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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Dec 17, 2018 - last posting at sea

Ok I decided to post one more short blog while I’m on the ship. As I write this Monday afternoon, we’re still fighting the bad weather on the Drake Passage. Never having been on a ship for this length of time, this is all new to me. We’re only about 20 miles from the relative shelter of Beagle Channel but we’re just making about 5 knots per hour due to the heavy seas. Most of the day the waves have been about 8 meters (25 foot) and I shot a few videos out my cabin window and then some more up on the bridge (which is sometimes open to...

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Dec 15, 2018 - farewell to the continent

Welcome to posting #6. It’s Saturday at 3pm and we’ve done the last of our ‘landings’ in Antarctica today and are heading out to the open sea for return to Ushuaia. Target to return is Tuesday morning at 8:00am and the captain expects some bad weather ahead, so that’s why we’ve left a bit earlier than expected. Today we were awakened at 4:45am for a quick landing on Deception Island in the South Shetlands. This was our sixth landing – 2 on the continent and 4 on islands – and turned out to be our last of the journey. We were supposed to go...

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Dec 14, 2018 - swimming with the orcas

New posting from Friday 12/14: the only highlight of our third day of landings in Antarctica was the morning landing. The plan was to head to Neko Harbour and spend some time snowshoeing up the 50-meter hill for some scenery and, of course, penguins. In fact when I arose at 7:00am we were still intransit in the middle of the Gerlach Strait and the winds were blowing at 40 knots. I thought sure we weren’t going to have any landings, but by the time they got into the safety of the harbour it was relatively calm. However, the area between the...

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Dec 13, 2018 - made it to antarctica!

First, an apology: the ship’s internet is so slow and so expensive that I cannot post photos with these blogs until I get back to shore. And that’s too bad because I think I have some pretty good ones. I will try to maybe post one or two if I can get it to work, but in any case, I’ll post everything when I get home. So sorry! So I set foot on the Antarctic continent yesterday (Wednesday 12/12/18) at the Argentinian research station Brown in Paradise Bay. Yeehaw! It was actually the second landing of the day, as we’d gone to Cuverville...

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Dec 11, 2018 - at sea, part 2

Ok, this short probably-photoless post will be a little bit boring to some, but I’ll write it up because a few of you like to hear details about what the travel’s like. At the moment we’re still at sea but, if things continue to go right, in about 17 hours we will land on our first bit of Antarctica – an offshore island, to be sure, but in the afternoon another landing on the continent itself. So I’ll have a lot more to talk about – and more photos – in the next posting in a couple of days. And some celebration as I finally get to my...

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Dec 10, 2018 - at sea

So it’s Monday evening as I sit down to write this and I’ve been on the ship, the Ortelius, for just over 24 hours. First order of business: the internet connection on the ship, which uses satellite, is VERY sketchy. Most of the time it’s hard to connect or the signal is blocked. So I’m writing this offline and am not sure when I’ll be able to post it – there may be several days worth of journal by the time I can submit it. And most importantly – although I have photos to share, it’s very expensive to buy additional data. So this post is...

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Dec 8, 2018 - Heading "towards" Antarctica

Hi everyone! My name is timm smith and I’m using this mechanism to share photos and document my travel to Antarctica. Hope you enjoy seeing and reading about the trip – I used mytripjournal before to document my walk across America (www.mytripjournal.com/walking-LA-to-NY) – and it seemed to be an OK way to share. Not sure how many annoying ads you’ll see – hope not many – but I’ll try to make it worth your time! A bit of background on the trip: I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel to 6 of the 7 continents. Not too many people are...

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Mar 30, 2018 - At Sea

Despite the sleep-inducing effect of Dr Christina’s seasick pills, the heavy pitching, rolling and figure-eights kept me awake most of the night. Our ship arrived at the mouth of The Beagle Channel after noon and dropped anchor. We were advised that the Captain had sped across Drake’s Passage to keep the ship ahead of a second storm. All that remained of our expedition was a slow-paced chug towards the Ushuaia’s home port. With the storm well behind us, we enjoyed a gorgeous, sunny day on deck and it was a real pleasure to sit in the sun...

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Mar 30, 2018 - The Antarctic Atmosphere

Antarctica is a multiple Continental Record Holder; Driest; Coldest; Highest; Windiest. It consists of two large sections. The East is 4000 million yrs. Whereas the West is 700 million yrs. The approximate centerline of them is the range called the Transantarctic Mountains, which is actually the same range as the Andes, it just runs under the Southern Ocean. There are two active volcanoes on Antarctica too. The modern-day development of chlorofluorocarbons as used in refrigerators, air conditioners, electricity plants, propellants sent...

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Mar 29, 2018 - We’re Not in Drake Lake Anymore, Dorothy.

It is with good reason that the Drake Passage is also referred to as the Roaring 40s and Screaming 60s. its waves are not just nauseating, they are noisy! After dining on a breakfast that slid away from us in every direction, in a room that was by no means full, Duncan and I wobbled and swayed our way up to the bridge. Watching waves crash over the foredeck as we held on to the brass rails to steady ourselves was very exciting, enhanced no doubt by the fact that the lone officer on duty was blasting AC/DC over the speakers. This was when...

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Mar 28, 2018 - Deception Island

Our destination on this morning was the aptly named Deception Island, called such because of its outward appearance as a normal island, until a narrow entrance reveals it to actually be a ring around a flooded caldera. The break in the rim/caldera created a very dramatic, high-walled and tight passage - called Neptune’s Bellows due to venturi effect fast winds - into the bowl. The 500m wide Bellows in 45 knot winds makes for a tricky navigation. Once past the Bellows we see the interior of the crater with its volcanic sands, very...

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Mar 27, 2018 - Paradise. Period.

Also known as Paradise Harbor, the glaciers and mountains of Paradise Bay reflect beautifully in the water here, in our most fortunate of late-season weather. There seems to be an infinite variety of shapes and shades of blue. After a sightseeing loop around the bay we continued on to our second continental landing. This was very near Argentina’s Brown Station, which from 1951 to 1984 served as a permanent research base; since then it is open during the summer season only. We wandered about the vacated buildings and took our time to...

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