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Beyond the Southern Circle, lies Antarctica
Crossing The Circle
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Alex

Antarctica

Posted by Alex on Saturday, February 21, 2009
photo album Antarctica: 60 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 15: 16 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Up at 6, last Ioffe meal - breakfast at 6:30, and off the boat before 8
Alex

Back to Ushuaia

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 16, 2009
photo album Back to Ushuaia: 7 new photos
Alex

Akademik Ioffe

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 16, 2009 Hide
There's quite a bit there to be said about the good Akademik Ioffe. It was, after all, our home for almost two weeks. Some basics to get out of the way first: it was the third cruise ship I've been on (Carribean, Mexico coast) and it was far and away the best. It was also the third Russian vessel I'... Read More
Alex

Ushuaia

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 16, 2009 Hide
Up at 6, last Ioffe meal - breakfast at 6:30, and off the boat before 8. Everything ending too quickly and with a bit of an anti-climatic whimper. Now to learn to interact with people other than the hundred or so I've gotten used to over the last 13 days, settle for less amazing meals, and be forced... Read More
Tags: Ushuaia
Alex

Back to the Real World!

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 16, 2009 Hide
They could've, at least, taken us off the ship in the zodiacs, that would've been appropriate! Instead, we walked off the gangway onto the pavement, spent some five rather boring hours in Ushuaia, and went off to the airport. The Ushuaia taxi to the airport was no different than the other taxis in t... Read More
Akademik Ioffe

Beagle Channel, Argentina

Day 14: 15 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
It's rocking agian... Feeling fine in the morning, but sticking to the drugs just to be sure. Not much going on today - pay up your accounts, get your passport back, with Antarctica stamps in it
Alex

Drake to Cape Horn

Posted by Alex on Sunday, February 15, 2009 Hide
Feeling fine in the morning, but sticking to the drugs just to be sure. Not much going on today - pay up your accounts, get your passport back, with Antarctica stamps in it, a movie on sailing around Cape Horn, filmed in '29, narrated by same guy in '80 - pretty funny, but the presentation room, wit... Read More
Alex

back in the Drake

Posted by Alex on Saturday, February 14, 2009 Hide
It's rocking again... Feeling find in the morning, dizzy and noxious after thirty minutes in front of a computer. After skipping breakfast and lunch, give up and switch to 'better living through chemistry' by taking a pill for sea sickness - works remarkably well. Enjoyable dinner, then play cards =... Read More
Alex

Last Day in Antarctica!

Posted by Alex on Friday, February 13, 2009
photo album Last Day in Antarctica!: 40 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Deception Island, Antarctica

Day 12: 13 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
long sail to Deception Island waiting for another expedition to clear out first. Before getting back on the ship, it?s time for a bath. Due to the volcano, water here marginally warmer than normal, so bring your bathing suit!
Akademik Ioffe

Deception Island, Antarctica

Day 12: 13 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Halfmoon landing - first big chinstrap colony, plus a bunch of fur seals.
Alex

Halfmoon Bay and Deception Island

Posted by Alex on Friday, February 13, 2009 Hide
Halfmoon landing - first big chinstrap colony, plus a bunch of fur seals. Spectacular rock spires all over the island. A whole lot more uncleaned up equipment strewn around. Seas looking a bit rough, so probably for the best to not go kayaking. Spend a better part of the landing listening to Conor a... Read More
Alex

Zodiacs

Posted by Alex on Friday, February 13, 2009 Hide
It's better than the zipline and the surfboard, right?Actually, the zodiacs were quite amazing - they get us on land, they get us up close and personal with the seals, they let us see all sides of the amazing icebergs down here, and the whales occasionally get curious about them.And we get to compar... Read More
Alex

Orne and Paradise

Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 12, 2009
photo album Orne and Paradise: 34 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Paradise Harbor, Antarctica

Day 11: 12 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Afternoon: kayaking in Paradise Harbor, didn't see that much - a couple leopard seals, a Minke whale that didn't want to hang around, and an ice cave that kept sending chunks of ice down
Akademik Ioffe

Paradise Harbor, Antarctica

Day 11: 12 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Morning: couldn't do the landing we'd planned - another ship's there (?). Kayaking in a big harbor filled with ice floes
Alex

Orne and Paradise Harbors

Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 12, 2009 Hide
Morning: couldn't do the landing we'd planned - another ship's there (?). Kayaking in a big harbor filled with ice floes. See chinstrap penguins on shore for the first time - a leopard seal and humpbacks seem like more of same old, same old by now.Afternoon: kayaking in Paradise Harbor, didn't see t... Read More
Alex

Kayaking

Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 12, 2009 Hide
Well, I fell in 30 seconds into my kayaking experience. And was pretty embarrassed about it. And went right back out again (without falling in again) and had something to talk about for the rest of the trip. And I paid almost $900 for it, which is a lot... but, once again, it may have actually been ... Read More
Alex

Neko and Danco

Posted by Alex on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
photo album Neko and Danco: 68 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Danco Island, Antarctica

Day 10: 11 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Danco Island starting w/spectacular cruise all around, multiple humpback sightings and amazing icebergs in perfectly still water.
Akademik Ioffe

Danco Island, Antarctica

Day 10: 11 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
cruise around Neko - not too spectacular, but quite cold. Get on land after - lots of Gentoo penguins that are really bad at walking. Curious Minke whale wouldn't leave the ship in the morning!
Alex

Neko & Danco

Posted by Alex on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Hide
Highlight of the day: a really curious Minke Whale that hung around for a long time by the ship and the zodiacs right as we were leaving.Morning: cruise around Neko - not too spectacular, but quite cold. Get on land after - lots of Gentoo penguins that are really bad at walking... A climb up a hill ... Read More
Alex

The Best Sunset Yet

Posted by Alex on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
photo album The Best Sunset Yet: 67 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Pleneau Island, Antarctica

Day 9: 10 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
sailing through the LeMaire Passage - stunning sunset - bright red ahead and behind!
Akademik Ioffe

Pleneau Island, Antarctica

Day 9: 10 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Kayaking: absolutely amazing. Perfectly still, Lake Sammamish-in the morning-still, no wind and lots of wildlife
Akademik Ioffe

Petermann Island, Antarctica

Day 9: 10 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Morning: visit big penguin colony at Petermann Island: lots of Gentoo penguins, a few Adelies
Alex

Petermann and Pleneau

Posted by Alex on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Hide
Morning: visit big penguin colony at Petermann Island: lots of Gentoo penguins, a few Adelies - Adelies are gradually relocating further South. Penguins quite funny trying to walk... Feeding ceremonies - two chicks chasing an adult. A skua bird eating the remnants of a penguin... Nice, sunny day. Ak... Read More
Alex

Yalour Islands and Vernadskiy Station

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 9, 2009
photo album Yalour Islands and Vernadskiy Station: 53 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Waddington Bay, Antarctica

Day 8: 9 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Evening: camping right back near Vernadskiy. Not particularly cold, but not particularly comfortable either. Glad to say I?ve slept on Antarctic soil
Akademik Ioffe

Waddington Bay, Antarctica

Day 8: 9 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
Afternoon: too rough to land, so zodiac cruising around Waddington Bay. Lots of seals on ice floes - leopard, crabeater, fur.
Akademik Ioffe

Waddington Bay, Antarctica

Day 8: 9 Feb, 2009, 21:59 GMT
morning: kayaking and a visit to Akademik Vernadskiy Ukrainian research station
Alex

on to the continent!

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 9, 2009 Hide
Yalour Islands - morning: kayaking and a visit to Akademik Vernadskiy Ukrainian research station (formerly British 'Faraday' Station). Kayak through some narrow and shallow passages - pretty cool. Tour of station not terribly exciting, but speaking Russian results in extra shot of vodka at the bar a... Read More
Alex

back North

Posted by Alex on Sunday, February 8, 2009 Hide
Started sailing back North, around Adelaide Island again - waters a bit more choppy this time... No ill effects so far, we'll see if that keeps up. Aiming for a shore landing in the afternoon.No shore landing - too rough... No particular ill effects, but a two and half hour nap in the afternoon just... Read More
Alex

First Landings

Posted by Alex on Saturday, February 7, 2009
photo album First Landings: 70 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Horseshoe Island, Antarctica

Day 6: 7 Feb, 2009, 21:57 GMT
And then, Antarctica showed up! Saw first iceberg over lunch, then a couple presentations, then icebergs all around us in the afternoon! Some coming right for us, it seemed like
Alex

Antarctica Proper

Posted by Alex on Saturday, February 7, 2009 Hide
Sailed back out to sea and around Adelaide Island at night, in morning back to land, near Horseshoe Island - first landing/kayaking. Thirty seconds after getting into a kayak, tipped over and had to get fished out - kayaks not all that stable! Went back in after getting new pair of gloves, no more t... Read More
Alex

Crossing the Circle

Posted by Alex on Friday, February 6, 2009
photo album Crossing the Circle: 12 new photos
Alex

Third day at sea

Posted by Alex on Friday, February 6, 2009 Hide
Still calm. Still sailing straight down. At lunch see our first iceberg in the distance, lots of birds, saw a fin whale on the starboard side of ship! Reports of a seal, but didn't see. Seem to be aiming to cross circle around dinner time. Lectures on ice, Amundsen/Scott, seals, photography composit... Read More
Alex

Second Day at Sea

Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 5, 2009 Hide
Fairly sunny and much calmer, also slowing down, aiming to hit circle at a specific hour. No more problems with rough water. A few birds, even though I'm told there'll be more with wind. Saw maybe a penguin in a distance ... or was that day before? Lectures on penguins, whales, IAATO, and zodiac saf... Read More
Alex

First day at sea

Posted by Alex on Wednesday, February 4, 2009
crew says it's pretty calm, it seems pretty rough to me. Working out at the gym in morning, maybe bad idea - not holding down lunch or dinner. Lectures on photography, geology, Shackleton, first kayak meeting. No wildlife to speak of.
Akademik Ioffe

Beagle Channel, Argentina

Day 2: 3 Feb, 2009, 21:55 GMT
First day at sea: crew says it's pretty calm, it seems pretty rough to me. Working out at the gym in morning, probably a bad idea...
Akademik Ioffe

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 2: 3 Feb, 2009, 21:54 GMT
depart Ushuaia at 19:40, sail through Beagle Channel. Beautiful sunset, not much wildlife. Calm seas.
Alex

Ushuaia, Argentina

Posted by Alex on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Hide
Ushuaia, Tierre del Fuego - Fin del Mundo. There's not much public transportation in the 'Southernmost City in the World' (not to be confused with Chile's somewhat smaller 'southernmost town in the world'), so from airport to Los Acebos, Warrick and Mary (a Kiwi couple I ran into in the overly-crowd... Read More
Tags: Ushuaia
Alex

Ushuaia, Argentina: a bus from pier to the ship

Posted by Alex on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Hide
As Ushuaia is mostly comprised of narrow one way streets, the bus actually goes a couple of kilometers from the parking lot to the ship. The actual distance is probably about 500m ... and they did collect all the luggage in the morning. This is all about simply keeping the tourists organized. There ... Read More
Tags: Ushuaia
Alex

The Beginning

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 2, 2009
photo album The Beginning: 28 new photos
Akademik Ioffe

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1: 2 Feb, 2009, 21:37 GMT
Ushuaia - fin del monde, the Southernmost City in the world! The Russian research vessel's here and time to take off for Antarctica!
Alex

Ushuaia, Argentina: Los Acebos hotel shuttle bus to town

Posted by Alex on Monday, February 2, 2009 Hide
Speaking of getting into town, the Los Acebos does provide a shuttle to town that makes 5-6 trips daily, saving you that $5 cab ride. Ushuaia itself isn't much of a city - there's one main street and a boardwalk in front of the dock. The one main street specializes in selling souvenirs. And fairly e... Read More
Tags: Ushuaia
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8:51 pm Sunday December 17