Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Antarctic Circle beckons.

When we rode the bike into Ushuaia in December 2012 we hoped that one day we would board a ship and sail to the Antarctica and Complete the Ice to Ice Adventure.
In January 2015 we set off on a cruise to Antarctica.

Two years prior to the cruise we rode into Ushuaia on a motorcycle. 
The end of a five month journey from the Arctic. Dick rode north to Buenos Aires with Ken and I flew back to New Zealand. 
This time Dick and I left together on the Ocean Diamond on a  Quark cruise to Antarctica. 
We chose this particular cruise because we are hoping to cross the Antarctic Circle and to complete the Ice to Ice adventure by walking on the ice in Antarctica.

Words are inadequate to describe what we saw... 
Magnificent scenes. Glaciers, Mountains, Icebergs, stormy seas, and eerily calm bays.
Tenacious wildlife - penguins, whales, birds 
Evidence of  historic explorers and present day researchers..  
The scenes were often too big for my camera.

A sister Quark ship was leaving port just before us.

Farewell Ushuaia 

Bulky vivid yellow Antarctic proof jackets and thermal gumboots were supplied. It felt as if we were clad in enough gear for a moon landing.
I had a recent ankle fracture and when I wasn't wearing a  moon boot I managed to fit ankle+air cast into a size 14 thermal gumboot.  I didn't want to miss out on any adventures. There were plenty.

 Most days we went ashore a couple of times and had  a couple of hours each morning and afternoon  cruising among the icebergs and wildlife in a zodiac.

Only a few more steps to negotiate and a strong 'fireman's' grip and I am on board a zodiac with a very well-informed naturalist who is also the skipper for this jaunt.. 

I wonder what the icebergs look like through these lenses?

After  a couple of hours mostly out of sight of the Ocean Diamond it is reassuring to see her ahead.

 All aboard... 

Later we woke up and went out onto the  freshly snow-covered deck at around 1a.m. in broad daylight as the ship crossed the Antarctic Circle.

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