Thursday, April 5, 2018

Traveling through the Antarctic Peninsula

March 31, 2018

After seven days we have reached Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. We arrived yesterday near sunset and we were all surprised at how cool Palmer Station is. In fact, after our first orientation tour of the facilities we thought we were at a resort. Today we went ashore for more orientation and an introduction to my new job of overall station communications.

The magnificent end of the Andes Mountains outside of Ushuaia. Two years ago my daughter and I cycled for seven weeks in the Andes while riding South America near the end of our world journey.

Ushuaia, Argentina surrounded by the Andes. We missed our goal of cycling here by a 1,000 miles from our stopping point of Puerto Montt, Chile. South of there was impassable due to the winter weather. 

One of our USAP colleagues was ejected from his bunk during rough seas. He was transported to a local hospital then to the U.S. 

Our route. The red denotes very high seas.

A Tierra del Fuego sunrise.

A very dangerous stairwell to our man-cans (shipping containers with bunks). Grab the rails and take small steps. Timing on the up and down rolls is very important. 

Navigating the Drake Passage at night. The spray is waves hitting the bridge windows. Photo credit to Urily.

Into the infamous Drake Passage. Cape Horn is the southern most land mass.

Charting our route.

Calmer seas. I spent my evenings well into the night on the bridge swaying to the swell and listening to mellow music from the 2nd mate.

Entering the Gerlache Straight separating the Palmer Archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsula .

Iceberg ahead.

An iceberg selfie.

One of dozens of humpback whales spotted. There were also lots of porpoising penguins. 

Snowing ion the Gerlache Straight.

Entering the Newmayer Canal.

What a fun and adventurous voyage.