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

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 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 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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Mar 26, 2018 - I Really Do Cairn, Do You?

The plan for the day was that at 8 am the Captain would start ATTEMPTING to go through the Lemaire Channel with Wolf Island - also called the “Kodak gap” because it is so beautiful. One of the top tourist destinations in Antarctica; steep cliffs hem in the iceberg-filled passage, which is 11 km long and just 1,600 meters wide at its narrowest point. Once again, we were warned that weather, winds and ice can impact the ability to pass. We got lucky, again, and dropped anchor at Port Charcot about 9:15 am in preparation for our 10 am Zodiac...

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Mar 25, 2018 - Sailing the Gerlache Strait

On this day our wake-up call at 7:20 a.m. highlighted that there were Humpback whales on the starboard side...they were spouting right out our window! Incredible. Our morning landing on Cuverville Island in the Errera Channel is home to Antarctic Peninsula’s largest Gentoo Penguin colony, of approximately 6500 breeding pairs. We were among the earlier zodiacs to land and in the relative quiet it was both peaceful and entertaining to watch the swimming lessons underway for this year’s hatchlings – how to paddle, to dive and to “dolphin” into...

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Mar 24, 2018 - It’s All About The Base

Having sailed through the English Strait overnight to King George Island, our destination was in sight - China’s Great Wall Station, on the Fildes Peninsula. You can imagine this announcement was met with much applause from the folks on what Duncan (who was by then well established as their voluntary group photographer) had begun to call Team Shanghai, and for us too, having hiked 10 km on the Great Wall with our sons back in 2005. As we learned in the subsequent lectures, tourist expeditions can only go to occupied stations with...

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Mar 22, 2018 - On Course for the South Shetland Islands – Land Ho!

Over the two days it takes to cross the Drake Passage (March 22/23 for us) our expedition leaders offered several information sessions, which they were loath to call “lectures” despite them having a lot of deep science involved. There were also mandatory briefings. Our 7:45 a.m. wake-up call on March 23rd informed us we were 55 km from the South Shetland Islands (our first land sighting was at noon) with temp of 2.8 degrees C. After lunch we excitedly boarded for our first zodiac ride and landing - on tiny Barrientos Island among the South...

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Mar 21, 2018 - On The Good Ship Ushuaia

On the 20th, passengers gathered at the docks at 3:45 p.m., at which time packs & suitcases were to be checked, tagged, loaded and delivered to our assigned quarters. Juan, the expedition leader who first saw our packs, expressed grave concern that they were too small, and we cheerfully assured him we had very good technical gear and much experience in winter weather. A scant 45 minutes later the good ship M/V USHUAIA with her load of 91 passengers and 40 crew was steaming toward the Beagle Channel. After finding, unpacking and being...

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Mar 20, 2018 - Ushuaia, The End of The World

Ushuaia (/uːˈʃwaɪ.ə/; Spanish pronunciation: [uˈswaʝa]) is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. The city’s motto is "Ushuaia, fin del mundo, principio de todo" (Spanish) "Ushuaia, end of the world, beginning of everything." As folks at home in Edmonton were just beginning to feel the days lengthening, we arrived at the southernmost point of Argentina to learn that sunset at the South Pole had begun! The one and only sunset of...

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Feb 10, 2018 - Ushuaia, Argentina

As the ship continues to zig zag through the water, today we return to the country of Argentina. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel. It is the only municipality in the Department of Ushuaia, which has an area of 3,625 square miles. It...

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