Antarctica and Approaches

We've made two trips to Antarctica, both on icebreakers out of Ushuaia, Argentina with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris. The first was a four-week "sampler" at the peak of their summer (starting December 26, 2003) that took the scenic route northeast to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), east southeast to South Georgia Island, southwest to the South Orkney Islands, and then west southwest to the Antarctic Peninsula. Each stop had its own species of penguin (we saw seven species altogether). We also saw several species of albatross, petrels and other birds, seals and sealions, and a handful of whale species. All (except the marine mammals) were taking advantage of a short breeding season. As Nancy said in declaring Antarctic her favorite continent, "It's just a whole different world". Returning to civilization, we took the direct route across the Drake Passage and encountered 40-foot seas. Nancy was using her Nikon F3 35mm SLR with a Tokina AT-X 100-500mm f/5.6 telephoto lens using Kodak slide film, so now we have to scan the negatives to process the images.

Our last trip was shorter and much later in the season (March 7 - 26, 2016). We took the direct route across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula and back, and our focus was supposed to be whale research, although seals and penguins were also present (but no longer raising chicks). Nancy broke three ribs in 26-foot seas the second day of the trip, but still managed to make every shore excursion. We also took our Gigapan equipment to make a few large panoramas.

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