Tag Archives: quark expeditions

Drake Passage, Quark Sea Adventurer style…

This is not bad for the Drake Passage they said.
This is very mild they said.
You’ve had it easy, surely you want some rough seas before arriving back they said.
This is only 5-7 metre swells, only occasionally hitting 10 metres they said.
The glasses crashing is normal they said.
The tray load of dishes bursting out the kitchen door is nothing to worry about they said.
The red wine bottles falling in laps is part of the fun they said.
Yes, it can get much worse they said.
You’re lucky they said.
Come on, this is nothing they said.

Now, I don’t know about you… but getting thrown around in the sea in a ship, albeit robust, is not really my idea of fun and certainly not something I go out of my way to experience.

But experience we did as the only way to return to the rest of the world is via the Drake Passage and we were on it, rocking and rolling, like we were in an enormous gyrating aquatic washing machine.

That said, is was kind of fun! Once the motion sickness was contained, you could almost chuckle on the big rolls, especially as the dining room was trying to function normally, with the push and pull being counterproductive.

Would I miss this if I never had to do it again? NO
Would I do it again if it meant returning to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions? YES, IN A HEARTBEAT!

Sending Post from Antarctica…

And Port Lockroy is the place to do it. Even though it may take up to 90 days, it will eventually be delivered.

The reason it takes so long is because it goes from Port Lockroy to:

  1. Port Stanley, Falkland Islands by boat (depending when the next one goes)
  2. UK by plane
  3. then disbursed out across the world

“Port Lockroy” is not only an important natural and historic environment, but also a destination for many from around the world who want to come and learn more about the Antarctic. One role is to consistently monitor through a long-term environmental study, now running for more than a decade, the impact of visitors to the site; and, in conjunction with that study, regulate the number of visitors and ships visiting the area, as well as, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, imposing strict site guidelines to ensure the environment is properly cared for.

The gift shop and museum acts as a fund raiser, together with offering the postal services.

And as well as studying the local wildlife…

65degrees 17’S – as far South as we could go…

Sadly… couldn’t make it to the Antarctic Circle. Mother Nature had decided it was not our time.

In 1901, Ernest Shackleton made it to 88degrees S; 97 miles from the South Pole.

When Captain James Cook tried, he made it to 67degrees 15’S in 1772 and 67degrees 31’S in 1773 and the furthest in 1774 at 71degrees 10’S.

Roald Amundsen was the First Man to Reach South Pole. On Dec. 14, 1911, he and four fellow Norwegian explorers became the first men to reach the South Pole, beating the ill-fated team of British Capt. Robert F. Scott by just over a month.

As you can see though, we were not going anywhere…

Antarctica, the 7th Continent = done and dusted!

Stepping onto the Antarctic continent today at “Brown Bluff”. Such an achievement!
Especially for Daughter who ticked off her continent #7 at just 17 years old…

Brown Bluff is a basalt tuya located on the Tabarin Peninsula of northern Antarctica. It formed in the past 1 million years, which erupted subglacially within an englacial lake. [Wikipedia]

Then onto the “Lemaire Channel”, which is a strait off Antarctica, between Kiev Peninsula in the mainland’s Graham Land and Booth Island. [Wikipedia].

A most dramatic part of the world, where not only does the ship battle ice but also the width of the channel itself. At only 3 cables wide in parts, there’s not a lot of room for error. A stunning part of the world nonetheless.

“Mikkelsen Bay” was next… located on the west coast of Graham Land of Antartica. Also a place holding numerous whale bones of all shapes and sizes.

A few hours further south got us to Portal Point, which  is a narrow point in the northeast part of Reclus Peninsula, on the west coast of Graham Land. [Wikipedia]

This is also another fabulous spot the kayakers (Daughter included) got to paddle in… blessed indeed!

New Years Eve into Day 2016 in the Antarctic Sound…

After a dance-all-night New Years Eve party with many onboard, as it continued to stay light outside, 2016 was brought in with much laughter and frivolity.

With a late finish, followed closely by an early start, all was worth it in the glow of a glorious Antartica morning welcome as we sailed through icebergs and iceflows of the Antarctic Sound.