S: antarctica 2012
BC: Rockwell Adventure Productions
FC: Antarctica 2012
1: Once Upon a time, in a land far, far away.... Two sisters decided it was time for a great adventure... and they chose.... ANTARCTICA This is the story of their adventures.
2: Buenos Aires was the first and last stop in our travels. It was an interesting city, but definitely not the highlight of our trip. We stayed in the Ricoleta (Italian District) on our way in and in the downtown district on the way out. We were definitely ready to get out of Buenos Aires on the way home as there was allot of civil unrest close to our hotel and we had to retreat to the Ricoleta and Port districts to feel safe. The South American airports were also an adventure, one that was survived only because of Liz's tenacity. | Buenos Aires, Argentina
4: Beautiful Ushuaia Argentina
6: We arrived in Ushuaia from Buenos Aires on December 30 and stayed at a lovely family run Bed and Breakfast called Hotel Foike. We had a very comfortable room, walking distance to town with beautiful city views, a place to hang laundry and a beautiful common room for our meals. | USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
7: We also enjoyed fine meals at the local restaurants and found a lovely wine shop from which we were able to gather supplies for dinner. The local shops provided lots of photo and shopping opportunities!!!
8: The next day, New Year's Eve was spent wandering the town and taking in the sights. In preparation for New Year's Eve festivities, the town was crazy busy and there were no dinner reservations to be had, so we gathered supplies and had a nice dinner of wine and cheese at our Hotel. The Hotel even provided a celebratory bottle of champagne. | USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
9: Puerto Ushuaia...
10: On New Year's Day, the town was quiet and resting from all of its reverie so we took a taxi to explore the Martial Glacier. The sights were beautiful and it was good to get into the Andes mountains. Climbing the Martial Glacier affords a stunning panoramic view of Ushuaia, the Beagle Channel and Isla Navarino in Chile..Lunch and libations were had at the Casa de Te (or Tea House) at the base of the Glacier. | MARTIAL GLACIER, USHUAIA
12: January 2nd was our third full day in Ushuaia. We met our first penguins on a PIRATOUR of a Magellanic Penguin Rookery at the Estancia Harberton in Patagonia. The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil where they are occasionally seen as far north as Rio de Janeiro. Magellanic Penguins are medium-sized penguins which grow to be 24–30 inches tall and weigh between 5.9-14.3 lbs. The males are larger than the females, and the weight of both drops while the parents nurture their young.
14: January 3rd was our final day in beautiful Ushuaia. We took in the Ushuaia sights for most of the day and embarked on the M/S Expedition around 4pm to begin our great Antarctica adventure. As luck would have it, we were upgraded to a first class cabin on the main deck, which we thoroughly enjoyed for the next several days... | GAP Adventures, M/S Expedition
16: GAP Adventures Antarctica Classic
18: The Infamous Drake Passage on the way to.... ANTARCTICA
20: All of our adventures began and ended in the ship's Mud Room, the staging area for all excursions off the ship. All of our outdoor gear was kept here for donning when leaving the ship by inflatable...
21: Our first excursion was to Aitcho Island, Antarctica. We finally made it to the bottom of the world !!!!
22: AITCHO ISLAND
24: The Chinstrap Penguin is a species of penguin found in the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica, Deception Island, the South Orkneys, South Shetland, South Georgia, Bouvet Island and Balleny. They are considered the most aggressive species of penguin. There were several of them on Aitcho Island. | AITCHO ISLAND
25: Gentoo penguins live on many of the islands of the Antarctic region but the main colony is on the Falklands. There are about 300,000 breeding pairs on the islands. They live in large and noisy breeding colonies. Their nests are made on the rocky shores. They carry and pile stones, pebbles, grass, sticks, and anything they can find to make a nest. Gentoos can be very aggressive and will fight over stones or take stones and nest building material away from other birds' nests.
26: AITCHO ISLAND
28: I LOVE YOUR PENGUIN SUIT | CUVERVILLE ISLAND
30: PORT LOCKROY Port Lockroy was originally a British Military Base during WWII. In 1996 the Port Lockroy base was renovated and is now a museum and post office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. It is designated a Historic Site under the Antarctic Treaty and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Antarctica. Proceeds from the small souvenir shop fund the upkeep of the site and other historic sites and monuments in Antarctica. It is the only place in Antarctica from which you can mail a postcard !!
32: LEMAIRE CHANNEL We awoke this morning to the gorgeous scenery of the Lemaire Channel. The Lemaire Channel is a strait off Antarctica, located between Kiev Peninsula in the mainland's Graham Land and Booth Island. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Antarctica with steep cliffs hemming in an 11 km long and 1,600 meter ice filled passage. We were the first Gap Adventures trip of the season that was able to make the passage as it freezes solid for much of the year. It was freezing cold and windy on the ships bow, but we braved the elements to experience the beautiful views.
34: PLENEAU BAY At the end of the Lemaire Channel, we were treated to a Zodiac tour of Pleneau Bay, where ancient icebergs have come to rest. Our zodiac driver even put us "ashore" on one of the icebergs.
36: NEKO HARBOR, ANTARCTIC PENINSULA Neko Harbor was our first landing site on the Antarctic Peninsula, or mainland, hence the Certificates of Achievement. All of our previous landings had been on islands. The ship nestled in close to the shore and there were Gentoo penguins nesting everywhere.
38: NEKO HARBOUR, ANTARCTIC PENINSULA We were also the first GAP Adventures group to camp on the mainland !! We started the camping adventure at about 11pm. We dug out a flat spot in the snow, setup our own tent and crawled in at about 1am!! It never got completely dark. We didn't get much sleep, but it was worth it!!!!
40: DANCO ISLAND After our Antarctic camping adventure, we took a nap and completely missed the morning excursion to Paradise Bay but awoke in time to enjoy the afternoon excursion to Danco Island. We were treated to lots of wild life on the beach and a harbor cruise of the floating ice in the harbor, which was home to several varieties of seals.
42: DANCO ISLAND
44: WHALER'S BAY, DECEPTION ISLAND
46: Along with 30 of our shipmates, we stripped down to our bathing suits and made the plunge into 29 degree water !! Did I mention that is was snowing? | WHALER'S BAY, DECEPTION ISLAND
48: HALF MOON BAY
50: DRAKE PASSAGE, BEAGLE CHANNEL and USHUAIA Finally, we retrace our steps back through the Drake Passage, into the Beagle Channel and back to Ushuaia, where our Antarctic adventure began. We have memories that will last a lifetime, new friends and a new appreciation for the wonderful place called... ANTARCTICA.
52: And so, our great adventure...