Monday, December 23, 2013

Under way, destination Falkland Islands!

December 23, today we are under sail to the Falkland Islands.  We’ve had a couple of lectures and briefings on the safety of how to load/unload in the zodiacs, proper procedure of putting your life vest on for trips onshore, and a great lecture of the Carr’s experience living on the Falkland Islands.

I spent some time up on the decks with my camera trying to capture the sea birds that are flocking around our ship.  One of the things I've learned from previous photography workshops is that birds in flight are extremely hard to capture.  And there are some really ugly sea birds!

Here are a few of my better shots.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tierra del Fuego

December 22, we headed out to Tierra del Fuego today with the group spread out over three tour buses.  The park it self was beautiful but I was thinking it was more than it ended up being.  Slightly disappointed but still loved the rugged mountains that make up the southern most Andes.  We loaded the ship around 5 pm and set sail right at 6 pm.  The mountains of the Beagle Channel are amazing and from the time we set sail till we went to bed we had mountains on both the port and starboard sides of the ship.  We are starting to get to know our fellow travelers and even though we are probably the youngest of the group and keep getting asked if we are part of the crew or students we are enjoying getting to know these seasoned travelers and hearing tales of past trips to Antarctica and other adventures.  Some people on our ecology safari have made this trip not once but twice.  There is even a lady on the ship who has already done this exact trip 10 times!!  Julia and I want to know what these people did for a living that their income/retirement allows for multiple trips to Antarctica, as this is not cheap!!

Evidence of penguins everywhere!

Our Ship

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ushuaia Argentina, the End of the World!

December 21, winter, I mean summer solstice since we are in the southern hemisphere.  Today Julia and I slept in since we haven’t slept in a bed since Wednesday night.  After getting up and grabbing a less than desirable breakfast at the hotel we set out to explore Ushuaia, the end of the world as they refer to it here.  There are tons of ships in the harbor all waiting to take the next explorer out to see the southern oceans.  Ushuaia is a cute little town filled with tourist and outdoor gear shops surrounded by ragged peaks of the Southern Andes and the waters of the Beagle Channel.  This place is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in a long while!  My usual magnets have been 
purchased as well as two paintings and 4 carved penguins out of quartzite and rhodochrosite.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Antarctica or Bust!

December 19-20 was spent traveling from Aberdeen to London Heathrow to Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.  36 hours and 8785 miles traveled in total to go from 57 degrees North Latitude to 54 degrees South Latitude!

While we were in Heathrow I had to deal with some issues that came up with Wells Fargo and my mortgage process.  This did not relieve any stress for me since I was told that everything was done regarding this phase of my home purchase.  Needless to say I got everything accomplished on my iPhone while eating dinner during our 2 hour layover.  All I can say is thank goodness there is an app for signing PDF documents with your finger for your phone!

Julia and my luggage for our month long adventure.

Our route