S: ANTARCTICA FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 2011-2012
BC: It is always fun to go, but what a pleasure to return home! Happy to be back!! Jennifer & Jesse, we did it!! | ANTARCTICA & ARGENTINA | DEC.2011-JAN.2012
FC: ANTARCTICA FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 2011-2012
1: I dedicate this book to Jesse,my loving husband & travel companion for 30 years! After visiting 35 countries,this trip was our dream,we made it a trip of a lifetime!
2: Jesse & Jennifer Chillin' in Antarctica!!
5: Arrived in Ushuaia! Roasted Lamb for lunch!
6: Ready to go aboard our ship, the Silver Explorer!
7: There are places in this world that travelers only dream about. Destinations so remote they are well beyond the reach of conventional means. The Sliver Explorer is custom-designed to withstand the most extreme conditions,this authentic expedition ship can venture to the most intriguing & unspoiled corners of the globe! But with an array of gilt-edged refinements, cuisine by Relais & Chateaux,suites with double balconies and a butler for every guest! With only 127 guest,we found the luxury of privacy & plenty of space to be on our own!
8: Simple pleasures! | Jesse is our new photographer
9: Jesse finding his way around! | Our daily agenda board!
10: "Life is Grand!" A dream come true, for us! Antarctica for the holidays! We live every "moment" to the fullest!
11: Our first briefing on the Zodiacs we will be riding on to get ashore! They will give us up -close opportunities for exploration!
13: Going through Drake passage,the roughest seas in the world! Relaxing & enjoying the rocking&rolling! Twenty-five foot swells...
14: There is no journey like it on the planet! To revel in the awe-inspiring beauty & overwhelming power of Nature...to admire the staggering abundance of wildlife...to meet the bold challenge of the world's last wilderness frontier! This is the allure of an Antarctic expedition! There are rookeries of penguins in the tens of thousands,seals,whales&dolphins!
15: Encountered by Shackleton, Amundsen & Scott less than a century ago,this frozen continent still looms in all of it's purity. Giant, blue-tinted icebergs sparkle like diamonds and resemble moving pieces of modern Art! Towering mountains reach toward a never-setting sun. Blinding white snowfields stretch to eternity!
16: We have arrived in the very remote Falkland Islands! This is the capital city of Stanley. There are some lingering reminders of the 1986 war with Argentina,but now this small city is back in business raising sheep!
17: With a distinct British ambiance this little town is lined with quaint cottages,shops & pubs! Also,a small local museum,we plan to visit! | That is a whale bone arch behind us. Whaling was a big business in the 1800's! Used for oil, at that time they used every part of the whale for living purposes.
18: A lot of history here,very interesting to read & see all the memorabilia from the past! How these remote islands became home to a population of 4,000! | There are many rooms here and even an authentic home base outside still intact that several men called home many,many years ago. | Happy to be here!
19: This story I found to be amazing! Even the two dogs were honored here! As an animal lover, I was very happy to see these two dogs and their contribution to the world!
20: Seeing these clothes & knowing they were all made by hand and they were worn here in such a remote location,in the early 1900's was extremely fascinating! Looks like the living was quite pleasant!
21: The "general store"! | More Snow!
22: A typical home here in the early 1800"s!
23: I love the authentic Singer sewing machine!
25: This make-shift kitchen,blow me away! Maybe in the 1800's but this was 1956! | Amazing story of survival! They made it through their journey! Great accomplishment! | I can only hope it was cleaner then!! The living here,pretty rugged!!
26: This the area outside where that small base is located. This is a lingering reminder of the the 74 day,1986 war with Argentina. That is Jesse, he loves military history!
27: Jesse taking one last look at the Falkland Islands as we sail away! What a great day!!!
28: So warm & lovely! A delicious lunch aboard our ship as we sail to our next port of call,Saunders Point,another island off of the !Falklands.!
29: Loved our day in Stanley! Lovely ,quaint town of 4,00! It is 296 miles from Argentina! The weather was perfection & Jesse and I really enjoyed it there! | the view from one of our balconies... | So exciting...
31: Our cozy suite! Two balconies & two flat-screens! | Time to relax!
32: This ultra modern bathroom was very nice,except the the big "bowl"of a "sink"!
33: Our amazing double balcony, 4 room suite #504.With the most beautiful views!
34: Arriving by zodiacs from our ship to Saunders Island! A gorgeous day for rockhopper penguins & bird-watching!
35: After visiting the small town of Stanley, this is what we really came to see the wildlife here on the frozen continent of Antarctica! A view from the zodiac of the ship! | Rockhoppers are truly at home in the sea,not coming ashore for 5 or 6 months!
36: Our first day to see the Rockhopper penguins! | They inhabit these steep slopes!
37: Our ship! | FRESH AIR!!!! | US...
38: This is Saunder's Island,part of the Falkland Island chain of 73 islands! Our new friend from Sweden, Julie only 11& she is really enjoying this experience!
39: The smallest of the subantarctic penguins. They inhabit these very steep rock cliffs and hop to get around! Must have been hundreds of them!
40: After a great afternoon on Saunders Point, we will enjoy some hot espresso&cookies! | That is a real Christmas Gingerbread House&Train set!
41: After 30 years together,this is a first! Celebrating Christmas & New Year's on a vacation! We both brought something as a surprise for one another to make our suite decorated for the holidays! We really enjoyed being away,but always "together"!
42: Our Antarctic Christmas,2011! | So Special!!! | LOVE
43: Enjoying our Christmas Day lunch! We will be on West Point Island today! More penguins and maybe a few seals and some whale sightings from our Zodiacs!
44: This is our landing spot on West Point,interesting old wreck left behind!
45: Rockhopper penguins usually nest along the windward side of these islands in the Southern Oceans. They may lay two eggs but most of the time only chick will survive. Penguins feathers cover all their body much like fur,these densely packed feathers provide a coat that protects them in these freezing waters and below zero land temperatures!
46: Pure joy here! Just to see all these beautiful animals living free & undisturbed by humans,expect for some photos!
47: Christmas Day! This is a great place to spend this very special day! Loving this!!
48: The photographer & her subjects! Just one more....,I promise!! Jesse loves all these photos!! | Our first encounter with the local wildlife here,rockhoppers!!
50: This is the area we are in,and the direction of our ship. We will be landing somewhere on the Antarctic coast line twice a day weather permitting.!!
51: For the next three days we will go where the wind blows,this expedition cruise is very flexible with the excursion landings...!
52: Relaxing,enjoying the view passing through Drake passage as we continue our journey closer to the Antarctic peninsula. It is the wettest part of the continent & often gets over 27inches of precipitation,about 23ft. of snow each year. We have all of our expedition gear ready to go. We have a 4am wake-up call for our first landing in the morning. | remember the camera...
53: Cocktails and sharing a great day together.!! "Sharing a life together is sharing steps in time. The music is different to each of us,but how beautiful the dance.""
56: All the many wonders of Antarctica, from the wildlife to the waters and icebergs. The amazing wildlife that survives here and thrives in this frozen part of the world are magical in their ability to make a home here, There are many animals that call the frozen continent of Antarctica home. Sea birds,such as the albatross & petrels, penguins, shags & gulls ,terns & sheathbills. Most of these birds nest near the water's edge,as it is closer to their food source, or they will follow behind ships to catch the fish churned up by the ship's motion. Also many mammals live here,many variety of seals,whales and sea lions. We were lucky to see several during our expedition along the way. Humpback whales, weddell seals , many penguins and antarctic minke whales. There are 10 species of whales that live here seasonally. It is their sanctuary and we have let them have it, protected by the IAOA.!
57: Nature's wonders of sight and sounds, unlike anywhere on the planet but here ,in Antarctica. In 1959,the governments of the world decided not to fight over Antarctica. They declared it an internationally controlled center for scientific research and agreed that no would ever own it. There are many rules one must follow from the ships that visit to the people that step on the land of Antarctica. Put in place by the IAOA, International Association of Antarctica. When people go ashore, it is with great care and concern not to contaminate the area or disturb the natural living process of the animals living near the water or cliffs,or in the waters surrounding the frozen continent. It was a great pleasure to see at least one place on this planet that humans have not destroyed by being there.,
58: Tabular icebergs are the largest in the world,some the size of Belgium or Connecticut.!!!!! | Jesse, checking out all the wonderful sights from one of our balconies,this is one of the many highlights of an antarctic cruise. | BREATHTAKING
60: This is the area of the antarctic peninsula that we will be exploring in the next few days.....
61: We have ARRIVED.......we have landed on the Antarctic Continent,SothShetland Islands. We have already been greeted by the locals.. | That is one of 8 zodiacs we use to go ashore from our ship. Today,wet freezing snow...
62: These are Adelie penguins,they always travel or move around in groups.They will travel up to 60 miles to find food. | here they come and then there they go,,,Jesse, quick whip out your camera...
63: Jesse, the great explorer. Finds his calling,an antarctic photographer,he loves the weather. | Jesse is smiling,but it is frozen..
68: Adelie penguins are about 23 inches tall & weigh 11 lbs.,there are 18 species worldwide.Only 5 found in Antarctica.They evolved from flying birds,the best divers of all birds & the most dense feathering of any bird.
69: Adelie penguins were often used as food for explorers in the early 20th century. They can dive to 560 feet in 6 minutes, & eat krill, fish & squid. They hatch 2 eggs, incubation period is 35 days. The males make the nest out of rocks to attract the females. We could have stayed all day just to watch them.
70: Are you sure this is the right place?
72: Yes,it's a tad cold(-20)but Antarctica offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. An unscripted nature show that is breathtaking to watch in person.
73: Which way to Lutz,Florida
74: A Weddell seal is napping...the southernmost mammal in the world. Can stay under water up to an hour. Weighs over 800lbs.
75: Only 20 below,wet & freezing snow... other than that it is a beautiful day in Antarctica..
78: In some years there has been no breeding at all in the most southerly colonies. | The Adelie penguins nest further south than any other penguin. They are sometimes affected by extensive sea-ice cover hindering access to their nesting places.
79: With the Adelie penguin population in decline, we felt very lucky to enjoy spending a full day with them here on the frozen continent of Antarctica. ! | In some years even the penguins freeze to death in this weather.
80: We had a fabulous first landing on the Shetland Islands and we were happily greeted by the local,adelie penguins that live there. We now have another landing this afternoon on Port Lockroy. Ahoy there,Jesse...
81: WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE
82: Here we are on the British Base A, on Port Lockroy. This has been declared an historic site. We got our passports stamped here.
83: These are gentoo penguins.Their bright orange beak is their trademark. They are the least aggressive of all the penguins. | This is a mother with her 2 chicks, very few times do both survive here.
84: Here we are at Bransfield House,a museum,gift shop &post office. To get that most treasured item... the Port Lockroy penguin and... | ...the Antarctic stamp,postmark and passports marked Antarctica. We had to use British pounds as this is a British base,from the 1940's.
85: HISTORY.... | No place like home..
86: Some of the artifacts in the museum,Jesse is our photographer!
87: Mailing a few very special postcards from Antarctica!
90: PORT LOCKROY ANTARCTICA
97: Another fabulous.breathtaking day exploring the islands of Antarctica! Port Lockroy was a lot of fun! Now time to relax,with a delicious dinner,wine & so much to chat about!
98: The ship is going through a very narrow pass, we are very close to the ice on all sides! This seal floated by our suite on a block of ice!
100: Jesse,waving "HI"! from our 2nd balcony!
107: We were in awe in this amazing place.Antarctica! With so much beauty to take in at once, we didn't know where to look next! Very exciting moments,more than we could have ever imagined possible!
114: This area we are in is called Brown Bluff. It is on the mainland of Antarctica. The towering cliffs here are brown & abrupt,soaring to 2.444 ft.with only a few hundred feet between the vertical cliffs and the sea. The ice-cap behind them are hidden from view,when you look up from the beach. Walking conditions near the beach are relatively easy as the gravel is not too rough, but we had to be careful not to disrupt the flow of penguins that use the shoreline like a highway. Which was fascinating too observe. As you can see we had a fun day here with all the wildlife around us and in such a beautiful setting!
116: We got lucky on the way back to our ship & spotted 2.. HUMPBACK WHALES!!! | I am so happy for this photo opportunity, here we go...
117: We could reach out and touch them,they were right there next to us..!!!!
118: This was quite a show!! It is what we came to see...
119: SO SPECIAL!!!
121: Jesse & I made it back to our ship and our suite! So much excitement at spotting the two humpback whales!!! | But,now some good hot showers & off to a great dinner...
122: This is the last day of the year December 31,2011.We have arrived in Pendulum Cove, a barren patch on the inner shoreline of Deception Island. It is notable for it's paucity of wildlife and the tortured remains of a former Chilean scientific station. In 1967 & 1969 it was destroyed by volcanic eruptions that occurred close by. The volcano sunk and is alive,providing a steaming shoreline and warmer waters for polar swimming! Which 42 of the guest were brave enough to do!! We enjoyed all the scenery & wildlife!
123: We have just gotten off our Zodiac, and the abundance of wildlife is all around us!! These are Chinstrap penguins! That's us at the top!!
126: THE BEST DAY..
128: Chinstrap penguins are a feisty species and prefer the warmer waters over the adelie's. That may be why their populations have grown over the years! They eat mostly krill.
132: So very happy to be here and share these special days with my "sweetheart",Jesse
133: Polar swimmers!! The water was not to bad,and we all enjoyed the "silly" moment...what people will do for attention!! | LOL....?
134: ANTARCTICA!! 1/1/2012!! Here we are relaxing and having lunch on New Year's Day on the Silver Explorer! It has been everything and so much more than we could have ever dreamed this expedition trip to be!
136: Are you going to eat all that?? | why do you want it?
137: Antarctica is a big place to cover in just a few days,but I think we did great & saw a lot of places and so many amazing and special things we will never see anywhere else but here in Antarctica. Having Christmas & New Year's here was a very special memory I will always cherish and remember fondly. Seeing Jesse smile & laugh is my special memory of being in this very special place, Antarctica. | Fabulous
139: Jesse, you look great! This is our last stop on the continent of Antarctica and we have had so much fun! It has been a great expedition & I love that we shared it together! U & ME!
140: MY GUY!!
142: I had the best time of my life on this expedition trip to Antarctica & Argentina for our holiday this year and last year,2011-2012!! Beyond anything I could have dreamed it to be! Love to my sweetheart,Jesse!
143: OUR STORY!! | First he tells me about it,while I attentively listen! | Then we respectfully discuss it,together! | Then, and lastly we just decide,not going to happen in this lifetime!! | stage 2, | stage 3, | funny how much animals are like people!! ...just saying...
144: Just checking on home base with Vilma & Nestor as they were so kind to look after things for us! Thanks you two!! That's Jesse,just waiting & watching!! (like hurry up!!)
145: We have arrived back in port in Ushuaia,Argentina. We have one last night onboard the Silver Explorer,then we leave in the morning for our 25 hour trip home!
146: Our final day in the city that is called "The End Of The World"!, Ushaia,Argentina! | More posing, pictures by the ton!! But, just have to take one more for the album!! I know we will not be back this way anytime soon!!
147: Ok, Jesse no more shopping for you!! We have enough of those at home!!
148: Even here in Ushuaia they have a memorial to Evita Peron! We saw so much about her in Buenos Aires! It was a surprise to see this way down here!
149: This is the end of one journey and just the start of another journey into the New Year of 2012! It is exciting to see what this new year will bring us! | Again, Jesse you did it right! A Five-Star trip all the way!! You are my everything, we are "Two Souls,One Love"! Your loving wife of 27 years!! Lucky Me!!
150: This is the port we came through to go to Antarctica! We even have it posted in our passports!! It is hard to say "good-bye"! It was so much fun!!