PLA30-18, trip log, Polar Circle, Antarctic Peninsula

by Oceanwide Expeditions


Day 1: Embarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina

Embarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: 08.03.2018
Position: 042°45’S / 065°01’W

So here we are at last in Tierra del Fuego, at the bottom of the world. Well, from Ushuaia we’ll be going south of south... a long way south. But for today, we ambled about this lovely Patagonian city, savouring the local flavours and enjoying the sights. Ushuaia marks the end of the road in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, but also the beginning – the beginning of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. During the summer this rapidly growing frontier town of 55,000 bustles with adventurous travellers. The duty-free port flourishes with tourism but also thrives on a sizeable crab fishery and a burgeoning electronics industry. Ushuaia (lit. “bay that penetrates to the west” in the indigenous Yaghan tongue) clearly benefits from its magnificent, yet remote setting. The rugged spine of the South American Andes ends here, where two oceans meet. As could be expected from such an exposed setting, the weather has the habit of changing on a whim. However, temperatures during the long days of the austral summer are relatively mild, providing a final blanket of warmth before heading off on our adventures. For many of us this is the start of a lifelong dream. The excitement comes in different forms for each unique person, but even the most experienced of us feels genuine excitement to depart on a journey to Antarctica. Most passengers were promptly at the gangway at 16:00, ready to board our ship MV Plancius, home for the next 10 days. We were greeted at the gangway by members of our Expedition staff who welcomed us aboard. Our luggage was already on board so after a short wait on the wharf we made our way up the gangway and onto the good ship Plancius. We were met at Reception by Zsuzsanna and Michael, our Hotel and Managers. We were then checked into our cabins with the assistance of our fabulous Filipino crew. A little while after boarding we convened in the lounge on deck five to meet First Officer Jaanus, who led us through the details of the required SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) Safety and Lifeboat Drill, assisted by the crew and staff. On hearing the alarm we reconvened at the ‘muster station’, the lounge, for the mandatory safety briefing and abandon ship drill donning our huge orange life jackets that will keep us safe should the need arise. After this lifeboat drill we returned to the outer decks to watch our departure from the jetty of Ushuaia and the last of city life for a while. We entered the Beagle Channel with an escort of Black-browed albatross. Once we were on our way into the channel we were invited once again to the lounge to meet our Expedition Leader, Andrew Bishop and Hotel Manager Michael who gave us an overview of the ship, a floating hotel which will be our home for the next couple weeks. We then met the rest of the Expedition Team, an international group who will guide us during our voyage, driving us ashore, giving lectures and ensuring we get the best possible experience during our trip. This was also a chance to meet our Captain, Evgeny Levakov and toast our voyage with a glass of prosecco. At 19:30 we sampled the first of many delicious meals on board, prepared by Chefs Heinz and Sean and their galley team. This first evening on board was occupied with more exploration of the ship, adjusting to her movements, and settling into our cabins. In the early hours of the morning we would be out into the open waters of the Drake Passage and heading south eastwards towards Antarctica.

Day 2: At Sea Drake Passage Southward

At Sea Drake Passage Southward
Date: 09.03.2018
Position: 056°21’ S / 064°47’ W
Wind: W 10 knots
Weather: Clear
Air Temperature: +9

This morning was our first wake-up call of the voyage and Andrew woke us up with news of wind and weather. There was around 10 knots of wind blowing but there was clear blue sky and sunshine. For some of us the smell of food was a perfect start to the day but for others it was all a bit too much for the seasick body and escaping back to the cabin was the best option. After breakfast some of us headed out on deck for some fresh air, enjoy the sunshine and enjoy a few birds that were flying around the ship and gathering behind the ship as we sailed towards Antarctica. The most common species was the Giant Petrel, both southern and northern but there were also Black-browed Albatross, Storm Petrels, Soft Plumaged Petrels and even some Royal Albatross. Birds habitually follow ships at sea looking for food brought up to the surface by the wake but also to enjoy the uplift created by our passing. Traditionally they follow fishing vessels for discarded food but that is not on offer from Plancius, of course! Bruce gave a fabulous talk after breakfast about seabird identification, fascinating on so many levels. Lunch was served at 12.30 and we enjoyed yet another delicious meal from our lovely chefs. With continued sunshine however many of us enjoyed some more time out on deck trying to photograph the giant petrels that were flying about around the ship. Then it was time for another preparatory step before we land in Antarctica – rubber boot fitting! We made our way to the mud room on Deck 3 where our expedition staff assisted us in finding the very perfect size of the shoes we will use frequently over the next 11 days. By the time afternoon tea had been consumed in the lounge it was time to go back downstairs to the restaurant for an introduction to all things Antarctica from Liz. She gave us an overview of the coldest, driest, windiest continent on earth from the characteristics of glaciers to the history of Antarctica (dating back 200 MYA to Gondwana!) to some of the more charismatic creatures we may meet on our voyage ahead. By this time it was early evening and some of us took a pre-dinner drink at the bar while others enjoyed the warm sunshine on deck. At 6.30 pm we were invited to the lounge for the daily briefing where Andrew explained our plans for tomorrow, a day at sea with several mandatory safety briefings about our Zodiac operations etc.

Day 3: At Sea Drake Passage Southward

At Sea Drake Passage Southward
Date: 10.03.2018
Position: 059°59’ S / 060°02’ W
Wind: W 15 knots
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +3

This morning we woke to our first sunrise over Antarctic waters as we continued our journey across the Drake Passage. Having crossed the Antarctic Convergence overnight, a few keen birders were out on deck early to scout for some of the seabirds of the south, while the rest of us started our day with tea and coffee in the lounge or a quiet start in our cabins. After breakfast, the business of preparing ourselves for Antarctica began. We attended mandatory briefings, where we learned about IAATO requirements and Zodiac operations, which filled many of us with a mix of excitement and anticipation. This was followed by a vacuum party - unfortunately not the kind of party with party hats, clowns, or birthday cakes, but the kind of party where you clean and vacuum your expedition gear. Vacuuming gear is mandatory for all ships and guests heading down to Antarctica to make landings, to minimise our impact on the environment and avoid introducing foreign species of plants and fungi. So, with great fanfare six vacuum cleaners were brought up to the lounge and strategically placed for us all to clean every last little bit of grass, seeds, and cow manure from our outerwear. As exciting as the vacuum party was, it was quickly superseded by spotting our first iceberg of the voyage – a graceful, glowing tabular berg about one mile long. We also began to see hints of land up ahead: the South Shetland Islands. After a scrumptious lunchtime meal from head chef Heinz and his team, the divers met with their intrepid team of guides to put the finishing touches on their preparations for their first Antarctic dive tomorrow. Then, just as we were preparing to go to the dining room for a talk on Penguins from Toby, we heard an announcement that whales had been spotted from the Bridge, and the Captain planned to divert our course to take a closer look. We threw on some warm layers, grabbed binoculars and cameras and headed for the outer decks, where we were treated to an amazing display of whale blows and fins, set on a backdrop of dramatic glaciers and mountains disappearing into low clouds. The whales dived, then reappeared before continuing their journey down the coast. The staff were able to identify them as Fin whales, due to the white patch on the lower right jaw, and the long display of the body before the fin. Many of us congregated in the dining room to hear Toby’s talk on penguins and learn about some of the different species we hope to see while we’re in Antarctica. Andrew’s talk on glaciers was cancelled due to the unexpected, but much appreciated whale diversion, so we had about an hour of free time before gathering for recap to hear the plan for tomorrow: our first day in Antarctica!!

Day 4: Neko Harbour & Stony Point

Neko Harbour & Stony Point
Date: 11.03.2018
Position: 064°50’ S / 062°33’ W
Wind: Calm
Weather: Partly cloudy
Air Temperature: +3

Today we felt the exquisite new feeling of accomplishment, achievement, and long harboured dream for many of us as we stood upon the Antarctic continent for the first time. The morning’s adventure at Neko Harbour was grand, frosty, and full of adventure. As we trekked up into the snowy mass we had our first encounters with chilly, feisty, and the always cool gentoo penguins. The ice strewn beach whipped our spirits into shape as the climb up the crevassed hill overlooking the bleak, beautiful, and wild landscapes where sea meets ice upon the Antarctic wilderness showed itself true. The day was then dominated by the views and clarity of the second landing at Stony Point. The trek up the hill looked like only a hill. A few scattered penguins and a giant leopard seal were exciting, but the real fun started when the views showed themselves. A few hours into the afternoon it was Antarctica who chose the schedule just right for us, for the blue sky shone and the clouds cleared, to show in a way words could not, why it was named Paradise Harbour. As the day rolled on, we found it hard to leave. A few even regretted not putting on sun screen, for the glorious sun radiated off the ice and gave any explorer among us’ heart a feeling of otherworldly glory. The ice sang a song in the sun and we were there for it. Many of us sat quiet to listen while others wandered in circles, snapping photos that memory won’t allow to fade, with a backdrop of a temple of ice that only the soul could truly try to worship. As our spirits were buoyed by not only the views but the realization of where we were, what was happening, and who we were in the context of such a wild place… Smiles shone through the thickest of scarves. There are good days, great days and then, days in Paradise Harbour. We rolled out and found that another glorious sunset awaited us, peppered with icebergs and floating wildlife, penguins and seals dotting the ice and the views along with Antarctica’s most famous resident, the humpback whale. In the end, for a first day of many firsts, wherever we came from or wherever we end up going, we’ll always have the day to remember when the Antarctic love affair started properly within and for us.

Day 5: Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island & Steaming South

Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island & Steaming South
Date: 12.03.2018
Position: 065°10’S / 064°10’W
Wind: SW 10 knots
Weather: Clear morning clouding over in the afternoon
Air Temperature: +1

A bright and early (and very brisk) start for all aboard today as we were due to set sail through the majestic Lemaire Channel at dawn. Passengers and crew alike were assembled outside on the deck at 6:30 am to be greeted by Una’s Peaks marking the dramatic entrance to Lemaire. Carving our way through crumbled brash ice, we eased our way through the channel. Treated to a stunningly clear morning, the light was perfect. Sheer mountains rising a thousand metres out of the water on either side towered over Plancius as we pushed forwards. Groups of crabeater seals – mostly in groups of three and four – lounged on ice just below the ship and were unmoved as we passed by. There was a brief glimpse of an ivory-white snow petrel from the back deck which caused some excitement among the birders. Wilson’s storm petrels fluttered around the edges of ice floes. Dark menacing forms of south polar and brown skuas flanked the ship for most of the day and the odd distant giant petrel scoured the surface of the sea. The channel was breath-taking; inconceivably steep black peaks decorated with giant, tumbling glacial waterfalls marked the path ahead as we glided through what felt like a scene from Lord of the Rings. There was a reverent silence on back deck as everyone stood and marvelled at the scene in front of them. We broke through the channel just before breakfast and by 9:00 am there were Zodiacs of passengers steaming towards Petermann Island for an exciting new landing adventure. We were greeted by throngs of incredibly curious young gentoo penguins – brazen enough to nibble at our backpacks and life jackets as soon as we set foot on the island. We headed slowly up the icy slope through the bustling crowd of gentoos who were busy taking ice baths or sleeping on the path ahead. At the top of the island Liz Pope found our main quarry – nine stunning Adelie penguins! Some were a little tatty in full moult while others were in sparkling black-and-white tuxedo plumage. We arrived right at the end of their short breeding season so we were lucky and very grateful there were still some hanging around! Andrew (Expedition Leader) led the way on another trail around the island to a stunning viewpoint overlooking a cliff adorned with sheathbills and lounging Antarctic fur seals above a bay peppered with ice-bergs and humpback whales. Deep groans from the vast glaciers in the backdrop added a moody soundtrack to the colourful scene. Scott’s Peak soared above the island (at 1000m above sea level) and humpbacks surrounded the Plancius in the bay. The kayakers were lucky enough to have a very close encounter indeed with these boat-friendly giants! Before we headed back to ship it was time for the Polar Plunge. This was just as it sounds – any willing volunteers were offered the chance of a chilly dip in Antarctic waters (today at -1 degrees C) as a rite of passage. There was an astonishingly big turnout as people shed their clothes and happily jumped in! The jumps were accompanied by screams, shouts, hollers and quick retreats into warm towels. “Invigorating”, “painful”, “necessary”, “ridiculous”, were some of the more polite words plungers used to describe their bathe. We headed on south in order to make good progress and give us our best shot of crossing 66 degrees – the Antarctic Circle. After a brilliant lecture from Andrew on glaciers, and from Bruce on photography, our final views from deck were of a panorama of the Southern Ocean punctuated by nothing less than the silvery blows of 14 humpback whales. What a way to polish off the day!

Day 6: Crossing the Antarctic Circle, Hanusse Bay

Crossing the Antarctic Circle, Hanusse Bay
Date: 13.03.2018
Position: 066°57’ S / 067°30’ W
Wind: SE 40 knots gusting
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +1

First Officer Jannus’ voice announced the crossing of the Antarctic circle in the early morning hours. Those of us who were awake saw the dotted line in the sea that depicts the circle! Most of us snoozed on as Plancius steamed steadily south into a strengthening wind. As our destination, Detaille Island hove into view, we were confronted by Antarctica in all its ferocious splendour, thwarting our plans to visit this lonely British base from the 1950s, which was only used for three years before being abandoned (as everything eventually must be in these latitudes), to the ice. Cruising tantalizingly close by, we viewed the huts and radio masts of this time-capsule of history, we turned into the wind and headed further south into Hanusse Bay. After lunch, we decided upon a Zodiac cruise among the ice in this huge bay. As we prepared, the wind began to moderate and the grey skies lightened as our Zodiacs bomb burst out from the ship in all directions. We cruised amongst the ice floes, viewing Crabeater seals upon the ice. It seemed that every floe of any size had its own population of sleek blond seals snoozing the afternoon away. Then came the call for ‘Whales’ from both ship and Zodiac alike, as both Minke and Humpback whales cruised by feeding or resting in the big calm bay. We watched spellbound as a Humpback whale cruised towards our Zodiac, remaining at the surface as the competing sounds of the whales breathing and camera shutters whirring disturbed the now calm day. Elated, we returned to the ship after a visit to an ice floe in the bays center. But it wasn’t over yet! As the final staff Zodiacs prepared to come inboard, an inquisitive Humpback raised its huge head to look into Nina’s Zodiac. We watched awe-struck as this show played out in complete silence, lest we disturb this stunning interaction between us and them. Antarctica changed lives today, as it always has, and it always will, for the lucky few who come here.

Day 7: Port Charcot/Pleneau & Damoy Point/Dorian Bay

Port Charcot/Pleneau & Damoy Point/Dorian Bay
Date: 14.03.2018
Position: 065°4’ S / 064°0’ W
Wind: Calm
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +4

Antarctica, you beauty! Out on deck pre-breakfast the landscape was, yet again, a sight to behold. As we made our way up the Peltier Channel steep glaciated peaks rose off starboard side and massive icebergs made up the landscape off port. We made our way to anchorage in Salpetriere Bay, surrounded by a garden of icebergs. Into the Zodiacs we zoomed some of us bound for a shore strewn with Gentoos. The snowy hill of Port Charcot was a colourful pallet of red and green as the snow algae had photosynthesized this late in the summer. Penguin antics amused many as our brush-tail friends waded into the water off the rocky shore splashing and diving en masse. Some of us stayed in the Zodiacs to cruise around the iceberg kingdom. Intricately sculpted bergs, each more beautiful than the next consumed our camera’s viewfinders. We gazed in wonder at the blue striations, dramatic gutters and impressive designs created by snow, water and wind. One Zodiac found a leopard seal lolling on a flow while a cheeky crabeater seal entertained another. Just as we headed back the ship, the sun poked out from behind Booth Island sending a dramatic light across the water. Back onboard we enjoyed yet another delicious lunch as we sailed through the Lemaire Channel onto our next adventure. Our playground for the afternoon was Damoy Point, within a calm and sheltered Dorian Bay. Liz led a merry band of hikers up Tombstone Hill and then onto a high, snowy vantage point above nearby Port Lockroy. Far below us, curious Gentoo penguins inspected our fellow beachcomber expeditioners; tiny kayaks cruised across the waters; and divers bubbled their bubbles to the mirror calm water’s surface. Some of us took the opportunity to inspect the old British base hut – once home to a resupply base for British bases located beyond the Antarctic Circle, complete with a ice runway for the planes that acted as substitute for the ships when ice prevented a southward journey by sea.

Day 8: Cuverville Island & Foyn Harbour/Enterprise Island

Cuverville Island & Foyn Harbour/Enterprise Island
Date: 15.03.2018
Position: 064°41’ S / 062°38’ W
Wind: Calm
Weather: Overcast, snowing
Air Temperature: 0

Anchored off-shore at Cuverville Island, we awoke to snow flurries and whale blows out in the Errera Channel. Still calm glassy waters welcomed us as we boarded the Zodiacs and were shuttled ashore. Andrew briefed us regarding the stretch of beach we would be walking upon and we eagerly made our way down the snow-covered path, surrounded by Gentoo penguins galore. Curious as ever, penguins pecked in wonder at our dangling straps and brightly coloured waterproof trousers. Patience was rewarded and many of us took a seat to allow the penguins to venture closer and closer. Out in the bay a leopard seal was on the hunt. Not one but two penguins became his appetizer and entrée for the morning. We watched in fascination as nature in action took place. At the end of the beach Bruce pointed out the endless whale spouts out in the Errera channel. Humpback whales dipped and dived, one even jumping out and breaching before our eyes. A thunderous crack in front of the beach announced the breaking of an iceberg and we watched as an iceberg the size of a small house turned completely over, exposing what had once been only been seen by the under water world of Antarctica. Large white flakes fell slowly as we cruised passed a beautiful iceberg arch on our way back to our dear Plancius. Whales were on the horizon the whole afternoon as we sailed through Wilhelmina Bay. A Zodiac cruise in Foyn Harbour was on the agenda next. As the sun peeked out we made our way to an old ship wreck, the Governoren, which a captain sailed aground in 1915 in order to save the crew from a fire onboard. The rusted bow and foredeck jutted out of the water, contrasting starkly with the blue ice cliffs in the background. Fur seals were active as some jousted with each other while others rolled on the snow using their flippers to scratch an itch. But the real show was out in the bay. Whales galore! As we made our way back to the ship, Humpback whales dipped and dived, spouting and fluking in a seemingly endless show. Back onboard all tags were turned to green and Captain Evgeny at the helm began steering us north to tomorrow’s adventure.

Day 9: Whaler’s Bay (Deception Island) & Half Moon Island

Whaler’s Bay (Deception Island) & Half Moon Island
Date: 16.03.2018
Position: 062°59’ S / 060°34’ W
Wind: WNW 15 knots
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +5

Our last day in Antarctica! My how time flies. We were woken up a bit earlier than usual this morning so that we could be out on deck as we approached the notorious Deception Island, one of the three active volcanoes in the world that one can sail into. Neptune's Bellows ho! Far off on the horizon we could see the ominous silhouette signifying the entrance to Deception Island. A fresh dusting of snow had transformed this usually monochrome vista into a textured landscape. Once inside the caldera, the patterns on shore were breath-taking. The gentle undulations of the volcanic remains were powdered with snow, revealing outlines and forms just as varied and creative as patterns on an iceberg. Old rusted whaling silos complemented the white, red and brown hues of the snow, sand and silt on shore. Deception Island’s last eruption in 1969-1970 buried large parts of the whaling infrastructure that was in place when the island was evacuated. Nowadays, the eerie remains are slowly fading into the landscape as they are continually eroded by snow, sand, wind and water. An energetic group followed Elena up to Neptune’s Window, learning how to stand their ground against fur seals on the way. Looking south into the Bransfield Strait, the group was caught in a quick five-minute snowstorm where it seemed that everything surrounding them disappeared into a white cloud. Back onboard, a four hour steam to the South Shetland Islands was next on the agenda. As we reached the snow-covered Half Moon Island, the wind died down and the sun poked out, setting up perfect conditions for our final outing. Moulting Chinstrap penguins took centre stage for most of the afternoon. Though active male fur seals and colourful lichen was a close second. However, Bruce led the way up a steep narrow path to view a lone Macaroni penguin that ended up stealing the show. The massive glaciated slopes of Livingston Island across the water shone brightly in the sun and we relished this incredible and powerful landscape one last time. As the afternoon progressed and we began to sail north, some of us started to review our many, many photographs taken on our expedition. Yet we are now part of a privileged group that know that Antarctica is a place that is so much more than can ever be captured in a simple image. And although words are also often inadequate in describing one’s experience of this icy continent, these ones may just resonate in some way: If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it. — Andrew Denton

Day 10: At Sea, Drake Passage Northward

At Sea, Drake Passage Northward
Date: 17.03.2018
Position: 059°37’ S / 067°70’ W
Wind: NNE 18.5 knots
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +8

Our luck from our first Drake crossing south seemed to stay with us for the morning as the moderately calm seas let our ship steam ahead at a smooth 11.1 knots. Andrew gave us all a reprieve from his dulcet tones, as Michael announcing breakfast at 8:00 am was the first thing anyone heard over the PA system. While a few braved the stairs and smells of food, most were content to snooze a couple more hours until the first lecture of the day was announced. Nina talked about Early Explorers of Antarctica, and the trials and tribulations faced by the men who first dreamed that a continent such as Antarctica did exist and braved the icy southern ocean to substantiate their belief. Out on deck the sun broke through and our first Light-mantled Sooty Albatross of the voyage could be seen soaring off port side of the ship. After that it was time for more food, more fantastic things to stuff down our gullets, if we dared in the rolling swell of the Drake Passage. After a post-prandial nap, Phil regaled us with information on the dinosaurs that may have once lived on the Antarctica continent. Among others, we learned a bit more about the duck-billed hadrosaurus the rival of T-rex, the allosaurus and also about a mega-penguin, as big as a human! The swell picked up and the wind began gusting at 40 knots as Toby took the stage to talk about his experience working on the well-known natural history series of Planet Earth II for four years. An accomplished young man to say the least! At 6:30 pm, Sebastian and Andrew briefed us all once again the lounge, preparing us for the following days to come, as upon arrival in Ushuaia the dreaded culture shock would surely await some of us, exchanging penguins with talking monkeys, Zodiacs with taxis, and gangway sailors with the sometimes not so gentle airport security detail. After dinner many of us convened in the bar for the Great Antarctic Quiz where quizmaster Phil shot us questions from a wide-ranging scope of Antarctic trivia. From history to biology to SCUBA to ice, we had to rack our brains through and through to guess the answers each round.

Day 11: At Sea, Drake Passage Northward

At Sea, Drake Passage Northward
Date: 18.03.2018
Position: 055°24’ S / 066°54’ W
Wind: SSW 15 knots
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +11

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… for many, a bit of a bumpy night. And although the weather was of no consequence, the continuous rolling motion of the ship began to bear on a few too many nerves. Some of us opted not to go to the dining room for breakfast and instead stayed in the horizontal comfort of our bunks for a couple more hours. During the morning the divers and the kayakers met in their groups to wrap things up with their guides and return all gear. At 1030 Doctor Tanja gave a talk about her experience working with emperor penguins at Cape Washington and the incredible conditions both crew and penguin endured on the shoot. The photographers were happy campers today as we were treated to hour after hour of super-close wandering albatross, southern royal albatross and southern giant petrel riding the windbreak of the ship. The leviathan birds dropped over our heads just above the bridge wings pleasing those below them. After a delicious lunch we watched a fascinating (and at times hilarious) film about rounding Cape Horn and battled onwards towards the Beagle Channel. Making great time, we were there in time for sunset and, though the sky was a little grey, it finally felt like this epic voyage was coming to an end. A gorgeous little Magellanic diving petrel floated next to the ship delighting birders on deck. Preparations were made for entering the Beagle Channel in the final few hours of sailing we were joined by yet more wandering albatrosses, Imperial cormorants and sooty shearwaters. After the mammoth ‘return of the rubber boots’, Bruce gave us a fantastic slide show of the entire trip reminding us just how much we’d seen and done in such a short time – there were pangs of nostalgia all round and some happy tears. What an adventure it’s been!

Day 12: Disembarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: 19.03.2018
Position: 042°45’ S / 065°01’ W
Wind: ESE 5 knots
Weather: Sunny
Air Temperature: +11

We were woken by the last wake-up call from our Expedition Leader Andrew and got ready to disembark for the final time. We didn’t have to turn our tags, there was no Zodiac ride ashore and it was a dry landing. The last eleven days have taken us on a remarkable journey from the Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina, across the dreaded Drake Passage to Antarctica and allowed us a glimpse of life in these remote and sometimes inhospitable places. We will all have different memories of our trip but whatever the memories, whether it was the many Gentoo penguins (and humans!) bathing at Petermann island, the sight of the iceberg garden next to Pleneau Island, or stepping on the continent of Antarctica at Neko Harbour they are memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Total distance sailed on our voyage: Nautical Miles: 2005 nm Kilometres: 3713 km On behalf of everyone on board we thank you for travelling with us and wish you a safe journey home.