Next stop was Campbell Island. Just like going to the Alaskan Penninsula. Can't see anything, rain, wind, clouds and more of the same. After visiting the Sub-Antarctic, we were on our way to cross the southern ocean...just a little area of flat water...an idyllic pond! Well that is what it said in the travel brochure! Great place to try out all the seasick remedies.
We finally reached the continent. WOW! We ended up at Cape Adare. Home to a rather large group (500,000) of Ade'lie Penguins were homesteading. We went ashore and it was a fantastic experience. The little fellas in tux's are just as curious as we were. The rule is "lookee no touchee". I think I have heard that at the Alaskan Bush Company.
This page is dedicated to all the folks that sent me on a trip of a life time. A very large group of folks got together and gave me a very special chance to fulfill one of my dreams. They thought I ought to make this my destiny. What they didn't count on, is that the response was so great that there was enough money to come back home. I think a lot were thinking of a one way trip! I am forever grateful of the generosity of everybody involved.
The trip started out in Christchurch New Zealand. There I boarded a Russian Icebreaker. The Kapitan Khlebnikov. We departed Lyttlon Harbor and headed for
"deep south". Our first stop was Enderbry Islands. We saw Yellow Eyed Penquin and the endangered Hooker's Sea Lion.
I had brought a small compass onshore and was very surprised that when I pointed North, the compass swung south. O.K. not quite like the myth of the water in the toilet swirling counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere. We had passed the magnetic pole and were actually on the back side of it...The next place we parked was Coulman Island. Here we we had the good fortune to go to a Emperor Penquin colony. The chicks were still in down. It was another unbelievable experience. (Remember March of the Penquins!) Connie was there as a reporter doing a story about Antarctic tourism.
Next stop was Cape Washington. Check out how the captain "parked" the ship. This was also a Emperor Penquin colony. Here there were Weddell seals "hauling out" and just being lazy. There were also roving gangs of Ade'lie Penquins marching and sliding around.
If all that was not enough, we headed to the Dry Valleys. This is the only place were there is no snow or ice. This is the driest place on earth. The Mars Rovers were tested here... Got our first glimpse of B15A iceberg. It was then 60 miles long. It has since under gone some major transformations. A large storm surge from here recently (Alaska, Oct. 05) has broke it apart. We then made our way towards Cape Evans and Cape Royds near McMurdo Station. This area is where Shackleton & Scotts Huts are. They are still the same as when they left them. The sacks hanging in Shackletons hut are actually hams...a little freezer burned though. As you seen in previous pictures how the ship "parked", I thought it would be intresting to see if I could push it back in the water...oh yes, that is a can of Spam that Dr. Paul and I are holding. (Whitekeys, this is for you!)
Next came a very big surprise. We flew off to McMurdo Staion and Scott Base. I have come to the conclusion that there is no place on this earth where I can get away with anything. As we got there I was surprised by folks that I know here in Alaska. They were working at McMurdo. My friend "Croozer" is the one that sparked my interest in Antarctica many years. I got a chance to see his shop and banners you see there are the Winter Over signs...Now of course there has to be at least one incident on a adventure like this. As was well said by Belinda (one of the expedition leaders) this is the southern most sitghting of a Beluga Whale. The pictures say it all...While we were "parked" in the ice, got another once in a life time experience and flew up to the top of Mt.Erebus and got some pictures. This volcano is only one of 5 in the world that has a active lava pool in the bottom of it.
Well we departed to the North as this was as far south as a ship could go. We sailed to B15K iceberg (a piece of B15) to have a farewell party. Champagne at that! We got to the iceberg and flew up on it and had quite an evening. Another very memorable event. Raewyn, Steve, Camilla, Belinda and Elke were making sure that I had plenty of "adult supervision."
Well party is over and back to our voyage North. Next stop was Terra Nova, the Italian base. They were very accomadating and had a very warm reception for us. Must not get to many visitors! They were still iced in and our gracious captain agreed to break out some ice so they could launch their small research boats.
After leaving Terra Nova we continued North to the Balleny Islands. We got into some pretty rough weatehr and went on the leward side of these islands to get some shelter. We did get a chance to take the Zodiacs to Sabrina Island were we saw Chin Strap Penguins.
We headed Northwest to leave Antarctica. Once again crossing the tranquil Southern Ocean. Right! There were seat belts in the bunks to keep from getting thrown out of bed. As much as I hate seat belts I even used them. We were headed for Macquaire Island. Our last stop before arriving in Hobart Tasmania. This was probably the best place for viewing penguins. There were King and Royal (the ones having a "bad" hair day) penguins and Elephant seals. This place was magical! Another of one of the many highlights of this adventure.
Once again, I want to thank my family and everybody else that had made this dream come true. I will always have the memories, mental images and friendships of a spectatcular adventure...Thank you, bryan