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The magnificent blues of Antarctica
At 65 degrees south latitude, we reached our furthest point south and landed on the actual continent of Antarctica. Now we were actually on the continental land mass.
The Journey Begins
Sunday, the day we were leaving for Antarctica, we took an early morning stroll to the waterfront and spotted our industrial looking little red “expedition” ship. It was docked on our side of a long pier that ran parallel to our position on shore. There was also an enormous cruise ship tied up on the other side of the same pier. We had …
Rockin; and Rollin'
The next day, the waves got bigger. We were told that the swells were reaching 18 feet. The waves were big but I really couldn’t guess how big. The swells continued relentlessly all day. As the second evening approach, the ship started to get rocked by large waves in one-two punches, i. e., a couple of large back to back swells. At …
Penguins on the Moonscape
At nine sharp, we were all decked out with our gear as we joined our group, which had been designated for the first landing. The staging area was filled with people in red parkas, orange life vests and black boots. It was reminiscent of a WWII movie with paratroopers standing in line preparing to jump from the side door of the plane. One by one …
Zodiacing among the bergs
Our first stop in the area of Antarctica was actually the South Shetland Islands, which are considered to be sub-Antarctica. On a map, the South Shetlands look to be very close to the continent but I think technically they are not considered part of the continent. These islands do, however, get iced-in in winter and at that time if viewed from …
On the Antarctic Beach
At 65 degrees south latitude, we reached out furthest point south and landed on the actual continent of Antarctica. Our other landings had been on islands that are part of the continental plate/shelf, but now we were actually on the continental land mass. Everyone was pretty excited because most of us felt you couldn’t really say you have …
Blue sky, warm winds and fantastic views
I forgot to mention that before we landed on the continent, we had a rather long afternoon cruise to get to our landing point. The afternoon turned out to be the most glorious day of our entire trip. The sun came out and we were comfortable out on the decks with just a sweater. The views were unbelievable. We took a million or so photos. We …
Volcanoes and Calderas
The next day, we had one more landing on Deception Island, which is actually the rim of an old, but recently active - 1997- volcano. The caldera of the enormous volcanic cone was flooded years ago when a small section of the rim fell into the sea and the ocean rushed in. We had been told we might be able to go swimming in a pool fed by hot …
Whales Watching Tourists
Back on the boat, it was time for another leg home that took us through humpback whale territory. The boat slowed to give us a better chance of spotting some whales. I’m not sure who spotted whom first, the whales seeing our boat or the tourists spotting the whales. But, before long, trios of whales were coming for a look at our boat. …
Doing the Drake Again
Re-read Day 2, February 18th.
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