach a colony you smell it. It's rank like rotten fish and half the time they look like they've been doing their best to get as much of it on themselves as is penguinly possible. Then they don't look so cute. And I definitely wouldn't want to pick one up and take it home. But they DO have their cute sides. if they've just been swimming and haven't been near the guano yet they are clean. And ... read more
Gentoos looking Cold and Cute
Like a toy. I want one.
Penguin Highway

Antarctica » Antarctica February 28th 2011

So on teh 28th, after another rough weather morning with no landings we finally got to make a landing / go kayaking in the afternoon. This was pretty exciting for everyone! Although it wasn't "continental" Antarctica and was just an island it was still the first time we were setting foot on Antarctic soil / rock / snow / whatever - we weren't really sure. The location for this momentous event was Petermann Island. So again we kitted up in thermals and dry suit and this time we were allowed to actually get in our kayaks. It was kinda weird seeing all my friends leave and head over at a much faster pace than me to the island. They were getting there faster, they were taking their good cameras, they didn't have to do any work ... read more
Why aren't you paddling?
Niiiiice Leopard Seal..
Group Shot

Antarctica » Antarctica February 27th 2011

So the morning of the 27th dawned with two exciting expectations: 1. Crossing the Antarctic Circle and 2. Our first landing at Detaille Island. This was the day(s) we'd all been waiting for. Originally most of us expected to be going to the South Shetland Islands first and doing the Antarctic Circle crossing right at the end of our trip as that's what the trip detail stated. I don't think anyone was disappointed that we were doing things "backwards". It was never confirmed exactly why we did it backwards, but I think it was because our ship had made a commitment to collect some personell who had spent 5 weeks restoring an old research station on Detaille Island. Since we also had to drop most of them off at Port Lock Roy later in our trip ... read more
Kitted up and ready to go.
Our life boats...
(427x640)

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station February 23rd 2011

The following are links for science being done in Antarctica. Within these links are more links to more information. Science Programs http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/researchersAndScienceProjects/index.cfm?m=5 United States Antarctic Program Science Summaries http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp/antarct/treaty/usap_sumry_list.jsp About the Continent http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/aboutTheContinent/index.cfm?m=2 The Antarctic Treaty http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/theAntarcticTreaty/index.cfm?m=2 Video Clips, Maps, and Images http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/videoClipsAndMaps/index.cfm?m=2 Educational Opportunities and Resources http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/educationalResources.cfm?m=2 Research Opportunities http://www.usap.gov/usapgov/researchOpportunities.cfm?m=3 News on Antarctica. Curious about the current research taking place around Antarctica? Have friends and family back h... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica February 6th 2011

Slept great last night, just not long enough. After breakfast we arrived at Devil's Island which is next to the much larger Vega Island in the Weddell Sea. There were so many cool icebergs and the island was cool too; so called because two hills, one at each end, look like 'devil horns'. We were the last group to go out, having been the first yesterday and our time was cut short due to ice floe around the boat. It was a fantastic visit though. A steep climb from the shore, the island was covered in penguins, as far as the eye could see! The Adelie penguin was fun to watch, collecting small rocks and depositing them a few feet away and repeating over and over, building a nest for itself. Then, when it was done, ... read more
Deep
An example of a tabular iceberg
First zodiac heads ashore

Antarctica » Antarctica February 5th 2011

Saturday at 07:50 I slept poorly Friday night; only until about 3am when we entered the Drake Passage and the rolling began. It's a bizarre, tiring feeling, thinking you're constantly going to fall out of bed. But I may have also giggled a bit (until I was really tired and it stopped being funny). My bed also makes a lot of cracking noises and slides side to side so it was a bit disconcerting. I was exhausted and dopey from the effects of the Dramamine but managed to drag myself to the dining room and eat a pot of yoghurt for breakfast after trying the rice bread they made for me - a very sweet gesture but YUCK. Others tried it as well so I know it wasn't just me! One of The Americans then took ... read more
PENGUINS!!
Rituals
Off loading the Zodiacs and doing a test run

Antarctica » Antarctica February 3rd 2011

Wednesday 2 February It was a rough morning. I stayed out far too late (highly recommended when with a local!) and had far too little sleep and had to be ready for a 09:15 pick up from the apartment. Oh the pain... Thankfully I'd had the brains to pack before heading out and made it to the airport only to find that the plane was delayed (which I hear is the norm; an on-time flight is supposedly a rare thing). I stayed awake by doing laps up and down the terminal and yes, I know the deal, no one to blame but myself, but I was dead on my feet. Totally worth it though! Finally got on the plane and am sure I dozed (most likely with my mouth open, as usual) and woke up as ... read more
Room with a view
New friends
Living in the shadows of the most amazing mountains

Antarctica » Antarctica January 30th 2011

Compared to the usual UK festivities, Christmas in BA was relatively quiet and relaxing. That is except for the fireworks that erupted a few minutes before midnight on Christmas Eve and continued for well over an hour. Although we had been forewarned, neither of us expected the city to turn into the war zone that it did. At first there were just a few bangs and explosions in the distance, but then the cacophony began. We sped to the top of our apartment block roof, where at 14 stories high, we virtually had a 360 degree view. Stretching into the distance we witnessed the cityscape bubble with fireworks - mainly rockets. The noise and heavy smell of gunpowder was both mesmerizing and magical. On Christmas day itself and with a friend from Hong Kong, we had ... read more
Damn BA traffic jams
Post Office at the End of the World
The Antarctic Dream




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