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I left my heart in Uummannaq: Greenland with Acacia Johnson

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By: Acacia Johnson

I first watched Uummannaq appear from the sea. In the golden haze of morning light, a single spire loomed silhouetted on the horizon; icebergs filling the ocean ahead. Mountains lined both side of the ship, purple in the glow of dawn, glaciers zigzagging their way towards the sea. As the sun’s rays began to pour over the land, the colorful houses of Uummannaq came into view, perched upon the red stone of the town’s heart-shaped mountain.

Uummannaq  by Acacia Johnson Uummannaq comes into view

 

Uummannaq struck me initially as a place of impossibility, so surreal did it first appear. Lined up in the sea beside it stood a massive wall of gargantuan icebergs, like immense ships waiting their turn to enter port. As we neared the town, part of one calved and collapsed into the sea; a flurry of commotion ensued as fishermen and hunters rushed to clear their boats from the harbor should a tsunami result. We soon learned that only the day before, one of the mammoth icebergs had overturned, causing a wave that wreaked havoc upon the town and destroyed several boats. A certain uncertainty hung in the air around the icebergs, a peculiar mixture of awe and fear in the face of their crystalline beauty. With a watchful eye towards the sea, however, life on shore resumed as usual.

I accompanied a group of travellers with Elizabeth, a Greenlandic woman who smiled all the time and spoke softly in Danish for me to translate. Beckoning happily, she led us far up the slopes of the village, the view growing more and more spectacular as we climbed. Eventually we reached the summit, where panoramic views of the colorful Danish kit houses, the red stone landscape, and the icy sea surrounded us in all their glory. Inside her mountaintop home, Elizabeth had prepared a feast of local cuisine – narwhal, seal fat, seal soup, halibut, cakes, and coffee. I sat for a while, letting a piece of seal fat dissolve in my mouth like butter, marveling at Elizabeth’s family photos scattered in frames across the walls. What a life, I thought, to awake every day looking down at this.

 

 

Uummannaq views by Acacia Johnson An incredible view

 

Later that afternoon we watched some hunters pulling pilot whales into the harbor behind their boats, following them as they proceeded to butcher the animals on the shore behind town. With the hunters’ permission, I found myself holding the fins of the whale in my hand, amazed by their thin and paperlike skin and sharp teeth. So much food, I remember thinking, looking at the thick layer of blubber underneath the animal’s skin. Crimson pooled at the ocean’s edge as hunting boats zipped back and forth in the sun.

 

 

Hunters in Uummannaq by Acacia Johnson Hunters pulling whales

 

Our new Greenlandic friends accompanied us aboard ship that night as we cruised up and down the coast in the sunset light. The scenery, more dazzling than ever in the magenta hue of dusk, took my breath away, but it was Elizabeth’s reaction to her own home that made the deepest impression. Together we stood out on deck, speechless at the overwhelming beauty of the land. She gestured towards her town, her mountain. Hjerte, she said softly, holding her hand over her heart. Understanding she was speaking of more than just the mountain’s shape, I nodded in agreement. I would not forget Uummannaq.

 

 

 

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We Hope You Had The Time of Your Life

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Below is a blog from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg. Diane is aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

The leopard seal darts around our zodiac with finesse and curiosity. It twists, turns and tosses about, keeping us guessing where, after each dive, it might surface again. There it is, at our stern, its large triangular head and thick muscular neck perched well above the water’s surface as it watches us. A splash soon follows and it disappears into the depths again. We shuffle restlessly in the zodiac. Where did it go? Moments later it reappears as a sleek grey and white mass underwater beside us. It glides along our port side with one stroke of its massive pectoral fins and turns its head up at us, its green eyes fluorescing through the water that separates us.

 

Leopard Seal and Zodiac Leopard seal around zodiac

We are in the picturesque Pléneau Bay, exploring by zodiac the maze of grounded icebergs that pack this shallow, sheltered bay. Winding our way around these magnificent works of nature, we admire towering bergs of a multitude of shapes and sizes. Some display a gentle golf ball-like sculpting on their surface while others stand tall with steep jagged edges. Holes, tunnels or arches feature on several and the colour of the ice varies from transparent to a deep, haunting blue. No matter their form, the bergs capture our imagination and compel us to call out an endless list of adjectives and similes in our quest to describe them.

Then, out of the blue, appears our friend the leopard seal. Determined to distract us from the icebergs it succeeds in keeping us its captive audience for the next 30 minutes. It continues its impressive displays, showing off its muscular body and razor sharp teeth. We look on, privileged observers to this outstanding encounter with an apex Antarctic predator. Any other plans we might have had for this afternoon’s zodiac cruise are abandoned and we settle in with our leopard seal for this rare and priceless viewing.

 

Leopard seal Leopard seal

Just like our afternoon in Pléneau Bay, wonderful surprises and changes of plan characterised our voyage to Antarctica. From a post-dinner encounter with a pod of Orca in Marguerite Bay to a wet, bumpy and foggy zodiac cruise in Cierva Cove that transformed unpredictably into a Humpback whale-fest, we made the most of every opportunity that came our way.

At the beginning of the voyage, Shane and the expedition team asked us to be flexible and ‘go with the expedition flow’. They promised that if we were receptive to their knowledge and passion, and were willing to see everything they had to show us, that our expectations of our Antarctic voyage would be exceeded.

 

Humpback whales Humpback whales

Finding ourselves at the end of our dream adventure to Antarctica it is hard to believe that we have achieved, shared and borne witness to all we have. Assembled together to view a slideshow of our voyage, lovingly compiled by guide and zodiac driver Liz Teague, we are steered through our journey all over again. Each of the fantastic photographs contributed by staff and guests triggers in each of us the vivid memories we have created and the heartfelt emotions we have expressed over these past 13 unforgettable days.

 

Ice cruising Ice cruising

Finally, Shane stands before us and, in bidding us farewell, asks us to listen to a song that he wishes to dedicate to us. “If you happen to hear this song some day in the future,” he says, “perhaps when you’re stuck in traffic or some other kind of jam, I hope you’ll think back to your time in Antarctica and that the memories we’ve created together will come flooding back”.

Seated together one last time, we reflected quietly as the soothing tones of a guitar, cello and voice filled up the room. “It’s something unpredictable,” went the chorus line, “but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.”

To all of you, our friends, who shared this incredible Crossing the Circle voyage with us on the Sea Spirit, we sincerely hope you had the time of your life.

Humpback whale

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Life is a Penguin Highway

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Below is a blog from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg. Diane is aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

Looking out from the Sea Spirit towards landfall, the shorelines and slopes all around us look pristine and untouched. Everything is ice and snow-covered, the Transantarctic Mountains tower overhead, icebergs glisten in crystal clear water and silence hangs in the air. The Antarctic Peninsula appears spotless, deserted and empty. But as we approach closer to land another story begins to unfold.

Cruising at Neko Harbour Zodiac cruising at Neko Harbour

Etched into the snowy slopes before us are long, deep trails. Some run vertically from sea to high rocky outcrops and others traverse the hillsides in a gentle meander. These trails, we learn, are penguin highways - busy thoroughfares used by penguins to transit from their nests to sea and back again. Through binoculars we see tiny black and white dots moving purposefully up and down these highways. Penguins!

 

Chinstrap Penguins Chinstrap penguins

Soon we spot penguins in the water around the ship. They porpoise along the water’s surface, overtake us and continue on towards the shore where chicks eagerly await the return of a parent with a full belly of krill, fish or squid. The Antarctic summer is short and intense for those handsome birds. Over the course of few months from November to March they have much to accomplish, including courting, nesting and mating, incubation and hatching, fending and feeding and, finally, fledging and moulting. We prepare ourselves to get into the zodiacs and go ashore to meet them, to walk alongside their busy highways and to marvel at their curious behaviours.

Onshore, we follow flagged routes to the penguin colonies where ornithologist Liliana Keslinka tells us about their life cycle and helps us to interpret their behaviours. Each site we visit, from the Penola Strait, Paradise Bay and Port Lockroy right up to the South Shetland Islands reveals a different story about the humble penguin. And each species we encounter amuses us with its characteristic temperament. We each have our favourite penguin species amongst the easy-going Gentoos, aloof Adelies and feisty Chinstraps.

 

Gentoo feeding Gentoo feeding

At some sites, we encounter small, fragile chicks that are guarded constantly by one parent while the other is foraging at sea. Brown skuas patrol the colonies relentlessly, waiting eagerly for a chance to pluck a chick from a distraught parent. Some of us root for the penguins’ survival while others secretly hope for a little drama and destruction.

At other sites, we find colonies that are much further advanced. Here, chicks are almost fully-fledged, ready to lose the last of their downy chick feathers and take to the sea, fully independent and exposed. They stand there at the shore unmoving and indifferent and we wonder what they might be thinking. Are they eager to experience their inaugural polar plunge or do they hesitate, afraid of the leopard seals that lurk in the shadows of these chilly waters.

Back on the ship in the late afternoon, relaxing, indulging and reflecting on yet another fantastic excursion, it occurs to some of us to look towards landfall once again. Through binoculars we see those tiny black and white dots still moving purposefully up and down those penguin highways. Here we are, changed into dry, warm clothing, soothed by velvety hot chocolate and welcomed home with warm hospitality. Out there they are, working night and day in the cold, wind and driving snow with little rest or protection.

 

Adelie penguin Adelie penguin

How humbled we all feel by our encounter with this handsome and curious bird, which standing barely as high as our knees has earned our eternal respect and admiration.

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Stepping Back into Polar History

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Below is a blog from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg. Diane is aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

What would it be like to live in Antarctica for a year or more? Could you survive the isolation, dark and cold? What would you miss most from home? What might you learn about yourself in that time? These were some of the questions we asked ourselves and each other as we explored Horseshoe Island.

Situated in Marguerite Bay, south of the Antarctic Circle, Horseshoe Island is home to Base Y, which is an unaltered and completely equipped British scientific research station of the 1950s. Occupied continuously from 1955-60, it was home to up to ten expeditioners at a time, including surveyors, mechanics, radio operator, geologists, doctor and meteorologists, whose tours of duty lasted 2 ½ years.

 

Base Y Horseshoe Island Base Y Horseshoe Island

As historian Victoria Salem guided us through Base Y, we examined thousands of artifacts inside each room including kitchen utensils, stocks of food and fuel, workshop tools, radio equipment and diesel generator. So well preserved and curated was this historic site that it felt as though its previous tenants had left it only yesterday, and as though we could move in tomorrow.

 

Artifacts inside Base Y Artifacts inside Base Y

Outside again, we mulled over the stories Victoria had shared with us while enjoying panoramic views out to sea ice-encased Sally Cove. Over 20 Weddell seals could be seen resting on the sea ice, posing their blubbery grey bodies, lavish whiskers and adorable catlike smiles for us with effortless elegance. A few of us stayed long enough and quiet enough to hear their other-worldly vocalisations. We love Weddell seals!

Meanwhile, geologist Luke Saffigna encouraged us to admire and understand another aspect of this fascinating site – the rich turquoise-coloured malachite veins that adorned the rocks all around us. A copper-rich mineral which was injected into joints and fissures of the surrounding rock, the copper was then oxidised when exposed to air and transformed into this brilliant shade of green.

Whether we had come to Antarctica for the wildlife, history or landscape, Horseshoe Island offered something for everyone.

 

Detaille Island Detaille Island

Over the course of the three days we spent south of the Antarctic Circle, we visited more British and American historic bases at Stonington and Detaille Islands, and ship cruised the ice-spangled fjords of Marguerite Bay. As we crossed the Antarctic Circle again and sailed further north along the Peninsula we spared a thought for the expeditioners of the 1950s. We thought about the extraordinary scientific work they managed to complete whilst living at the mercy of the Antarctic elements. But mostly we thought about how lucky they were to call Antarctica home.

 

East Base - Stonington Island East Base - Stonington Island

 

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Antarctic Circle: a voyage fit for a king

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Below is a voyage update from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg. Diane is currently aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

“Those who come seeking permission to cross the Antarctic Circle and enter into Neptune’s waters come forward now and kneel before the King!” This is the brute and booming proclamation that confronts us as we anxiously await our initiation…

It is February 20th and the Sea Spirit has brought us safely and smoothly to the Antarctic Circle. Few expeditions aim for this ambitious goal and even fewer achieve it; the ice in this region of the Antarctic Peninsula is notorious for blocking the way of those daring to venture this far south. But following two and half days at sea, we find ourselves at latitude 66°33’44’’ South. We have reached the Antarctic Circle.

 

King Neptune King Neptune

Right now, our continued passage to the southern side of the Circle remains uncertain. We must first meet with Neptune, King of the Sea, and be granted rite of passage to his waters. So we gather in the chill of a breezy Antarctic morning, donning our most quirky and creative sea-inspired attire, and hoping that our efforts and actions will be deemed satisfactory. Many of us emerge from our cabins as an assortment of kooky sea critters. There are several penguins and a spurting humpback whale. One of us has made a trident from a monopod and kitchen forks. This is serious Neptune-impressing business.

The brute, booming proclaimer before us is Neptune’s henchman, a surly character with a head of green seaweed hair, pale skin and dark empty eyes. She orders us forward one at a time to kneel before King Neptune and his wife, who sit unperturbed at their throne, decked out in regal robes and jewels, and bearing an uncanny resemblance to our kayak guide Kevin Sampson and expedition physician Dr Barbra Villona.

 

Kissing the toe Kissing Neptune's toe

Neptune’s foot rests on a stool, his big blue toes exposed for all to see, and we are now told to lower our heads and kiss it. We do so, watched on by Neptune, his wife and a band of henchmen, mermaids and pirates. Satisfied of our toe-kissing ability, the henchman brands our faces with the trident tattoo and we are made to drink a vile concoction they call ‘Neptune’s Grog’. Thus, we are initiated and, one by one, granted passage to the icy waters south of the Circle.

 

Passenger with Neptune's Grog Passenger drinking Neptune's Grog

Finally, with all of us fully initiated, Neptune stands and speaks. “I, Neptune, King of the Sea, grant you, the passengers of this sturdy vessel permission to enter my waters. Be safe and respectful of the wonders you encounter here and you will be rewarded.” Our cheers echo around the ship and signal Captain Oleg to proceed. Into the enchanted waters of Marguerite Bay and Crystal Sound we go!

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Voyage update: Throwing the Lines & Embarking on Adventure

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Below is a voyage update from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg. Diane is currently aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark's Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

At 5pm, the Oceanus Lounge hums with the collective energy and anticipation of 110 intrepid travelers embarking on their dream adventure – a voyage to the Antarctic Circle. Following warm words of welcome from Quark’s expedition team and the crew of the M/V Sea Spirit, Expedition Leader Shane Evoy rallies the group with a simple question: ‘Who wants to go to Antarctica?’ The answer is an immediate, boisterous and resounding cheer from each and every person in the room.

 

Quark team member and passengers Quark team member Luke Saffigna & passengers on deck

With this, our ropes are thrown, we depart the Ushuaia dock and our adventure of a lifetime begins. Spilling onto the ship’s outer decks, we mingle with fellow travelers, steal glimpses of passing Peale’s dolphins and South American terns and reflect on the civilization we’re leaving behind. All this while admiring the stillness of Darwin Range silhouettes against a dusky Tierra del Fuegan sky.

 

Sea Spirit Departs in Ushuaia Sea Spirit departing in Ushuaia

Later in the evening, we’ve settled in, been fed like kings and queens and are geared up in iridescent yellow Quark parkas. We tumble into our beds and are rocked to sleep by the gentle rolling as the Sea Spirit steers us forward. At midnight, leaving the Beagle Channel behind us we make our turn into the Drake Passage and a sea of endless possibilities. Our next destination is 700 nautical miles to our south - the Antarctic Circle.

For more information on this amazing Antarctic voyage, visit: Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition

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Crossing the Circle: voyage update

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Below is an insightful update from Expedition Leader David "Woody" Wood. David is leading Quark's Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

19 January 2014

We closed quickly in on the Antarctic Circle after crossing a kind Drake Passage. Shortly after 3:30 a.m., the ship was woken to celebrate the crossing; everyone gathered to toast the Circle – some in pajamas supplemented with jackets others in full expedition garb. Watchers were rewarded with fields of ice, Adélie penguins and crabeater seals aplenty.

During the day we glimpsed an emperor penguin at sea; an unusual sighting indeed, but we had a few fleeting glimpses thanks to the rapid action from the spotter and the bridge team. Minke, orca, and sei whales also blessed us with their presence; a zodiac cruise amongst the sea-ice and towering bergs was with a range of seals. We had only experienced a day in this grand landscape and its wildlife and already we were all touched by this special place.

20 January 2014

A landing at Vernadsky Station for a tour of an active research station was complemented by some wonderful zodiac cruising. Majestic ice crackled and shone, seals lazed and penguins continued their journey of life.

Later in the day we spotted whales as we sailed through the Yalours; we were rewarded first with glimpses of orcas and later a relaxed humpback whale. We saw a multitude of Adélie penguins with lots of big fluffy chicks. The light softened slowly as we gazed at icebergs and floes shimmering in the horizon as pink hues filled the night sky.

 

Vernadsky Station Vernadsky Station, photo courtesy of Quark Passenger.

21 January 2014

A landing on Petermann Island gave us masses of gentoos and Adélies and nesting blue-eyed shags, and of course great views of the grand landscape. Humpback whales patrolled the waters as our zodiacs cruised by.

A remaining piece of sea-ice floating around Pleneau provided a seal extravaganza; over forty seals lolled luxuriantly on the ice. Many were crabeaters but some were the menacing and reptilian leopard seal. We sidled between icebergs in an amazing gallery of ice as they towered overhead and beyond them snow-capped mountains pierced the sky; Shapes, textures and colours of every variety and on a huge scale were seen amongst the icebergs.

Our resident penguinologists Tom Hart, from Penguin Lifelines, worked at Port Charcot to check their cameras set to capture images of the colony and gather data about the penguins’ nesting habits. Back on board we enjoyed a BBQ on deck; a more perfect or picturesque Antarctic setting could not have been chosen. As we finished our meal, we set sail through the Lemaire Channel. We soaked up the views from the outer decks of the ship, marvelling at the scale of this magical place.

22 January 2014

We had a wonderful morning with an amazing icy setting in Port Lockroy. There is a delightful museum (it’s like stepping back in time) and a gift shop so that we can all take a piece of the Antarctic with us! The resident gentoos were adorable as always.

History and nature once again were a wonderful coupling with the grandiose scenery at Dorion Bay. A commentary from our very own Polar expert, Bob Headland, added a great touch. Even the gentoos and their chicks provided a live commentary of their own!

At 9:30 p.m. the brave campers ventured forth. Their icy beds glistened in the softening light and despite the wind kicking up some waves, no one was deterred.

 

Gentoo Penguins Gentoo Penguins at Port Lockroy. Photo courtesy of Robyn Gumbley.

23 January 2014

The multitude of penguins against the glacial backdrop in Neko Harbour were absolutely entrancing. The walk to a high vantage point left many breathless but the sweeping views were a bountiful payment for their efforts.

A challenging climb at Orne Harbour gave great views and an appreciation of the hike the chinstrap penguins have to make. Zodiac cruisers enjoyed humpbacks-a-plenty with the odd crabeater seal.

24 January 2014

Paradise Harbour lived up to its name for those exploring by zodiac and by land. On land, climbing the mountain provided great views and time for reflection while those in zodiacs enjoyed wonderful ice crackling and popping and massive glacial fronts.

Seventy-nine passengers braved the icy waters as they took the polar plunge (there might have been a few shrieks, squeals and some cursing).

As we entered Wilhelmina Bay snow came in flurries and visibility was challenged. Sharp eyes on the bridge spotted a number of humpback whales and despite the snow, we gathered on the decks to enjoy their show.

 

Humpback Whale Humpback whale, photo courtesy of Norman Ratcliffe.

25 January 2014

Along Deception Island, the rocky caldera wall revealed no entrance until we came alongside the entrance to Port Foster. There was considerable excitement aboard as we sought to sail inside the caldera of a live volcano. Our geologist was giddy with excitement as we planned to spend the day at Deception Island. We sailed the narrow entrance known as Neptune’s Bellows and continued to the back of Port Foster. The wind was whistling now and snow was making it hard to discern details in the black ash. We landed and soon began a challenging walk to the crater rim. The weather improved and now the landscape was all black and white, a dramatic landscape of curves, rises and streams!

In the afternoon our landing provided more great geology; seals and penguins came to inspect us and we explored the swathe of remains of man’s exploitation and occupation of Deception Island. Blessed with Bob Headland, the doyen of polar history and geography we had ample opportunity to understand all that was before us.

We concluded our final excursion in fine spirits. Soon we would see what the Drake Passage had to offer...

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Wow moment: Quark passengers encounter humpback whales

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, and the passengers aboard Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, shared a once in a life time experience; being surrounded by humpback and orca whales. For close to three hours, a group of 50 whales were breaching, tail slapping and flaking around the zodiacs that were cruising in Wilhelmina Bay.

Fun fact: Reaching between 40 and 50 feet in length, a humpback whale can weigh up to 48 tons.

xWHITE-STEVEN-2-600x399.jpg.pagespeed.ic.PRUmM3M--W

Photo courtesy of Quark Passenger Steven White, from our Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage.

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Best Job In The World

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, who is leading Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, has experienced what most people can only dream of; a once in a life-time encounter with Humpback and Orca whales. Below is Shane's description of this phenomenal event:

 

Anonymous1 Pod of Orcas

Well when I wrote you to tell you about having the best office ever...it got better.

We started our cruise at 1430 in Wilhelmina and we had about ten humpback whales in the bay. In two hour that number went to 15 to 20 by the time we hit 3 hours we had over 50 whales with in sight and driving distance. They were breaching, tail slapping and flaking almost all the time. At one time two humpbacks breached at about the same time (one was hitting the water and the other was in the air) and about 10 metres from two Zodiacs. Then it got better. A pod of orcas came in to the bay, so all zodiacs had orcas around them, swimming up to and under.

The weather was 5 knots of wind and blue sky for the entire 4.5 hour cruise.with not one person wanting off the Zodiacs.

I have been working in Antarctica for 19 seasons and I have never had this encounter with so many and active wildlife. It was such a spiritual day. I will never forget it and I will share it for the rest of my life.

 

Feature photo courtesy of Quark passenger Steven White.

 

 

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Antarctic Explorer Update from David "Woody" Wood

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Feature photo: Ushuaia. Photo courtesy of Bei Maarten.

Quark Expedition Leader David "Woody" Wood is aboard the Ocean Diamond, leading the Antarctic Explorer Voyage:

2nd December: Ushuaia

3-4 December

The Drake passage flexed some muscle as we crossed it to begin our voyage south. Winds raged above 84 knots as we sailed south and it rocked and rolled us. The Ocean Diamond managed the conditions masterfully but it moved us and not all wanted to rise from the horizontal resting position.

Our second sea day still provided some seas but the violence had decreased and with the gentling weather we were pleased to see some fin whales and then an avian orgy as we were joined by four elegant light manteled Sooty Albatross, a group of Antarctic petrels and a squadron of Cape petrels.

 

Drake Passage Drake Passage, photo courtesy of Brooke McClure.

5th December

Early risers enjoyed the splendid glacial views as we sailed into Wilhelmina Bay. Our climbers were dropped off and began their ascent. Soon we were all zodiac cruising this magnificent bay in bright clear calm conditions. Chinstrap and gentoo penguins decorated the islands and ice floes. A magnificent introduction to the scale and grandeur of the icy wilderness, Antarctica.

Cuverville Island

We climbed ice steps to be on the mini "polar plateau" at the gentoo colony. We enjoyed a march of and with the penguins as they stepped, skidded and slid their icy highways. Nest building and fortifying was in full swing as was energetic copulation.

Skiers ascended Ronge island and looked over an array of icebergs and icy mountains in all directions.

Kayakers paddled and drifted around the island enjoying shaggs on rocks, seals on ice an torpedoes of penguins.

 

Cuverville Island Gentoo penguin colony, Cuverville Island,. Photo courtesy of Quark Passenger.

At 21:30 the campers were boated to shore with simple supplys to celebrate an experience and survive a night on the ice. The sky was clear and as the light softened the temperature dropped. The icy crystal beds were a cool experience and the night for some seemed endless. Soon after six in the morning the boats returned to recover survivors and although there were many stories there were no regrets and no one perished!

Stay tuned for more exciting voyage updates!

Read Woody's recent updates from the Ocean Diamond: Lemaire, Ice fields, Neko Harbour & Polar plunge

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