Monthly Archives: January 2009

I formally conclude that Shackleton was a little nuts

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It had been, without our realizing it, an exhausting afternoon– not necessarily in the physical sense but in an experiential sense. Earlier in the day, we had already braved the aforementioned guano stench, navigated the jagged, slippery, guano-covered rocks most awkwardly in our rubber boots (looking uncannily like overgrown penguins as a result), and trudged up the icy hills. The penguin highways in themselves are worth hours of entertainment. Once ... Read More »

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Day 4: Antarctica at Last

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The human memory is so fragile. After two and a half days at sea, I am already beginning to forget how it feels like to be standing on dry, still land. The days of going for meals in the ship’s dining room where the table cloths are deliberately wet to prevent anything from sliding around, where chairs are bolted down (because occasionally they really do tip over on one side, ... Read More »

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The notion of sea voyage…

… is always more romantic in theory than in practice. Sitting at the stern and gazing into the endless blue, for instance, is not quite as idyllic for the subject as it is for the observer. The Antarctic Ocean wind, whipping relentlessly from ever changing directions, hits the face like (for the want of something more eloquent) a giant mosquito swatter. The chill first seeps through the boots into the ... Read More »

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Day 2: Reloaded

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The clocks on this ship are well hidden. If you want the time, you would have to ask for it. That there is still light out at 11.30pm and that there is nothing but deep blue sea in every direction as far as the eye can see add to the timeless quality of our journey. We are a lonely little ship making our way across the ocean without any company ... Read More »

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Day 2: The Dreadful Drake

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[Location: Drake Passage]. We all know that Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent. Unsurprisingly, it is also the most remote. To get to it, one has to brave the furies of the infamous Drake Passage, the confluence of three oceans where waves can reach 4 stories high. It is not known as one of the world’s roughest seas for nothing. The two photos above courtesy of the lovely Lori Gibson ... Read More »

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And so it begins

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[Location: the Beagle Channel] Today, led by our awesome expedition leader Jill Baxter, we made one of the coolest toasts before we set sail: “To the family and friends back home who, when we said we’re going to Antarctica, said ‘What?’ then ‘Where?!!’ and finally ‘Why??’ — cheers.” This is going to be fun. The Orlova sails into the Beagle Channel   Read More »

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A Lot Can Happen in 24 Hours

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[Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina]. What a singularly hectic day. The plan was to buy sunglasses and an adapter, then head to the domestic airport for my flight to Ushuaia. No sweat. I even confirmed my new flight details the night before with the travel agent. What could possibly go wrong? Lesson One: Murphy always wins. Poking about the street next to the hostel, I did indeed find an adaptador. After some impromptu Pictionary ... Read More »

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