A Travellerspoint blog

January 2007

McNaught's Comet

Although it is now past the witching hour, I cannot in good conscience fall asleep until I have made some attempt to record the amazing site I just witnessed. We are currently heading due south; after leaving Ushuaia today, we began our journey to Antarctica via Cape Horn and the Drake Passage. Tonight on our starboard side, that would be the right side of the ship and due west in this case for all you non-nautical types, McNaught’s comet was visible and absolutely spectacular. Some friends and I headed up to deck 12 (top deck) around midnight, and the horizon was still an orange hue at this late hour. Wispy clouds parted to clear a path for the comet as it seemingly made its way to the ocean, and the sight was superbly beautiful and serene. This description certainly does not do the view justice, but I am pretty certain that no photo could capture the power either, and so I will have to be content with the picture in my mind. I’m sorry that I am not better able to share what I witnessed with you all; this world continually amazes me with its beauty, despite all the ugliness that exists as well. The awesomeness of the natural world that I have witnessed over the past two weeks certainly does a lot to counteract much of the unpleasantness that I know is present around as well. The wildlife, the landscape, some fabulous people, and just the majestic nature of the places I have seen have left me in awe. And definitely wanting more… I have much more to share, but this will have to suffice for the time being. Don’t forget to look up now and again.

Posted by lindseytj 15:53 Archived in Antarctica Comments (1)

Penguins, penguins everywhere

We have just experienced two of the most awe-inspiring days in South Georgia. It hardly seems fair that I have been able to visit such remote and fantastic places, but I’ll take it. Yesterday we were in Grytviken, South Georgia, where Ernest Shackleton’s grave is located. I had just finished reading Endurance the night before, and that really added an element of gravity and wonder to the place for me. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, in the early 1900s, Shackleton and his team headed out from South Georgia for Antarctica, with the objective of sailing to the continent and then completing the first ever trans-Antarctic expedition. However, their ship became frozen in the ice, eventually sank, and 522 days after leaving South Georgia, Shackleton and five of his men made it back. They then rescued the other 22 men who had been left behind at Elephant Island. All the men survived, and my synopsis does the story no justice at all----read the book. It’s amazing, and then to be able to visit his grave and witness a slice of what he had to overcome----it was very humbling and powerful. The day itself was also spectacular. We’ve been experiencing a lot of fog and rain, but yesterday was simply beautiful. Sunny and 50 degrees F; we couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Today we arrived at St. Andrew’s Bay, where we ran zodiac landings. So much fun! This island was spectacular because of the sheer number of penguins that were present. The colony was over half a million strong! Penguins were everywhere. There were also elephant and fur seals. Fur seals are very aggressive; small but feisty. They will charge after you, growling, and you have to clap your hands to scare them away. They also have a very infectious bite, but luckily nobody has been bitten yet!

I can’t even fully describe what I am experiencing. Suffice to say that it is beyond words.penguinseverywhere.jpg

Posted by lindseytj 13:06 Archived in Antarctica Comments (0)

A new career path?

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Today we are back at sea, so I’ve actually had a little bit of time to do some reflecting and writing. Yesterday I assisted with my first cold water landing. There is nothing sexier than me in hip waders…well, maybe a few things! My job was to stand in the ocean up to about my waist and help bring in the zodiacs as they ferried residents and guests from the ship to Sea Lion Island. It was awesome! I wish that I could do that all the time, instead of my normal duties. I think that I’m going to have to find out how I can get on the path to becoming an expedition team member. It was so cool to see gentoo penguins swimming and leaping in the water as we stood waiting for zodiacs to arrive. I also saw about 45 elephant seals basking and burping on the beach. How cool is that?! We had another landing earlier in the day at Bleaker Island, and apparently there were Rockhopper penguins there, but I wasn’t on shore to help out with that landing. We also went to East Falkland Island a few days ago. It’s a pretty slow island, but it was exciting to be there just for historical reasons. It was interesting to see and feel the obvious cultural differences between Ushuaia and the other South American locales we have visited and the Falklands, which is a UK territory. We have another sea day tomorrow, and then we will be arriving in South Georgia, and I’m sure I will have more to report at that time. Go Pats!!!!DSC_0004.jpg

Posted by lindseytj 13:48 Archived in Falkland Islands Comments (0)

The End of the World

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After organizing some photos tonight, I realized just how many places I have already visited, how quickly time is passing by, and how I've already forgotten details of some of the places I've been. It's hard enough to keep track of events and places when you're traveling in a whirlwind fashion, but when adding a crazy work schedule on top of the travel, it's no wonder things are a blur!

Currently I have no children onboard, so it will be interesting to see what my schedule is like in the days to come. We just left Ushuaia, Argentina, which is the world's southern-most city, and may just be my favorite destination of this journey thus far. It reminded me of Switzerland, and I would have no problem spending an extended amount of time there in the future. We are now on our way to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and I will be assisting with some of the landings in the coming days, which I am very excited about. I also hope to see some penguins and seals, and I can't believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity. We had a meeting with the expedition team for Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica, and I am so impressed with the work and cool things they get to do! That's the job I want! So all in all, things are going very well right now, and I'm happy to be right where I am. Be sure to check out my pictures at yahoo.

Posted by lindseytj 14:47 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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