Finally! On land again. Overnight the ship took position and in the morning looking out my porthole I saw a small bay and a flat sea.  That meant a landing was in my future.  Because of the calm sea state it was an easy zodiac trip to Westpoint Island, an island home to a whopping two people. The island was also home to a very large colony of wandering albatross. These amazing… Read More

It was December 24, the 11th day of the cruise, as we arrived early in the morning at Salisbury Plain. As soon as I woke up I went up to the lounge and the bridge to examine the beach with my binoculars. Earlier in the morning I had been startled awake by strong winds roaring past my porthole so I was doubtful of our ability to make a landing. Sure enough, when… Read More

Today’s plan was to land at Fortuna Bay home to another large king penguin colony, although not as large as the previous day’s hoard at St. Andrew’s Bay, and a sizeable fur seal population. In addition, for those interested, there was going to be an opportunity to hike across the island to Stromness Bay.  The hike traced part of the route that Shackleton and his men took to reach help once they… Read More

I spent the morning on the movie set of “Happy Feet”. We landed at St. Andrews Bay, home to about 400,000 king penguins, numerous fur seals, and my favorite, a bunch of elephant seals. The density of animals was overwhelming visually, aurally and olfactorily. The staff deliberately chooses landing sites in areas that minimize the disturbance to the animals so our landing site was some distance away from the heart of the… Read More

After two days at sea we finally arrived in the early morning at South Georgia. The next four days were targeted at visiting the incredibly dense wildlife that calls the island home. According to some of my fellow passengers South Georgia is the “Serengetti of the Antarctic” and it is one of the main reasons that this particular cruise is so popular; many other Antarctic cruises go straight to the peninsula completely… Read More

We are out in the open water heading towards South Georgia from the Antarctic peninsula. Sitting in the lounge at the stern of the ship I look out the 270 degrees of windows and see nothing but water and sky. It will be another day and a half before we see land. I have always wanted to be out in the middle of the ocean on a small boat and so I… Read More

I got to bed a bit later than usual last night because I was waiting for us to finish sailing by an iceberg so I could look around the far edge to the other side. It was no ordinary iceberg being large enough to have an official designation on the charts. Measuring 11 miles by 5 miles and with approximately 100 feet showing above the water, some quick calculations by some of… Read More

We had an early start on day three having reached our destination, Mikkelsen Bay, overnight. Breakfast, which I skipped, was at 6:30 am with gangway ops starting as early as 7:15 am. The goal was to get everyone to shore for our first landing by 8 am spend a couple of hours there then return to the ship by 10 am because we had a long sail ahead of us to get… Read More

Despite going to bed early I had a restless night. The swaying of the ship as we crossed Bransfield Strait on our way to the Gerlache Strait demanded enough attention of my sub-conscious to wake me. The movement was noticeable, occurring in all directions, as we bounced along on the waves. Thankfully it was not violent enough to throw me out of my bunk and eventually, adjusting to the situation, I was… Read More

Going south for the winter is a time tested popular method in the northern hemisphere for avoiding the seasonal appearance of the cold, dark, and general miserable weather that descends on those living far from the equator. It is not uncommon for those living north of the 40th parallel to flee to Florida, Arizona or the Caribbean islands to bask in the sunlight and balmy weather of the tropics and sub-tropics. Certainly… Read More