In The Kingdom Of Ice

Following a disappointingly calm night crossing the Drake Passage, we pulled back the curtains the next morning to see this, our first view of Antarctica:

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Well, we didn’t have to go too far into our memory banks to realize we’d never seen any place like this before. Here was some more confirmation:

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One of the ladies in our group, who has been here before, described Antarctica as “Alaska on steroids.” When we were in Alaska some years ago we already thought it WAS on steroids. But….

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For those of you who like to see maps, here is one from the captain that outlines our voyage. I’ll put it up on each of the remaining Antarctica posts.

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If you want the real BIG picture, here that is also:

Antarctic Peninsula

As you can see on the first map, our first stop was Cuverville Island, famous for its rookery of Gentoo Penguins. All we had to do was step outside to know we had arrived.

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Cuverville Island
Cuverville Island

You will notice a sailboat to the right. Apparently it is now somewhat common for yachtsmen and/or women to cross the Drake Passage and come over here for sightseeing. Best wishes to them all!

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There was quite a lot of chattering going on with these guys!

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Some were trying to decide if this was a good time to go for a little dip.

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After a while we had to say goodbye, and good luck! But I will say, and I’m sure I could find plenty of our shipmates who would agree, there was more than one time I imagined myself being that guy. OK, maybe not in Antarctica, but some place. Now I’m just happy to be here under any circumstances.

It was time to head down Andvord Bay and see the sights: I don’t want to tell you your business, but if were me, I’d pour a nice cup of joe and take my time going through the next set.

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Thankfully, it’s the middle of summer!

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It is always good to know that somebody on the bridge is at least looking out the window!
It is always good to know that somebody on the bridge is at least looking out the window!

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Some day I think it will be discovered that some crazed electrician has secretly been wiring icebergs with blue lights. How else can it be explained?

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We’ve seen icebergs before, but not the size of the Doyt Perry stadium!

But they sure make a convenient resting place!

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Now we were entering Paradise Harbor to pass by the Videla Station, operated by our friends from Chile. There could possibly be some sanitation issues:

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Yes, it’s a research station, but it is also a whoppin’ big penguin rookery!

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I hope the dining hall is air tight!

Antarctica Part 1 1610The guy doing repair on the tower has some challenges!

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But now it was time to say goodbye to our Chilean friends!

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It wasn’t even noon yet and we headed for the Neumayer Channel

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We headed for the Channel, but things didn’t go exactly as planned.

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