Antarctica, South Georgia, Falkland Islands: Part 1 – AntarcticaJanuary 26, 2012
Back in mid-December, I mentioned that my husband and I took a month-long trip to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands in November. It would have been fun to blog along the way during the trip, but we didn’t want to advertise that our house was empty for a month, plus internet access was really expensive. In hindsight, I should have written posts along the way and then posted them when we got home. Next time I guess! For now, I thought I’d try to sum it up with some photos, starting with Antarctica.
Did you see the movie March of the Penguins? I loved watching them slide on their stomachs in the movie, and was really excited to see it in person. This is an Adelie penguin at Brown Bluff. The day we visited Brown Bluff was the only super-cold day of the trip. Before we got off the ship, we were advised to “put on everything that you own,” so I knew it was going to be bad! It was our first day in Antarctica, and I think everyone got pretty worried about the weather.
After Brown Bluff, we really lucked out with the weather. Most days were around the freezing mark, sunny, and no wind. We had a great day in Neko Harbour, which I think is one of the prettiest places we visited. It felt great to take my parka off!
Speaking of gorgeous weather, it was nice enough to go kayaking in Paradise Bay. We had to navigate through some ice, but there was no wind and the water was smooth. This was our first time in a double kayak, and after unsuccessfully trying to coordinate our paddling, I discovered the solution: let my husband do all the paddling and the steering! Heck, next time I’m not even going to bother taking a paddle; it just got in my way.
We had some rough seas between South Georgia and Antarctica. A prescription motion sickness patch got me through that…barely. Our ship’s chief engineer didn’t fare so well – he broke his hip and had to be flown to Chile on a medevac flight. The flight departed from King George Island, which is home to Chilean and Russian research stations. This Russian Orthodox church was built in Siberia, then taken apart and shipped to King George Island to be reconstructed. It’s tiny, but I don’t think they get large crowds for church in Antarctica!
A Gentoo penguin hopped up to check out a camera in Dorian Bay.
In Port Lockroy, there’s a small museum at a former British base. One of the items was a cookbook…with a recipe for Casserole of Penguin Breasts! That’s one recipe I will not be blogging.
Penguins, like this Chinstrap penguin in Dorian Bay, are no longer on the menu.
Along with all the penguins, there was a lot of ice. A ship sailing these waters needs to be able to break through some ice.
We got up close to some gorgeous scenery, including this cave-like iceberg.
These photos are just the tip of the iceberg (ha ha), but hopefully give you an idea of some of the beautiful scenery in the Antarctic peninsula. We saw seven(!) kinds of penguins on the trip – I’ll cover the other four in my South Georgia and Falkland Islands posts.