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Antarctica, the Falklands, and South Georgia

A trip beyond expectations, seven friends set out to cruise the southern seas.

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I think I can fly!
Author
Nancy Golden
The last morning was all about packing and making our way off the ship. Hugs, goodbyes, and some final shenanigans before we disembarked and said goodbye to the staff who had formed a receiving line …
Erin and friends on Brown Bluff, Antarctica
Author
Nancy Golden
Our last day on the ship. More lectures by Historian Dave, and Derek the Naturalist, whose presentation 'Krill Bill' was an instant classic in krill biology entertainment. We passed within 3 miles of …
Gentoo contemplating life
Author
Nancy Golden
A full day in the Drake Passage and nothing to do but hang out, listen to presentations, and try to keep food down. Last night my roommates and I had taken the regular Dramamine (i.e., the 'more …
Erin at Brown Bluff, Antarctica
Author
Nancy Golden
Camping was great, but you can't knock indoor plumbing. I don't mind roughing it, but there's just no running behind a tree in Antarctica. And Mr. Yummy - the makeshift toilet set up for our camping …
Gentoo: I've got something to say.
Author
Nancy Golden
The main attractions of our morning zodiac cruise of Cierra Cove were ice and seals. Though the crabeater seals were more plentiful, the leopard seals stole the show. One particular individual was …
Ice in Antarctica
Author
Nancy Golden
Every species of penguin deserves its own stop to check in on a giant breeding colony, and today it was the adelie's turn. Paulette Island, in the Weddell Sea, just off the Antarctic continent, was …
Who's checking out who?
Author
Nancy Golden
Back on land today, to the aptly named Penguin Island. I grudgingly bypassed the day's hike for the promise of an extra dose of chinstrap penguins, and was justly rewarded. A large breeding colony …
Ice
Author
Nancy Golden
The highlight of this day at sea was arrival at Elephant Island, where Shackleton's men stayed for 5 months while he sailed to South Georgia for assistance. (If you haven't read a good book about …
Paulette Island
Author
Nancy Golden
There were two main draws this morning: #1: big blue tabular icebergs, and #2: penguins porpoising through the water. Which led to the natural confluence of the two, and a sight we'd all been waiting …
Ice
Author
Nancy Golden
At about 7:30 this morning, the announcement came for breakfast. Though I had been asleep for 12 hours at that point, it was still felt like waking up from out of a coma. The previous night the …
Adelies roosting in old structures from expeditions of yore
Author
Nancy Golden
Gold Harbour would be our final landing on South Georgia Island and it was as spectacular as the first, in its own unique way. The beach front proved too surrounded by obstacles (water, cliffs, …
Paulette Island
Author
Nancy Golden
The old whaling town of Grytviken is the height of civilization on South Georgia Island. We started our day there at the small cemetery that held Shackleton's tombstone, where following tradition, …
Adelie penguin striking a pose
Author
Nancy Golden
Standing atop Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island I looked down on a colony of over 200,000 king penguins. It was one of the most striking things I've ever witnessed. Nearing the island on the …
Three adelies in a row
Author
Nancy Golden
I was wrong. It was not a hangover. And it was not seasickness. So why couldn't I get out of bed this morning? It took me a while to figure it out for sure, not until later in the day when the …
Adelie penguin
Author
Nancy Golden
Or was it a hangover? The lines are blurry. But like many a New Year's Day, we spent this one doing varied and sundry nap-related activities. Like napping. A great remedy for whatever ails you. And …
Adelie penguin
Author
Nancy Golden
After yesterday's excursions to some of the Falklands least-inhabited destinations (by people, anyway), today's visit to Stanley provided a sharp contrast. Stanley is a small city of colorful houses, …
Adelie penguin and chick
Author
Nancy Golden
Land ho, the Falkland Islands! Ten people to a zodiac, we departed the ship for our first excursion on West Point Island. Antarctica it was not. The green grass and sunny skies made us overdressed …
Adelie penguin and juvenile
Author
Nancy Golden
'Variably queasy today' That's the main journal entry I have for our first full day aboard the Marina Svetaeva (recently renamed the Ortelius), a ship specifically designed for polar exploration with …
Adelie penguin with juvenile
Author
Nancy Golden
Today we would push off from dock and received some welcome news upon waking: Anne's luggage had made it to Buenos Aires and was likely to be on a morning flight to Ushuaia. This allowed us the …
Adelie penguins in love. Or perhaps just lust.
Author
Nancy Golden
Arriving in Ushuaia without delay allows for a play day before cruising. Mary Ann and Lynn booked a day of adventure at the National Park, while Linda, Brian, Erin, and I planned for a hike up the …
Erin and Nancy discover the Beagle Stout
Author
Nancy Golden
Unless you're extremely lucky (or an advance-planner....not my particular forte), the journey to Ushuaia involves not only changing planes in Buenos Aires, but often changing airports. Though I left …
Martial Glacier, Argentina
Author
Nancy Golden
I bid goodbye to the large extended family that had gathered at my sister's house for Christmas. And not a moment too soon. A storm was moving up the East Coast, canceling flights along its path. One …

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