Tag Archives: antarctica

Once the seed is sown, there is no telling how far we will go

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One thing about trains– it doesn’t really matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on board.” – The Polar Express Ideas are sneaky little things. They start in a whisper, prickling your ears like an innocent dandelion. But before long, they take on a life of their own, and the sheer possibilities from that one seemingly innocuous suggestion spread like a wildfire in the mind’s eye. Soon, ... Read More »

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The Southern Most Bar in the World

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When you start getting into Ushuaia, lots of random things like “The Southern Most Irish Bar in the World!” start popping up. (I tried it; it was rubbish.) It gets to a point where it’s mere commercial cliché. Still, there is something to be said about the fact that you’ve danced and partied in the southern most bar in the world. This bar happens to be located in the Antarctic ... Read More »

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Ironies and Felonies

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Close up of Gentoo Penguin. Always bring a good zoom lens to Antarctica, folks. Gentoo hurrying along to find the Perfect Pebble A little foraging at the beach makes a dirty penguin. But mission accomplished! Too lazy to walk, the little Gentoo body surfed its way back home. Sometimes, even the natives get a little lost in the vastness of this land An introspective moment on the rocks of Petermann ... Read More »

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Day of Reckoning

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The day is off to a miserable start. Correction: it is off to a Classic Antarctic start. Specifically, it was cold, windy, and wet. (Antarctic tour operators have it easy. If the weather’s bright and sunny, they tell us we are lucky; if the weather is bad like today, they tell us we are experiencing Antarctica in its true form.) In a masochistic way, this was fun. We saw the ... Read More »

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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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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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