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Antarctica December 2010 The photos in this presentation have been scaled down to reduce file sizes. Originals with higher resolution and more detail are available via the links at the end of this presentation.
Overview Trip Overview Charlotte to Cincinnati (driving) Cincinnati to Houston Houston to Buenos Aires 2 Days in Buenos Aires Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina (southern most point of South America, Tierra Del Fuego) Board the cruise boat in Ushuaia ~2 days crossing the Drake Passage to Antarctica ~7 days in Antarctica Various landings throughout the peninsula ~2 days crossing the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia Fly back through Buenos Aires, Houston, etc. We visited a very small portion of Antarctica (the peninsula). Antarctica, as a whole, is a massive continent. During winter when all the ice is frozen, the physical size of Antarctica doubles.
Buenos Aires Not much to do in Buenos Aires other than EAT. We did visit a few nice cafes and we toured the cemetery where Eva Peron (Evita!) is buried. The Bank of Fran We didnt realize it, but Fran is big-time stuff in Argentina. Typical street View out our hotel window (small boutique hotel)
Buenos Aires Ricoleta cemetery Most impressive dog walker we have ever seen. We counted almost 20 dogs this person was walking at once.
Ushuaia Prior to boarding the cruise, they took us to a ski resort lodge for lunch (killing time while they restock the boat from the prior voyage). Washing the plane windows
Antarctica Antarctica Landings/Activities 1.Half Moon Island (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/10 Drake crossing was much smoother than planned so we landed a day earlier than originally anticipated Hike, scenery, penguins 2.Brown Bluff (Peninsula), 12/11 Hike, scenery, penguins 3.Kinnes Cove (Peninsula), 12/11 Zodiac Tour, scenery, Orca wales, seals, other wildlife 4.Paradise Bay, Base Brown (Palmer Archipelago), 12/12 Hike, scenery, destroyed Argentinean base, sledding! 5.Paradise Bay, Scontorp Cove (Palmer Archipelago), 12/12 Zodiac Tour 6.Cape Renard (Palmer Archipelago), 12/13 Hike, scenery, penguins 7.Waterboat Point (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14 Chilean base, penguins including two all-white/gray penguins (not technically albino, but they look it) 8.Danco Island (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14 Penguins 9.Cuverville Island (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14 Penguins 10.Goudier Island, Port Lockroy (Palmer Archipelago), 12/15 British base, all women, souvenir shop and post office 11.Deception Island, Whalers Bay (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/16 Hike, Polar Plunge (its COLD!) 12.Deception Island, Telefon Bay (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/16 Hike, scenery Were in the back – you cant really see us
Antarctica (according to the brochure) Expedition Highlights: Marvel at spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers Set foot on the continent of Antarctica Encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguins Spot seals – elephant, Antarctic fur, Weddell, leopard and crabeater Watch for whales – humpback, Minke, orca, pilot, and beaked Identify seabirds – snowy sheathbill, Antarctic cormorant, kelp gull, Antarctic tern, cape petrels, wandering albatrosses, southern fulmars, blue eyed shags, southern giant petrels, skuas, black-browed albatrosses, Wilsons storm-petrels, sooty shearwaters Visit scientific research stations and historic whaling sites Drake Passage The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ships wake such as the black-browed albatross, sooty shearwaters and white- chinned petrels. Antarctic Peninsula While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can be a new and breathtaking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, its apparent to everyone that we are moving closer into Antarcticas vast white wilderness. Guests find this part of the world irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day we will attempt Zodiac departures, and, if conditions permit, we will cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by our team of natural history experts. A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favorable ice and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife we may encounter. Here are some of the places we may visit: Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot-bluff on the Antarctic continent) Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and pintado petrels use this as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. Cuverville Island, Errera Channel The island was discovered by Gerlaches Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and pintado petrels also may be seen whilst Wilsons storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic peninsula) The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, observe Argentinas Almirante Brown Station, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, you will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica. Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island) Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcanos summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. We plan to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptunes Bellows. It is said that it was from here that Nathaniel Palmer allegedly became the first American to sight the Antarctic continent in 1820 when he stood at Neptunes Window and looked out across Bransfield Strait. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s. Port Lockroy, Goudier Island Built by the British as a listening station for enemy activities during WWII, then used as a research station in the 1950s, and since 1962 as a museum and gift shop.
Chilean Antarctic station An expedition spent the winter in 1922 under a wooden boat Penguin egg Boat House for anyone who is seriously Spanish Challenged All white/gray penguin – not technically albino but similar looking
Chinstrap Penguin – note the chin strap Gentoo Penguin – note the orange beak Adele Penguin – looks similar to a Gentoo, but no orange beak Know Your Penguins! Emperor PenguinKing PenguinRockhopper PenguinMacaroni Penguin
Andrew and Noel (and some really scary dude) Fran and Noel acting like penguins A coat missing its person Bill, Fran, Andrew, and Noel (Noel is done)
Sun and the ozone hole. Well – its not the ozone hole, but we pretended it was
Port Lockroy (British) has a mailbox…and Fran Penguin Highway Skua bird – very aggressive and steals penguin eggs
Improper zodiac footwear (loafers) Proper zodiac footwear (boots) Austrian head waitress, Andrea, served us proper ice cream sundaes and hot dogs on the ship Tying your gloves to your life preserver leads to minor depression and lack of mobility
Bill holding the shipBill getting ready to flick the ship Fran crushing the shipCrushing the other hikers Conrad, the expedition leader
We did the polar plunge jumping into the freezing water. This is a natural hot tub they dug out on the beach. Its a volcanic area so it naturally filled up with hot water. Whalers Bay, where they used to harvest whale oil
Ushuaia After the cruise, we had one evening in Ushuaia and the following day we took a little train ride prior to our flight back to Buenos Aires (get us off the boat so they can start restocking and also killing time while waiting for the plane) Clelia II – the boat that was damaged in the Drake Passage the day before we left. Stray dog / wolf downtown Sad because we are leaving Waited over an hour for our luggage in a small, crowded room. INTENSE window models.
Ushuaia VISA seemed to be very popular Bills an outlaw. Sadly, Bill had shaved his mustache prior to the vacation. He was not welcome in the moustacchio. Bankers love BIG cash registers The train was pretty ridiculous.
More photos (than you want) Highlights (~100 of the photos we like best) http://www.flickr.com/photos/billbriggs/sets/72157625570143787/ Voyage Journal (includes commentary from expedition staff) http://www.silversea.com/expeditions/voyage-journals/?voyagejournal=7024 Full collection of photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/billbriggs/collections/72157625695577064/