Monthly Archives: January 2009

On a ship, the smiles come easier

Ships can be such wondrous worlds. They cross the wildest of seas and the furthest of horizons, bringing the world to us while we sit snuggly on the library sofa indulging in light-hearted chit chat. But even as we carry on with our seafaring adventures, there is this very definitive amount of space to call home for a week or two. On a ship, travellers bond in ways that humans typically cannot ... Read More »

Of Polar Plunges and Imaginary Flights

The Orlova entering Deception Island [Location: Deception Island]. Day 7 was a day of wind. Of the many, many unforgettable things that happened today, the bellowing winds that swept the bow where we stood was the one element that carried the day. But I am getting ahead of myself. This morning saw us sailing into Deception Island, a semi-dormant volcano just off the Antarctic Peninsula. It had last erupted in ... Read More »

Neko Harbour in Action

One of the best outdoor theatres of the world  Iceberg calving Barbecue dinner onboard the Orlova after a long day’s hard work Read More »

Neumayer Channel and Neko Harbour

The Neumayer shrouded in mystery  The icebergs I like to call “penguin & chick”. Glaciers about to calve at Neko Habour  [Location: Neko Harbour]. After the incredible encounter at Jougla Point, we sailed through Neumayer Channel to to Neko Harbour, where there were active glaciers calving. The highlight there, of course, was the hike up what seemed like an impossible mountain. I have never seen anything like it– the entire ... Read More »

Port Lockroy & Jougla Point in Pictures

The iridescent hues, the endless gradients of blue, the curves that rise and swell at the command of an invisible conductor… the Antarctica waters have their own symphony to play Little sailboat by Jougla Point A splash of water by the zodiac on the way to Jougla Point. From the largest to the smallest of scales, Antarctica is incessantly beautiful. Artistically assembled whale bones Read More »

To gaze into the face of Purity itself

Jill bullies us into a another 7.30am wakeup call with her trademark “good morning, everyone, good morning” and we are trooping off to the British base station, Port Lockroy. We meet two young women working at the base, and they were apparently travelling with one of the Quark cruise ships just one year ago themselves. After their trip, they looked for a job with the British Antarctic Heritage Trust and ... Read More »

Once the seed is sown, there is no telling how far we will go

One thing about trains– it doesn’t really matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on board.” – The Polar Express Ideas are sneaky little things. They start in a whisper, prickling your ears like an innocent dandelion. But before long, they take on a life of their own, and the sheer possibilities from that one seemingly innocuous suggestion spread like a wildfire in the mind’s eye. Soon, ... Read More »

The Southern Most Bar in the World

When you start getting into Ushuaia, lots of random things like “The Southern Most Irish Bar in the World!” start popping up. (I tried it; it was rubbish.) It gets to a point where it’s mere commercial cliché. Still, there is something to be said about the fact that you’ve danced and partied in the southern most bar in the world. This bar happens to be located in the Antarctic ... Read More »

Ironies and Felonies

Close up of Gentoo Penguin. Always bring a good zoom lens to Antarctica, folks. Gentoo hurrying along to find the Perfect Pebble A little foraging at the beach makes a dirty penguin. But mission accomplished! Too lazy to walk, the little Gentoo body surfed its way back home. Sometimes, even the natives get a little lost in the vastness of this land An introspective moment on the rocks of Petermann ... Read More »

Day of Reckoning

The day is off to a miserable start. Correction: it is off to a Classic Antarctic start. Specifically, it was cold, windy, and wet. (Antarctic tour operators have it easy. If the weather’s bright and sunny, they tell us we are lucky; if the weather is bad like today, they tell us we are experiencing Antarctica in its true form.) In a masochistic way, this was fun. We saw the ... Read More »

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