Lessons Learned–Antarctica 2016

Lessons Learned–Antarctica 2016

The measure of a trip away to me is the question, if money were no object, would you go there again?   When it comes to our trip to Antarctica the answer would definitely be yes. In fact Birdlife Australia are adverting a trip, including South Georgia, for November this year and I would love to win lotto and go. There are things I would do the same and others I would do differently, so on the off chance I ever…

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Day 28 and 30 – we lost day 29 in transit

Day 28 and 30 – we lost day 29 in transit

Our last day in South America was supposed to have an early start. However all these late night dinners are messing with my early morning wake up and we didn’t hit the streets until after 8. A quick march through town, with a short stop for brekkie and we were at the ecological reserve. I thought it would have a few more vistas than it did, but the cyclist and runners clearly enjoy it. By reputation it used to be…

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Day 25, 26 and 27 – Return to Ushuaia, visiting more penguins and returning to Buenos Aires

Day 25, 26 and 27 – Return to Ushuaia, visiting more penguins and returning to Buenos Aires

Walking around Ushuaia over the last few days has that awkward feeling of running into the same people over and over again in the supermarket. Sitting her at the airport we are next to a lovely German couple who shared our coldest day of the trip on the Pira tour to visit the Magellanic penguins. More about that to follow. Lots of hugs with the crew as we left the Ushuaia. As everyone disembarked the must reach the polar circle…

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Day 22, 23 and 24 – Whilemina Bay, the Drake and the Beagle Channel

Day 22, 23 and 24 – Whilemina Bay, the Drake and the Beagle Channel

We woke this morning to Monika’s announcement that there were humpbacks breaching around the ship. I shrugged on my Gortex jacket and pants over my pjs, grabbed my camera and beanie and I was out the hatch.  No gloves, very few extra layers, but I wasn’t missing this. Luckily my camera habits meant that I had a memory card ready to go in camera and the batteries were fully charged. The visibility was sub optimal (snow / rain / low…

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Day 21 – Flandres Bay Paradise Bay, Orne Island and Wilhemina Bay

Day 21 – Flandres Bay Paradise Bay, Orne Island and Wilhemina Bay

Last night a few of us had a mini session with Alex going through some of her common Photoshop edits.  The thought process behind them was, for me, the most interesting part. The art rather than the science so to speak and a peek inside someone else’s thinking process. I hope she doesn’t find that creepy… The science of how to make the edits I’m more familiar with, although I tend to use Lightroom for the basic things I do…

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Day 20 – Lemaire Channel, Pleneau Island and Port Lockroy

Day 20 – Lemaire Channel, Pleneau Island and Port Lockroy

We had an early morning wake up from Monika, inviting us on deck to watch as we started to navigate the Lemaire Channel.  This stretch of water is apparently quite scenic, and navigation is entirely dependent on the weather as it can be too full of ice to get through. We all donned our cold weather gear and climbed out of bed to see what we could see. Which wasn’t very much.. On this occasion there was enough water and…

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Day 19 – Antarctic Continent

Day 19 – Antarctic Continent

We started the day watching humpback whales breach  in the Gerlache Strait.  It’s a hard life. After breakfast we arrived in a small harbour names for a whale factory ship that used to operate here. The only person unhappy with the weather for our first steps on the Antarctic continent was our fearless leader, Alex. As we should all know beautiful blue skies and sunshine does not make for perfect penguin photography conditions. It does make for a unforgettably magic…

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Day 18 – South Shetland Islands

Day 18 – South Shetland Islands

The good news for today was the weather was good for Elsie and her husband to be evacuated  from King George Island. There were a number of boats in the harbour making the most of the same weather window including a sailboat waiting for its captain and crew and a navel vessel offloading their sadly deceased doctor. Did I mention we were in the remote wilderness and that we were at the whim of the weather?  Puts things in perspective. …

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Day 17 – South Shetland Islands on board MV Ushuaia

Day 17 – South Shetland Islands on board MV Ushuaia

Monkia, our expedition leader woke us up with her cheery “Good Morning, Good Morning Expeditioners” and an announcement that we would have a briefing on plans in the bar after breakfast. The weather continued to be foggy, but there was hope that the afternoon would present a weather  window that would allow the medical evacuation to go ahead. There were not facilities on King George Island that would make it possible to offload the injured passenger and her husband to…

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Day 16 – Antarctic convergence and beyond aboard MV Ushuaia

Day 16 – Antarctic convergence and beyond aboard MV Ushuaia

A day of firsts. Today we saw our first penguins swimming in the ocean. We were all very excited, which must amuse the crew no end.  They swim like dolphins, porpoising in and out of the water to maintain their speed.  I don’t know why I was surprised to see them out so far away from land. We spent some time out on deck trying to get photos, but they are quick and quite little so I certainly didn’t get…

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