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Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station March 14th 2024

We arrived at Cierva Cove at 7 am and I had my typical hot chocolate up in the Dome Observation Lounge on Deck 7. The weather did not look particularly appealing, though it was calm, so the kayakers were able to go out. For me, I decided to skip the day's zodiac excursion. It was nice. I took a long hot shower, read my book, and just enjoyed some me time. L went and said it was actually pretty good, though it did start to snow. They saw more swimming penguins and humpback whales, but they may have even seen a blue whale! It was not a humpback and was huge, so that was exciting. He also showed me a video he took of two penguins walking along a mini iceberg.... and one fell off! So ... read more
Strawberry cheese cake
Afternoon tea
5 Dessert clean up!

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station March 13th 2024

I woke fairly early and was finally starting to feel better after my pesky cold. Thus, I started my new routine: I would get a cup of hot chocolate from Paula's Pantry when it opened at 7am, then go up to the Dome Observation Lounge to read and relax for an hour on my own before we would get breakfast. I am pretty sure we were in Neko Bay that morning, though, as usual, plans change and did that day as well. Typically, I had the lounge to myself and today I was the only person up there, about to go back to my room, when I saw some swimming penguins. I enjoyed them for a couple of minutes, then I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Did I see a whale breach ... read more
Iceberg
Orne Island
Neko Harbor

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station March 12th 2024

Every day just kept getting better and better and today was amazing. We had an earlier breakfast than usual and our group D was among the first to board the zodiacs around 9:30am. The weather conditions were ideal for us, so even the third kayak group got to go out and started before we did. We were supposed to go to the Useful and Danco Islands, but the weather conditions were not great, so we instead journeyed to Cuverville Island which changed some of the timelines around. No problem for me getting ready today! I was about to go see some penguins! This was amazing. We did a zodiac landing and got to wander around the island which has a huge colony of Gentoo Penguins, one of the three types of penguins we would encounter and ... read more
Gentoo Penguins
Checking out the wildlife
Leopard seal

Antarctica March 11th 2024

This morning, our first excursion of the day was a zodiac ride around the ice crusted bay near Berthelot Island. The swells were pretty good, but the waves and wind were minimal, so it was actually a very nice morning. Which was good since I was a wee bit hungover - L had to zip me up into my parka because I just.... couldn't. Even the second group of kayakers got to explore the area. However, we were unable to make a landing, which is why we just got to enjoy the zodiac. We were among the first set of the main group to go and set off fairly early. We had two guides with us and one was learning how to drive the zodiac. And she had a bit of learning experience ahead of her ... read more
Whale rolling near ice floe
Lamaire Channel
Berthelot Island

Antarctica » Antarctica March 10th 2024

We set off from port a little after 6 in the evening, heading down the Beagle channel. First, we had a safety drill, getting to our muster stations and putting on our life jackets. Then we had a briefing in the auditorium where we got to meet the main members of the crew as well as the expedition team. While in the auditorium, we felt the boat starting to move, so we missed the actual departure. However, instead of having the 'meet the neighbors' in the hall, they had it in the Dome area on Deck 7 because it was a pretty nice day. That evening we were among the first to try dinner at the Madeira restaurant. It was a very nice experience that we continued to have throughout the trip. L had the scallop ... read more
My first iceberg!
Scientific Station
Detaille Island

Antarctica January 16th 2024

We left the Falklands with 4 days in a row on board as we head south towards Antarctica. Don and I decided to spend the first day bar hopping - starting in Good Spirits and proceeding to the Wheelhouse, Crooners, The Explorer, Fusion and finally to Skywalker way up on the 16th deck. Our timing was not good as we were caught up in the Drake Passage with waves and swells ranging from ten to fifteen feet. Don and I were not sure whether it was the rocking of the boat or the number of martinis we had that contributed more to our rough feeling. Following the map, our first stop was Elephant Island. We left the Falklands at a latitude of 52S and were planning on reaching 65S. The weather dropped to around freezing as ... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica February 23rd 2023

Antarctic Cruise aboard Oosterdam 2 - 24 February 2023 Once aboard the Oosterdam, I switched into ‘Travel Lite’ mode so there is not a huge amount to blog about. Life aboard the ship is so easy, as long as the presence of other people doesn’t disturb you. Unexpectedly I was upgraded at the last minute from an Ocean view cabin on deck 1 to a Verandah cabin on deck 5. It is very comfortable. We had a day in port in Buenos Aires before setting sail so I took an excursion organised by Holland America to a gaucho estancia. It was a lovely day despite not seeing any cattle. We were welcomed with wine and freshly made empanadas, one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. They were wonderful. We could eat as many ... read more
Carriage at gaucho estancia
Workers bar at Estancia San Lorenzo museum
Intertwined movement of horses in complicated figure of eight

Antarctica » Antarctica February 7th 2023

The Antarctic Experience Day 1 The Daily Program had an earlier start time than usual on February 1, 2023 – 7:00 AM. The entry was “Volendam Cruises Dallman Bay, Antarctica!” Yup, we had finally arrived at the first of the two destinations that led me to take this cruise in the first place, the other being the Amazon River, and this was the first of four days we would be cruising the waters of Antarctica. All our cruising would take place on the Antarctic Peninsula – on the north side of the island continent and that portion closest to the southern tip of South America. Now that I think about it for a nanosecond, where can one go from Antarctica BUT north??? The Daily Program listed the geographic locations where we would be cruising and the ... read more
The Antarctic Experience Day 1
The Antarctic Experience Day 1
The Antarctic Experience Day 1

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 6th 2023

As we begin this last post, the ship is located approximately half way between Antarctica and tip of South America. Yes, of course, we're rocking and rolling, but so far not as bad as the journey south. Post will be devoted to Deception Island, including four absolutely adorable pinguins. This island is an "active" volcano, and we sailed right into the caldera! Honest Abe, and we have pix to prove it. Sailing along the Beagle Channel on 6 February took a few pictures and this is the end of our trip. Happy trails everyone. Bird & HP... read more
Basalt
Entrance
Basalt

Antarctica » Antarctica » Brown Station February 5th 2023

Turned toward the north the night of 3 February stopping in the early afternoon the next day at an intersection of waterways for peculiar folks to jump into frigid water. There are a total of 175 aboard, and 65 folks took a polar plunge into water that was 31 degrees. Recall this is salt water, so it freezes at 28, not 32. Surprised us we carried so many crazy folks. Almost all of the pictures are landscape, which is the major reason we took the trip. Should you not be so enthralled by snow and ice, you can skip many. Trip is nearing an end; we likely dock at Ushuaia late tomorrow afternoon and depart the ship the following morning. Anticipate only one more post, which will be of Deception Island.... read more
Just a snow/ice shelf
Antarctic Landscape
Landscape




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