David Vincent


David Vincent

I am from Sydney, Australia. Despite working in IT, my main interest when travelling is history - particularly military history. As such, I tend to visit a lot of castles.

Comments on my blog are welcome. However, any that include external links or urls will be deleted as spam.

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 13th 2019

The trip is all but done now. All that’s left is to head to the airport and fly back to Sydney. This entry will cover what I’ve been up to for the last few days, and a summary of trip (best and worst, biggest surprise and disappointment). As I mentioned in the last blog, we checked out late at Vina Vik. We had a couple of hours to drive to my next hotel in the Maipo Valley (just south of Santiago). The GPS that we had been given for the car is extremely difficult to find destinations. Once you have the destination in, it works fine but I keep struggling to find the destinations. This time, I couldn’t find the hotel but I eventually found the winery Santa Rita. The drive was uneventful, thankfully. Although we ... read more
Casa Real
Vineyards of El Principal
Andean Museum

After a full-on couple of weeks, our first day back in Santiago was a rest-day and, for me, a chance to catch up on the blogs. I edited and posted all of the Antarctica and Falklands blogs during the day, but generally just stayed in the hotel room and took it easy. Dad did similarly, although he’s not blogging, he is writing a journal and he spent the day getting it up to date. We did, however, have something to do on Sunday night. My travel agent, Vanitha, had insisted we book for dinner at a restaurant near the hotel called Bocanariz. I thought it was because of the food so, not being a foodie, I wasn’t all that excited. Although during Sunday I finally got around to googling it and discovered it was essentially a ... read more
The Vineyards

South America » Falkland Islands February 2nd 2019

All good things must come to an end, as they say. Our amazing voyage with One Ocean Expeditions, aboard the Akademik Ioffe, is one such. The final two days of the voyage were spent in the Falkland Islands and it was a fitting place to end. I mostly knew of the Falkland Islands from the short war fought there in 1982 when Argentina invaded, and the British responded. Naively, I never really thought of them as a wildlife destination until I was researching this trip. But there was much to see on these remote islands and I’m sure we could have spent more time there. We started early on Friday morning by heading ashore onto West Point Island. Normally there are only two people who live there, but due to two ships visiting that day, they ... read more
Gentoo Penguin and the Akademik Ioffe
Two Black-browed Albatrosses Courting
Black-browed Albatrosses

Antarctica » Antarctica January 31st 2019

On Tuesday morning we had no excursions because the ship was still on its way to Elephant Island. Elephant Island is best known as the place where Shackleton left Frank Wild and most of the Endurance crew while he and a handful of others took to sea in a modified lifeboat in the hopes of finding help at South Georgia Island. The morning was taken up with talks in the presentation room and a movie called Shackleton’s Captain. We had no idea if we would be making it ashore in the afternoon though. One of our guides said he has been to Elephant Island ten times but only landed two or three times. Another staff member, the resident Antarctica historian, has been coming to Antarctica for over fifty years and has never landed there. So the ... read more
Giant Petrel
Zodiac Craned Back Aboard
Point Wild

Antarctica » Antarctica January 28th 2019

Monday morning found us through the Antarctic Sound and into the Weddell Sea. It is here that we expected to see the large, tabular icebergs. However, once again there was a lot of fog around and we hadn’t seen any yet. The morning’s excursion was to Paulet Island and another Adelie penguin rookery. This one, though, was absolutely huge. As we lined up to board the zodiacs, the sun came out and I had to run back to the cabin to get my sunglasses. However, we could see the fog rolling in across the water, so it was debatable if I needed them. The zodiac ride to the landing site was a long one, through lots of small icebergs and sea ice. Obviously the large ship would not have been able to get closer because of ... read more
Iceberg Reflection
Leopard Seal
Adelie Penguin

Antarctica » Antarctica January 27th 2019

Overnight the ship had steamed up the Antarctic peninsula, through the Gerlache and Bransfield straights, and close to the Antarctic Sound (named after a ship that sank there, not because of the continent, funnily enough). After breakfast, we headed out on another excursion, this time to Gourdin Island. Unlike the previous two days, the weather was not sunny. In fact, it was extremely foggy. As we lined up at the gangway, waiting to get into the zodiacs, we watched each pair disappear into the fog. We could not see more than 100 metres away, so I was hoping the zodiac drivers today had better navigational skills than ours did on the first day. Thankfully, they did. Our zodiac driver eschewed the use of a gps and had a compass instead. He said he doesn’t trust gps’s. ... read more
Adelie Penguins Jumping Onto the Iceberg
So Many Adelie Penguins
Penguins on an Iceberg While a Petrel Lands

Antarctica » Antarctica January 26th 2019

After an amazing first day in Antarctica on Friday, I was looking forward to another such day on Saturday. As we had been unable to change locations overnight because of the campers, the first excursion was a little bit later. I used the extra time to go and have a look around the bridge. While up there, I saw some humpback whales off the starboard side, so I headed out to the observation deck to get some photos. Being up high, the photos turned out a bit better than the ones on the zodiac. Soon enough it was time for the morning’s excursion at Orne Harbour. This was to be our only landing on the Antarctic continent, so I was definitely not going to miss it. I can’t remember how it happened, but it ended up ... read more
At the Top of the Mountain
Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales

Antarctica » Antarctica January 25th 2019

Friday morning, we woke to find ourselves in a bay surrounded by stunning mountains and icy glaciers, having crossed the Gerlache Straight overnight. I’d felt some movement from the sea overnight, but nothing in the morning. Breakfast was called at 7:30 and the first excursion was leaving later, so I had a chance to explore the ship and take some photos of the surrounding vista. While out on the bow, I ran into the onboard photographer, a Canadian name Jonathan Brown. I had introduced myself the night before after the lifeboat drill, but as we were the only two out taking photographs on Friday morning, I got a couple of pointers from him. He seems like a good bloke and is more than happy to share his knowledge. It was a lovely, sunny day and not ... read more
Me, at George's Point
Crabeater Seal

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine January 24th 2019

On Tuesday, lunch was put on by our hotel for everyone that was going on the cruise. It was the first chance to meet some of the other passengers, which I did (dad wasn’t hungry so didn’t join us). I was also sitting near Christopher, the bird guy. He is a guide on the ship, but he is also a biologist that specialises in birds and is very knowledgeable! With lunch out of the way, we boarded our buses. Dad and I waited until last and got on a nearly empty bus because everyone had rushed to get on the first two buses for some reason. We didn’t mind as this gave us the opportunity to spread out. Along the way, our local guide, Anna, gave us some information about where we were and what we ... read more
Me, Waiting to Board the Akademik Ioffe
Cloud Forming Over the Horns
Dad, Waiting to Board the Akademik Ioffe

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas January 22nd 2019

It seems our good luck with the weather has come to an end. Today, we were supposed to be flying down to King George Island to begin the Antarctic cruise, but the ship has encountered a couple of storms since leaving Rio and will be arriving two days late. So, before we head back up to Puerto Natales for a substitute itinerary, I need to update the blog with details of Punta Arenas. Saturday morning, we packed up our gear, had breakfast and hopped in a van for the long drive to Punta Arenas. Dad and I were the only guests transferring but we had a staff member coming off shift being dropped off in Puerto Natales on the way. The drive was uneventful, but about 4 ½ hours long. The scenery was flat and rugged ... read more
Me at the lookout
Native Canoe Replica

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