Tuesday – November 8, 2011:
Anticipation is increasing. Tonight, I will meet the other travelers at a welcome dinner, then, in less than 36 hours, we will be on the Kapitan Khlebnikov departing Lyttelton. From my past Antarctica trips, I recall an exhilarating yet scary feeling watching the land become smaller and smaller and finally disappearing while the icebreaker departs the harbor.
During the first seven days, we will see no land except for the small Subantarctic Islands, Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands. All of these islands are World Heritage Sites and landing is only allowed by permit. Weather permitting; we will use the zodiacs to visit the unique wildlife and plant life on these islands.
The following two days will be in open sea crossing the roaring 50′s and 60′s of the Southern Ocean. I wonder if the Southern Ocean will live up to its reputation of being some of the planet’s largest waves and highest winds. I can’t help but think about the movie “The Perfect Storm”.
Nevertheless, I remain with optimistic anticipation. I’m in good hands with the crew of the Kapitan Khlebnikov.
(This is Laurie’s fourth visit to Antarctica. She is blogging her way through this epic month-long Antarctica trip; the Kapitan Khlebnikov’s Ross Sea Centennial Voyage. Tune in for daily updates from the field. Pictures from Laurie’s past Antarctica travels are found on her website.)