Reminiscing - Antarctica: Other worldly at the bottom of the world

antartica_ snowstorrn  

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. … words of wisdom from Mark Twain

Continuing in our series of reminiscent posts, Antarctica has to be one of the most exciting trips we've ever taken. The White Continent is not a usual destination and only recently has it really been accessible to visitors. Hope you don't mind the reminiscing a bit. Part of the pleasure of living aboard and cruising is sharing the experiences with other people.

We were moored in Ushuaia, Argentina at the bottom of the world, having completed the 1,200 mile passage through the Patagonian canals from Puerto Montt, Chile. Friends had flown into Ushuaia and when we met up with them, they shared with us their excitement over an upcoming scheduled passage to Antarctica aboard “the little red boat”.




We followed their lead and found that if we waited and booked a last minute passage, we could take advantage of half fare savings for a 10-day excursion trip to the Antarctic peninsular. Though it really wasn't quite in the budget, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we took it. No regrets.




The trip was incredible. We were mesmerized by the ice floe and huge ice bergs. Weather varied between biting cold, wind and blizzards and sunshine and blue skies.




There was even some green moss poking through in places, contrasting sharply with the dark, barren rock and shale.


antarctica_vernadsky vodka toast


We had 12 trips ashore and each one was an adventure unto itself. We visited historical sites like the British Lockroy station where we had our passports stamped. We tossed back a vodka shooter at Vernadsky, a Ukranian research station which proclaimed itself the most southern bar on the planet.


antarctica_chinstrap penguins


But the real thrill was the wildlife … up close and personal. Who knew there were so many different kinds of penguins? Chinstraps, adelies, gentoos.


antarctica danco readingsigns


The rules about approaching the penguins were strict, but there were no rules about them approaching us … and they did.


antarctica_penguins whalebones


Seals, birds, whales … all thrive in this hostile environment and we shared it with them for just a moment. The bad news? Both of our digital cameras died due to cold and exposure, never to be revived, but we managed lots of photos prior to their demise.

Come with us for a quick tour here or linger awhile on our website.

Oh, and by the way, there is a Lonely Planet Antarctica guide available, believe it or not, and it was pretty darned good.


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