Blogs from Antarctica, Antarctica - page 19


Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 3rd 2009

Woke up, ate breakfast, then read until a meeting at 10:30 in which I learned nothing important, because I cannot remember what it was about. Probably something to do with recycling or protecting the environment. Went to cargo to see if we could get our box shipped out to Williams (Willy) Field, and they said tonight at the latest, so we ate lunch then headed out to Willy to see what we can do. The normal shuttles that go out there are Deltas, hug trucks with 4.5' tall wheels that are 3' wide -- spreads the weight of this behemoth over a larger area so as to not break through. Since our enclosure was not out there, we could not do more than disassemble the old one, so that is what we did: stopped the wind ... read more
The Old Box

And Tyler Takes a Day Off. From working 7 days a week, for the last 1.5 months, man, does it feel AWESOME to take a day to yourself, for yourself. I baked cookies! I cleaned! I fixed our washing machine, hooked up our dryer, hooked up a TV and DVD player, and cooked a kickass dinner. AND, I am succesfully overcoming all the challenges I had last winter, working at Chocpaw. I am incredibly proud of myself. I have the respect of all whom I work with, Im a kick-ass guide, and Im starting to make money. Its been incredibly challenging to face the anxieties that I created for myself last winter here, and to overcome them and become a stronger person. Im learning to listen to myself above all else, to not doubt myself when ... read more
Tyler Getting Help with Beer.
Tyler 'illin with the Babes
Tyler Fighting with Brothers

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 2nd 2009

Finally Made It Another early morning for me, getting up at 4:30 to pack, 5:00 pick-up from the hotel, 6:30 check-in at the air port, then on the plane at 8:40. Plane taxied to the runway around 9. Off the plane at 9:30, wait an hour for the winds to die down again, then board at 10:30 and take off shortly thereafter. This time for good... well, until we landed on the ice at Willie Field anyway. The former president of Slovakia was on our plane and they did some sweet rolls back and forth for a documentary his is making. Nice views of the continent. After the plane landed we had to wait at the air field until Ivan the Terra Bus got unstuck and came to pick us up. The temperature was well ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3

Antarctica » Antarctica January 1st 2009

Overnight we had steamed slowly back north to Cuverville Island (named by Gerlache after a French Admiral), between Rongé (a female contributor to Gerlache’s expeditions) Island and the Arctowski Peninsula at the mouth of Andvord Bay. When we awoke it was overcast here and we decided not to go ashore but to relax and enjoy the environment from the ship. Cuverville is home to 4,000 Gentoo Penguins and was the site of an interesting study in the 1990’s that concluded visitor disturbance here had no impact on the overall breeding success of Gentoos. When the shore party returned, we headed off back south, past Danco Island and via the narrow Errera Channel into Neko Harbour on the east side of Andvord Bay. I spent the whole trip on the bridge with just one or two other ... read more
A growler
The Professor Multanovskiy leaving Neko
Climbing the ridge at Neko Harbour

Antarctica » Antarctica December 31st 2008

Sunrise was about 3.20 a.m. local time and I awoke at four - Lisa shortly thereafter. Outside we were met with a stunning spectacle! We were entering the Gerlache Strait, named after the great Belgian Antarctica explorer Adrien Gerlache who discovered and mapped this part of the peninsula and offshore islands in 1898. Brabant Island was on our starboard side and the Danco Coast of mainland Antarctica on port; everywhere snow and ice clung to the hills and the plateaus with hardly a bare piece of rock to be seen. Icebergs large and small, of every shape and colour, were scattered along our path as the bridge crew steered the Minerva skilfully between them. Apart from a few clouds hanging over the mountaintops, which climbed in places to over 2,000 metres, the sky was completely blue ... read more
Pock-marked berg
Candy-floss cloud
Blue iceberg and Gentoo Penguin

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 December 25th 2008

Seeing as we’re on a ship for the next 10 days, we thought we’d keep a log of our adventures. It’s not going to be on a par with Scott or Shackleton’s journals, but I’m sure none of you are expecting a masterpiece! Friday 19 December It’s time to finally board the ship! Ours is named MV Discovery and is the biggest one at Ushuaia port, but is still small by cruise ship standards. We’d seen one in port the other day and it was an absolute monster, but those ones don’t get to do any landings, which is surely what people go for. Economies of scale explains our presence aboard. The smaller research vessels cost an absolute fortune and our South America trip would have been very short indeed if we’d plumped for one of ... read more
In case we forgot where we were

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 25th 2008

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

Antarctica » Antarctica December 24th 2008

Wednesday 24th I was waken by the cusomtary wake-up call from the expedition leader. “Good morning. Today is blah blah blah, spectacular lighting, good morning.” You could tell the wake-up call was rehearsed, as Lenny had been giving relatively the same call for over 20 years. But you could also tell that he really loves his job, and that he was meant to be just where he was. Lenny seems to be the kind of guy one might first feel sorry for. He has a dorky enthusiasm for natural lighting and whales that comes across whenever he speaks, which is quite often. But at the same time, there is no reason to think he envies anyone. He is a seal rolling in penguin guano. The water is almost glass. Out the windows, the red British shacks ... read more

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