Sunday, 26 July 2009

Antarctica trip

Well getting pregnant again has totally stuffed up my plans for Antarctica trip this year. I was going to go in December but since baby is due in November... I don't think so!

Guess I'll have to go next year, though I did notice on the website that this year's journey (Heritage Expeditions) is cancelled. So maybe that's a good thing for me!

I'm mainly concerned with Emperor penguins and birding, so I really like the Heritage one. Though there are some that have flights to a Emperor penguin rookery which I think is really cool, perhaps I'll make 2 trips, one to the Antarctic for Emperor penguins, and maybe one to the Subantarctic islands to see other penguins and pelagic species.

The trip I had planned was with Heritage Expeditions, a NZ company.

Overview of "In the Footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson":

Encouraged by the success of the 1908/09 Nimrod Expedition, and in particular his successful trip to the South Magnetic Pole, Douglas Mawson planned to lead his own expedition to explore the Antarctic coastline directly south of Australia. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition sailed from Hobart on 2nd December 1911.
The Expedition made a brief stop at Macquarie Island to establish a radio base and then continued south making landfall at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay. Unbeknown to Mawson and his men they had discovered the windiest place on the planet, renowned as the ‘home of the blizzard’. Tragedy struck the expedition when Ninnis and Mertz died. Mawson cheated death on more than one occasion and had to spend another winter because he arrived back after their relief ship had sailed. We hope for weather that will allow us to land at Cape Dennison to visit and photograph Mawson’s Hut and enjoy the beauty of this seldom visited part of Antarctica.
The French maintain a base west of Commonwealth Bay near the spot where the French Explorer Dumont d’Urville landed in January 1840.

Quark expeditions also has one that goes from Argentina to NZ, which also goes to Hobart in the future!

Here is the map of their journey:
Epic Antarctica: via the Phantom coast and Ross Sea
Expedition Summary
Day 1 Overnight Argentina
Day 2 Embarkation Day
Day 3-5 Drake Passage and South Shetland Islands.
Day 6-8 The Antarctic Peninsula
Day 9-10 The Phantom Coast.
Day 11-16 The Amundsen Sea
Day 17-18 Ross Ice Shelf.
Day 19-21 Ross Island and McMurdo Sound
Day 22-24 The Ross Sea and Cape Royds.
Day 25-28 Southern Ocean and Campbell Island
Day 29-31 Enderby Island to Lyttelton, New Zealand.

There are Quark expeditions for just Emperor penguins:

Emperor penguins: Snow Hill Island Safari

Expedition Summary
Day 1 Ushuaia
Day 2 Embarkation
Day 3-4 The Drake Passage
Day 5-7 Wildlife Viewing
Day 8-11 Antarctic Peninsula
Day 12-14 Drake Passage

You get to spend 3 days at the rookery! And hopefully get to see some Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstraps as well.

Emperors and Kings: Snow Hill and South Georgia

Expedition Summary
Day 1 Ushuaia
Day 2 Embarkation
Day 3-4 The Drake Passage
Day 5 South Shetland Islands
Day 6-8 Emperor Penguin rookery
Day 9-11 South Orkney Islands and Southern Ocean
Day 12-16 South Georgia
Day 17-18 At sea
Day 19-20 Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Day 21 Fly to Santiago to spend the night
Day 22 Home

Of course, one needs LOTS of money for these sorts of trips! We're talking minimum US$15k per person here! Can you imagine blowing the cost of a car on a holiday?

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