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Thread: Chile, Antarctica, Argentina Oct. 19-Nov.14

  1. #91
    Senior Member SusieLovesAruba's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh Robin - I'm so obsessed looking at your photos! The pics are stunning of the areas and wildlife and the ship photos are beautiful - what an amazing ship! Have you gone into the sauna? It looks so fantastic and to look out at the views while in there! Amazing!

  2. #92
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    I was able to upload photos this morning, but then the internet got crappy again.

    Our morning zodiac was cancelled when the captain saw that if we did not move from the area we were in, we would get stuck there due to icebergs. Now the area we were supposed to go to is blocked by icebergs. I guess it is a ship day. We have seen tons and tons of HUGE, GINORMOUS icebergs. Pictures do not do them justices because it is hard to tell in a picture how enormous they real life. You look at them and they are just sooooo gigantic and then you remember that 90% of it is underwater and we are only seeing 10% of it. The size is mind boggling.

    Supposedly we are the ship in this area that is farthest south. The winds and waves have picked up and I think we are still stopped waiting it out. We realized that we must really have our "sea legs" because it isn't bother us.

  3. #93
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We are still basically stopped-moving at maybe 2 kn. The wind is very strong-gusts at 70mph. Outside decks are closed. Hopefully the winds will die down in an hour and we can start moving north. Our friends booked dinner for 8 pm thinking we'd be out on land, but since we are not Stu and I are going to eat by ourselves tonight because he doesn't want to eat that late.

    I did manage to upload all the pictures I have and a few pictures from friends. I am sure Stu's are fantastic with his camera and lens, but he hasn't gone through them yet.

  4. #94
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Last night was like most nights-Explorer Lounge-drinking, playing games, talking.

    Today was AMAZING! Overnight they changed our landing and zodiac cruising, so we had cruising first thing at 8:50 am. It was so awesome. The water was very calm and there was ice, but no wind, and just below freezing. We tons of penguins swimming, and we saw two seals lounging on a hunk of ice/iceberg(?). One appeared to be injured as we saw a gash and blood on the ice. There was a bird hanging with them and it had blood on it, too. Then there was a fur seal in the water and it came right up to our zodiac! It was hunting, we think, the penguins. We saw the penguins moving toward us, then we saw the seal and the penguins must have heard or sensed it, because the next thing we knew, they were swimming faster in the direction from which they came. We got close to an iceberg too. It was cloudy, but visability was good. They say the area we are in is the most scenic in Antarctica and by being here in the early spring, before the ice/snow melts, it is that much better. We are at Damoy Point in Dorian Bay.

    We came back to the ship, delayered and hung in the room until lunch, then back to rest for 15 minutes until we had to layer up for our landing. We, thankfully, were the first group out. Difficult was the word. We landed on wet rocks that looked like granite. We were aided by the expedition team to a very, very steep incline with man-made steps of snow. With the help of the expedition team and a rope we made our way/pulled ourselves up the very steep steps of snow. It was a workout. We got our walking steps and kept going uphill-very much up hill, through a narrow path through deep snow that the expedition team made. We could see the blue color of the glacier ice under our footsteps and pole holes. Sometimes we'd sink up to our knees in snow. We had two choices- go left to the first penguin colony or uphill to the next colony-we went up hill. The views were so stunning even under overcast skies. Penguins were moving around and seemed very leery of humans. They turned around several times along the "penguin highway"(their path from nesting area to the water). We got to the top and took pictures, but our area was somewhat confined due to safety. I hear a noise behind me and saw a guy down on one knee proposing! He had a diamond bracelet for her because he was afraid to bring up a ring. Their group knew what he was going to do and was lined up taking pictures.

    We slowly made our way down the slope as others were making their way up the same narrow path. We stopped to meet up with a friend, who had taken the easier path but had fallen. He was up by that point, but wanted Stu to take a picture of him with signs he had made. I started down because I did not want to block the way. They got stuck up there because the penguins decided to try to get to their nesting area and you don't cross a penguin highway when they are moving. I was close enough to get video, but Stu and Doug were right there. Eventually, the penguins completed their journey and Stu caught up with me and we headed down to the landing site.

    A group was coming up, so we had to wait to go down. We waited on the right for them to get up, except for "me first" who stood on the left, blocking their way". SMH. Getting down to that steep, steps was interesting. You had to hold on to the rope and go down backwards. I was doing really well, until one very steep step which was difficult for the taller people let alone all 4 ft. 8 inches of me. I said I would crawl down the two huge steps, and they said I could slide down! I was thrilled. Sliding was so much fun! I landed at the rocks and was helped up the the expedition crew and walked over the rocks, which now had rubber mats. I was too short to get back into the zodiac the right way, so I got on what worked for me. I was happy to be back on zodiac.

    Got back to the ship, did the boot wash and sanitation and up to the cabin to get out of all those layers. We actually were hot because of how labor intensive the walk had been-we were there for a good 90 minutes. We joined friends for a pre dinner drink and then everyone went their own way to dinner. We will meet up later tonight.

    I'll edit and upload pictures tomorrow after my massage and facial as we head back through the Drake Passage. The Drake Shake should be easier/calmer than coming down here.

  5. #95
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    What an amazing day. I so appreciate your posting about your adventure. Great photos too!!

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  6. #96
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    WoW what an incredible journey Robin.
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  7. #97
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    This journey sounds absolutely incredible. I love all of your photos, too. Do you think it would have been better had you gone in March as originally planned?
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village

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  8. #98
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    I uploaded the pictures from two days ago-both the cruising and landing. Pictures do not do Antarctica justice.

    Not much to tell about yesterday. Coming down we were rocking side to side a lot in the Drake, but going back we are rocking in more ways that I knew was possible. I did have my massage and facial and spent most of the day in the cabin-not motion sickness, but my neck really hurt and something I ate did not agree with me. We went to the auction to benefit Hurtigruten's green initiatives in areas they travel. We were thrilled to win a large map outlining our route-one side is the overall route and the other side is just Antarctica. It was signed by the expedition crew and we had our picture taken with the captain.We will look at getting a two sided frame for it. I know they make them, but they may not make them that large. We might need to have it custom made.

    Today I am feeling a little better. We did the tour of the bridge-everything is computer based. The ship is controlled by a joystick. It is the most up-to-date technology-the ship launched in July 2019. The bridge is very sleek and the ship really rocks up there. Came back and packed, then dropped off our muckboots and Weddell Seal patch(boat group) at our assigned time.
    Last edited by robin; 11-09-2022 at 06:37 AM.

  9. #99
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Absolutely loving the photos. That uphill trek was something!!

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  10. #100
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Past few days:

    Finally, after bouncing like a ping pong ball in the Drake, it calmed down after lunchtime. It was so rough in the AM, that a friend grabbed a sneeze guard at breakfast so he would not fall, but pulled it down and it hit glasses, which one by one got knocked over or broke. I was not there to see it. We attended a lecture on icebergs, and global warming-very, very interesting and of course packed. Had drinks with friends one last time before going to bed.

    Yesterday, we disembarked the ship at 830 and boarded buses for a tour of the area outside of Ushuaia. A short hike was included. It was beautiful county-mountains with glacier, green trees, etc. However; it poured and was very, very muddy. Of course the sun came out after we had warm drinks and a bite to eat and got back on the bus. The tour took us right to the airport.

    We were on the last chartered flight to Buenos Aires. Security is very much relaxed at this very small airport, which makes Aruba look like a hub, compared to the US and elsewhere. Did not have time to grab lunch, but they feed us on the plane(not great). They assigned seats at the airport and we got our seats across the aisle from each other without asking. I, unfortunately, got the aisle grumpy Santa and "me first" was in. He is huge and took up part of her space, so she took up part of mine. Stu owes me big time! I did make sure they were not first off of the plane. we were row 17 and I sat, then stood blocking their way until it was our rows turn. And I loudly said to Stu," I guess with 16 rows and 6 to a row, minus a few seats in first class, that there are 90-100 people who get off before us". "me first", who had been complaining that she needed to get out and move, finally shut up" I don't usually label people, but these two were just awful. I got up to stretch my back twice and the guy behind Stu just gave me a pitiful look and motioned his head toward the couple next to me.

    I was so happy to get off the plane. We got our luggage and a taxi and were at the hotel around 7 pm. Nothing opened for dinner until 8pm. We all dined nextdoor at a Peruvian place and called it a night. BTW, 10 pm is the dinner rush in Buenos Aires is 9 or 10 pm. ugh.

    I Was able to upload all the pictures to Google this morning.

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