Blogs from Antarctica - page 4


Antarctica February 21st 2014

Hi Everyone. Well, here I sit back in the States after finally completing the task that originally made my friend Matthew and I set off in his little sailing boat to New Zealand 2 years ago. In some ways it's the end of a chapter for both of us that was in the back of our heads for nearly 5 years and it seems somewhat surreal to have now completed such an undertaking. Quite a bit changed since my last blog and thankfully our thoughts were put back onto sailing our own boat down and back which we did. The effort Myself and especially Matt had put into getting his boat ready to sail to Antarctica and then sailing it halfway around the world so we could complete the trip ourselves and then get so close ... read more
Leaving Cape Horn
Entering the Peninsula
Enterprise Island

Antarctica » Antarctica February 19th 2014

Some words that have inspired me, during my reflection of such an enormously moving journey in Antarctica... This quote was from the book, Southern Horizons, The History of the British Antarctic Territory, by Robert Burton (copywrite 2008), and it is originally from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (one of Dave´s favourite poems): And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by. As green as emerald Just to change the mood a bit, and in keeping with the poetic theme, part of our life on the Sea Spirit was to participate in competitions when we had a spare moment between gourmet meals, and getting our parkas on for zodiac landings. One of these competitions was created by Dave. Yup, you guessed it. A poetry ... read more
Cape Petrel
The Guvernoren
Antarctic Tern

Antarctica » Antarctica February 17th 2014

Finding the right words to describe what I have seen and experienced in the Antarctic will be difficult with our limited spoken language from our left brain. Perhaps, the best way would be to beam over to you, a vision from my heart what it really means and feels like, to be with the Albatross as its gargantuous wings sail over the waves of the Drake Passage, what it means to see my first mountain adorned by glaciers, feeding their ice tongues into the sea, what it means to be in a place of such extreme, rugged, prestine, natural and untouched beauty. As soon as the first mountain met my gaze, as the ship moved closer and closer to our first destination of exploration, my spirit said, ¨You have arrived now. It is okay to open ... read more
Chinstrap Penguins
March of a Chinstrap
Juvenille Chinstrap Penguin

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station January 25th 2014

Hello from the bottom of the world! This trip was my third voyage to the icy realms of Antarctica and it was yet another amazing trip… I fail to see how anyone could ever be disappointed with a trip down here… It’s an amazing place! Even the adventure of just getting to Antarctica is incredible. Crossing the dreaded Drake Passage, one of the world’s most turbulent and stormiest stretches of water, and being followed by some of the great albatrosses is exhilarating. The moody skies, the howling winds and the swirling seas are just part of getting here. It’s part of the journey… And so is getting chased by Argentinians… It all started when we arrived at the Argentinian base of Almirante Brown. The plan was to climb to the top of a small peak and ... read more
Chinstrap Chicks
Gentoo Chicks
Elephant Seal Wallow

Antarctica January 15th 2014

Hello from Terra Australis. I think one of the most powerful things about Antarctica is the idea behind Antarctica… It’s a place that early explorers believed to be there but could never find it. It’s so pristine and so untouched and it’s never been inhabited. It’s a place where humans have never lived, a place where crops cannot grow… It’s whiter than white – glistening white - a colour of purity and perfection, of peace and tranquility. The hostile environment is beautiful beyond imagination, vast beyond comprehension and it’s empty… Its silence is interspersed with ferocious katabatic winds and mighty glaciers calving and collapsing into the icy waters. It’s an amazing place and I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity to see it… It’s an Eden, a Utopia. Somewhere all civilizations have fantasized ... read more
Chinstrap Chicks
The first chicks of the season

Antarctica » Antarctica January 4th 2014

Mighty, glaciated mountains towered from the ocean. Massive, vertical cliffs rose from the depths and mighty glaciars spilled through every valley. This was the welcome I got from Antarctica! "I am in Antarctica" I said to myself! It's an amazing place! I stood in awe on the continental mainland and looked around. I was completely surrounded by jagged peaks soaring more than a mile into the sky. Giant rivers of ice, several miles across spilled through every valley. The emptiness, loneliness and remoteness of this place is overwhelming. It has an icy strangeness ... It is like nowhere else! Antarctica is 99.6% covered in ice! It is the coldest, windiest, driest and most mountainous of all the continents. It's also the least visited and has no permanent human population. It is difficult to comprehend the scale ... read more
Xanthoria Lichens
Cougarville (as we say)

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands January 1st 2014

The South Shetland Islands are a remote archipelago off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They are glaciated, rugged, windy and exposed. Massive penguin colonies hang out there of course! We got on land at Point Wild on Elephant Island, one of the more easterly in the island group. This is the site where Frank Wild of Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance' expedition of 1914 - 16 stayed behind and watched over 21 of the expedition members while Shackleton sailed off with five others to get help. It is a cramped area of bare rock, horrific weather and brutally cold and rough seas! These men were stranded here for over 3 months with an upturned boat for a house, makeshift stone walls and canvas from sails for blankets. To make their ordeal worse it was on a ... read more
Point Wild, Elephant Island
Cape Petrels
Chinstrap Penguins

Antarctica » Antarctica December 7th 2013

Antarctica was beyond everything that I dreamed. Our party of 7 - including myself, my parents, a couple of their cronies, my cousin Linda and her 11 year old son Jack - travelled on the expedition icebreaker ship the "M/V Ushuaia" (booked through Antarpply/World Expeditions) from Ushuaia Argentina. Thankfully the infamous Drake Passage was a smooth crossing in both directions. We were unable to enter the Weddell Sea due to the pack ice, so instead did landings in the Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula, the Gerlache Strait, and the South Shetland Islands. The various lectures set the scene and built the excitement for what to expect, and every zodiac landing unveiled phenomenal and awe-inspiring wonders. It was nesting season and we saw heaps of penguins - Gentoo´s, Adelie´s and Chinstrap´s. It was fascinating to watch their ... read more
pack ice near the Weddell Sea
zodiac landing party
group photo

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station November 4th 2013

My 6th season on the ice. Its been real, its been fun and it has been real fun. Check out In the search box put in "photo library" to view hundreds of photos. Also check out the live view camera links on the lower right side of the page.... read more
Antarctica 2012 - 2013
Antarctica 2012 - 2013
Antarctica 2012 - 2013

Antarctica » Antarctica October 8th 2013

We are getting excited now. Its interesting hearing reactions from people as we tell them where we are going. Some are horrified and cant understand it and others are very jealous. Our flight to Buenos Aires via Santiago is all booked. We leave from Auckland on the 31 October. However, our baggage allowance is one piece at 23kg per person. All because we have a night in Auckland which means its not a through fare from home. So our only alternative is to pay $30 for an extra bag. Not much really in the grand scheme of things. As we live near a ski resort we have a fair bit of warm clothes anyway. So its a matter of sorting out and deciding if it up to the task. A Jacket and rubber boots are provided ... read more

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