December 10, 2010

Antarctica – 30 days in

It’s been busy past month for me down here at the bottom of the world. For a start we have covered over 7000km in the Southern Ocean… Travelling on a ship doesn’t always live up to the romantic ideas you dream up on solid ground. Especially when you’re travelling on a shallow draft ship that loves to roll. 100km/hr winds and 11m seas will quickly dowse many of those early daydreams of the open seas. Those feelings can be quickly replaced with feelings of nausea and general unrest. It’s all part of the tax you have to pay though. There is something amusing about being turfed out of bed and onto the floor in the middle of the night.

My high seas adventure begins (and will finish) in Ushuia, Argentina. From here we sailed the infamous Beagle Channel to the South Shetland Islands. Somewhere along the way you cross the polar front. It is here where true Antarctic waters meet with the warmer (I use the term loosely) waters of the Sub- Antarctic. This is where all the action really begins. The waters of the Antarctic are nutrient rich meaning that there is life a plenty. Small things eat little things and in turn are eaten by bigger things.

The bird life is pretty amazing on the sail south. At any given time, half a dozen bird species follow the ship on its journey south.

Our first stop in the South Shetlands and then onto the peninsular. Towering peaks, glaciers, ice falls and massive icebergs in any direction. This is earth but not as I have known it.

All of this world happening around me and I’m being paid to be here. Jackpot! It almost feels greedy having not one, but many of the coolest jobs on the planet. I have to kayak around all this majesty with some pretty cool people. Life is good in the south… and I got to step foot on my seventh continent. A very cool feeling.

So 30 days in and we have covered a lot of ground. After our initial trip to the Antarctic Peninsular we were battered back across the Drake to Ushuaia and our new adventure. From here we cut a track east to the Falkland Island and some amazing wildlife. Albatross, penguin, dolphins and more whales than I have even seen. After a scenic stop in Stanley we headed further afield and out to one of the coolest places on the planet. South Georgia.

More to come on that later....


Heng Yirui said...

Seriously dude.

One hour ashore before you leave civilization for another month and your priority was to update your blog!

Cool stuff though!

Catch you when you're back to civilization. Schweet.


Finally we see your new world! Thanks for taking the time to let us look into the rabbit hole. K

Anne Shiau said...

sorry! couldn't find u on facebook. way too many ben jacksons. anyways, here's a link to my Antarctica pix when you're back on shore and have time to browse... :)

hope you're doing well! it sounds like you're having a great time!