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Antarctica & the Falkland Islands

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S: Antarctica & the Falkland Islands

FC: Beautiful wondrous Antarctica | The amazing Falkland Islands

1: Join us, Yolaine and Alain, on our unforgettable journey to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands, January 12 to 18, 2012. | Temp: 37F to 57F Weather: gentle breeze to strong gale Sea: calm to rough Nautical Miles: 2179

3: It was very foggy on our first day of travel, on our way to Antarctica. We crossed our fingers and hoped that we would have clear skies for the rest of our adventurous expedition.

4: Deception Island is one of the islands in the South Shetland Island chain. It was formed by a volcanic crater and when part of the crater collapsed, sea water rushed in the caldera and created one of the largest natural harbors (about 10 miles across) in the world. The harbor is protected from passing icebergs. It is thought that American seal hunter Nathaniel B. Palmer was the first to discover the harbor in late 1820 as a haven for seal hunters. Later is was used by whaling ships and as a site for a whaling station. Permanent research stations on the island established by the British in the 1940's and 1960's were abandoned because of the volcanic eruptions. The hot springs make it a popular tourist stop during the austral summer.

6: BEAUTIFUL ANTARCTICA Arrived January 14, 2012 | Due to seas being too rough to go to Ushuaia, Argentina, our Captain decided to spend an extra day in Antarctica. We got to see a lot more than we otherwise would have!

7: That must have been an awesome sailing trip! Hopefully it wasn't too rough for them. We at times heard loud boom sounds when we hit icebergs and we had one night where we had to hold on to our beds! | We had high swells on the way to Antarctica and both of us got seasick. Decks were cordoned off when it was too dangerous to be outside.

10: Enterprise Island is 1.5 miles long and was given its name due to the whaling enterprise that was stationed there at Four Harbor, during the period of 1916-1930. It is home to the partially submerged wreck of the whaling ship "Governor", which caught fire in 1916 and was deliberately run aground in order to save and evacuate the crew. No fatalities were noted.

11: We picked up scientists from the Palmer Station

12: Scientists from the Palmer station came to talk to us about research in Antarctica. This station is open all year round with about 20 people in the winter and 40 in the summer. It is named after Nathaniel B. Palmer, recognized as the first American to see Antarctica.

13: The Argentine Base Esperanza is located in Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula. It is one of only two civilian settlements in Antarctica. Built in 1952, the base houses 55 inhabitants in winter including 10 families and two school teachers.

16: We are now, by way of the Antarctic Treaty, officially considered to be expeditioneers!

17: Yolaine with one of the cabin stewards that took care of the room. | Alain calling everyone to supper at 1700 sharp!

20: Icebergs seen when sailing through the channels. Our very experienced Ice Pilot, Dick Taylor, was in charge of maneuvering us safely around these breathtaking icebergs.

21: Well folks we see some penguin excrement on the upper left iceberg. That can only mean one thing...

23: If you look closely you will see that there are thousands of penguins here. The pink color is penguin excrement, colored by their diet of krill.

26: Beautiful sunset and sunrise in Antarctica. Only 4.5 hours from sunset to sunrise. Alain made sure I was up to capture it!

29: Day gave way to night and our time in amazing Antarctica was over.

31: We were so grateful that the weather was good enough to tender off the ship! In for a very rough ride on our way to see the penguins! | pop

35: We stopped here for a rest from our 2.5 hour back-breaking incredibly bumpy ride! Can't wait to see the penguins up close!

37: Back on the road again after the lead driver helped another driver that had gotten stuck

38: Gentoo Penguins So awesome to finally see the penguins! Visitors are only allowed on the reserve three times per week and of course have to be very respectful of these wonderful creatures. | Gentoo penguins stand about 30 to 35 inches (75 to 95 cm) tall.

39: They can weigh about 13 pounds (6 kg). They eat mostly krill and some small fish. There are about 300,000 pairs.

40: Gentoo penguins carry and pile stones, pebbles, grass and sticks to make a circle for their nest. They will fight over or take nest building material away from other bird nests. A male penguin can obtain favors from a female by offering her a nice stone. Two eggs are laid inside this circle and both parents tend to the eggs, which hatch after 34 to 36 days. After about 80 to 100 days the chicks grow their adult feathers and go out to sea on their own.

41: King Penguins

42: There is little difference in plumage between the male and female. Males measure up to 3 ft (90 cm) in height and weigh up to 35 lb (16 kg) and females are slightly smaller. An immature bird will have yellow, rather than orange-tinged markings, and gray tips to its black brown feathers. It moults into adult plumage after reaching two years of age. The total population is estimated to be 2.23 million pairs and is increasing. King penguins eat small fish, squid and some krill and other crustaceans. | So amazing to be walking with King Penguins!

43: Now that's duckitude! Love the stylish yellow rain boots! | Don't you touch that egg! | Yummy egg!

46: Magellanic Penguins | Grow to be 61โ€“76 cm (24โ€“30 in) tall | Weigh between 2.7 kg and 6.5 kg (5.9-14.3 lbs) | Live up to 25 years in the wild

47: Two eggs are laid. Incubation lasts 39โ€“42 days and parents share in 10-15 day shifts.

50: Remains of a helicopter from the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina. It was abandoned in a field. Our guide didn't know if it was British or Argentinian.

51: The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with Argentina's surrender on June 14 1982. Casualties: 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders.

52: A walk around Port Stanley, Falkland Islands | The strength of the Falkland Island forces before British reinforcement was 68 Marines and 11 Sailors. Major Phil Summers tasked the volunteer militiamen with guarding the telephone exchange, the radio station and the power station. Skipper Jack Sollis, on board the civilian coastal ship Forrest, operated his ship as an improvised radar screen station off Stanley. Two other civilians, former Marine Jim Alister and a Canadian citizen, Bill Curtis, also offered their services to the Governor.

53: At 4.30pm on April 2, 1982, the Governor's telex operator had this conversation with a Ministry of Defence operative in London, announcing that the islands were under Argentine control. LON (London): HELLO THERE WHAT ARE ALL THESE RUMOURS WE HEAR THIS IS LON FK (Falklands): WE HAVE LOTS OF NEW FRIENDS LON: WHAT ABOUT INVASION RUMOURS FK: THOSE ARE THE FRIENDS I WAS MEANING LON: THEY HAVE LANDED FK: ABSOLUTELY LON: ARE YOU OPEN FOR TRAFFIC IE NORMAL TELEX SERVICE FK: NO ORDERS ON THAT YET ONE MUST OBEY ORDERS LON: WHOSE ORDERS FK: THE NEW GOVERNORS LON: ARGENTINA FK: YES LON: ARE THE ARGENTINIANS IN CONTROL FK: YES YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH THOUSANDS OF TROOPS PLUS ENORMOUS NAVY SUPPORT WHEN YOU ARE ONLY 1600 STRONG. STAND BY.

57: Onto the life boats and back to the ship. Puerto Madryn, Argentina tomorrow! See our South America photobook for the rest of our adventures! | Such a memorable and awesome day spent in the Falkland Islands!

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  • By: Yolaine P.
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  • Title: Antarctica & the Falkland Islands
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