Monday, 29 November 2010

Brown Bluff and the Antarctic Sound

Today we sailed all day until hrs 1700, when we arrived in Brown Bluff, Antarctic Sound on the northern part of the peninsula. on our way the weather cleared up so we could see land in the distance and eventually many tabular ice-sheets, which most are larger than skyscrapers...

We passed the Argentine base at Esperanza, meaning hope in spanish. this base is fully manned year round and they even have children there, which is quite unusual.

We landed at Brown bluff, which is a small outcrop of volcanic rocks, a moberg in icelandic or a tabular mountain, created by a sub-glacial eruption (volcano under a glacier) some time ago...

here there are 20 000 adelie penguins and some gentoo penguins. the landing went well, but it was -0.3 degrees in the water, a cold wind and around 0 in air temperature.

Now we are sailing across the strait and will make two landings tomorrow on the South Shetland islands and the we cross the Drake passage again...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Peterman Island and Port Lockroy

This morning i has been snowing, low fog and clouds but almost now wind. but it hasn´t been much of a scenery for our passengers to see today. we had a good landing at Peterman Island, where amazingly an other 100 000 Gentoo penguins and a few others roam around...

Now we are in the Lemaire channel north-bound to the old British base at Port Lockroy for some more Gentoo penguins  and some souvenir shopping...

The landing at Port Lockroy went well, the weather was calm and the sun was almost there. we were greeted by thousands of Gentoo-penguins and some of the girls at the station. This station is only manned for the four summer months and is run by the British Antarctic Heritage foundation, that is restoring old bases and huts from the British claims in Antarctica.

I spent my time at tha landing zone, helping more or less disabled cruise guest on and off our small boats.

Now we are sailing to the northern part of the peninsula, to Brown Bluff in the Antarctic Sound, where i hope we will have some good weather???

The landing will be in the evening, so most of the day will be sailing and i will take care of the reception for a few hours

Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour

Yeasterday we sailed to Cuverville island, which is a Gentoo penguin colony of around 100 000 small individuals. these fellows are not afraid of anything and are quite curious and will come close to you!

heavy drift ice started to tie up our operations in the end, but we all managed to get away from land. a big Leopard seal even visited us. i was trying to take pictures of jumping penguins in the water, but that is easier said than done...

After lunch we got stopped with heavy ice from going to a deserted Argentine base at Admiralte Brown and instead we went to Neko Harbour, (were we got stuck for 7 hrs last trip by ice), but this time there was almost no ice. we visited the Gentoo penguins here also around 100 000, from 2015 to 2230. then 8 members of our staff, Anna included slept in tents on land to try out a new project, while i stayed on the ship (Anna got my spot)

Trip two to Antarctica

on the 19th of November my father flew home and i met up with Anna which was joining me for the second trip. As a matter of fact i met her in a penguin store i passed on my way around in Ushuaia, which in fact is a beautifull situated tourist town.

we left Ushuaia the same evening and entered the Beagle Channel and later on we entered the Strait of Magellan. the fjords in the southern part of Chile look a lot like the fjords in Norway.

Arriving in Punta Arenas late in the evening the 20th we had to wait more than 2 horus for more than 10 customs officials to stamp our passports and go threw papers...go figure;0)

the next day i had to follow some of the passengers on a excursion, a hike, but these people try to cheat you all the time. it all started out really bad but ended up quite well. Anna was walking around in town in the mean-time. Anna and I met up at lunch whereafter we walked around in the city, that has the most craziest wirering of electricity i have ever seen, strangely enough the town hasn´t burned down...

we found Shackleton bar and stayed there a while, enjoying the atmosphere of this old place where Shackleton came asking for help when his men were stuck on Elephant island.

in the evening we tried to get something to eat and drink in town, but again the locals didn´t care about us so after 1 1/2 hrs we left the place without getting anything to eat. shame on them.

the ship left port in the early hrs of dawn and we had a landing at hrs 0530 at Magdalena Island, where 100 000 Magelanic penguins are spread all over...

Then we continued to Puerto Williams, an old chilean naval base on opposite to Ushuaia. here we had a good hike and spent some time in the jacuzzi at deck 7!

From Puerto Williams we went towards Cape Horn, but aborted a landing as we had between 25 and 32 m/sek winds and 7 m waves. so the course was turned towards Antarctica and here we are. 

the first day we had two landing at Deception Island, an old caldera (volcanic crater) that is still active, meaning the sea-floor is growing by 30 cm pr year and warm water flows around some places. the first landing was at Whalers Bay, an old whaling station and British base. some groups where walking over the mountain to a penguin colony, but got hammered by around 30 m/sek winds and snow and had some difficulties getting back. around half of the passengeres didn´t even get on shore. After lunch we went to Telefon Bay in the northern part of the Caldera where everyone got on land and around 14 people went for a swim. the water temp was -1 and we had a strong breeze...


I have been a really bad bad boy, not updating my blog. I have enough with trying to update my facebook profile.

So far we had a really good trip. from the falklands we spent 2 days at sea to South Georgia, where we saw a lot of wildlife, raindeer (which the government wants to exterminate), fur seals (agressive), king penguins (colourfull) , walked the last part of Shackletons walk from Fortuna Bay over to the old whaling station at Stromness, visited the whalin station at Grytviken (english base now) and had two great days with good weather.

Thereafter we sailed to Drygalski fjord and then two more days to Elephant Island where Shackletons men stayed for 105 days. it is the most god forsaken place on this side of earth and must have been terrible...

After three days on the Antarctic Peninsula seen penguins and penguins and visiting the Polish base at Arctowski (South Shetland Islands) (old rubbish) we went over the Drake Passage and got hit by a storm that stirred around in my stomach. arriving in Ushuai on the 19th we walked a bit around and went to the best restaurant in Argentina, for some steaks, before my father flew bak to Buenos Aires and eventually home.

Monday, 8 November 2010

First day in the Falklands

Today we started very early...landing on the beach at hrs 0630 and the tourists at hrs 0700. thereby us guides got a head start getting to all the birds and penguins before everyone else;0)

this first landing site was West Point islands, there used to be a farm, but now the whole island is a nature reserve and there is one cozy couple staying there for 9 months a year. they invited us for tea and home made biscuits. we saw albatros and rockhopper penguins up close. it was all a very good day at this site, even though i wished i would have seen more of the landscape, as it was all covered in fog and low clouds spiced up by the occasional rain showers.

then we got on to the ship again, while eating lunch we sailed south to New Island on the SW corner of East Falklands. at this place 6 people live 6 months a year taking care of the island as a nature reserve. everyone was very friendly.

the weather was even worse, with more than occasional rain showers and more cool wind.

this place was infested by more albatros, rockhopper penguins and commorants.

after some hrs at this place we got on board the ship and set "sail" for Stanley, which was 190 nm away.

Daddys birthday

today my father had his 70 year birthday. we are still at sea and it is mostly foggy and cloudy weather. the temperature is around +12 degrees and this will be our last sea day before arriving the western part of the Falklands tomorrow.

my father got a birthday cake during the dinner and i did not have anything to do about it, as i was not even there, attending a meeting! all the servants was singing "happy birthday"

there are some birds around, but as i am not a biologist, they all look like sea-gulls to me;0)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

more fog

Today we had more fog, but absolutely flat water and very little wind.

i have spent the day with having a lecture about dogs in Antarctica, being translated into german by Steffen.

then i heard steffen having a lecture about the geological history of earth and Olle having a lecture about ice and glaciers. finally i watched the third episode of the Falklands conflict in 1982, lasting 2 hrs.

after dinner in the crew mess we spent some time in the panorama lounge socializing...

good night

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

fog and rain

Today it has been raining a bit and foggy weather, but with very little wind and small waves.  thus i will not turn green;0)

I had a lecture about the dogs of Antarctica for the english, and this time it was quite good, people now call me the dog man and loved my clips, with sound, video and pictures!

for the last two days i have been showing a documentary about the Falklands conflict in 1982, very interesting and a good background before we enter Stanley on sunday! some people are more interested in the wildlife than the war, but not me.

we passed 42 degrees south and still have two more days before we enter the Falklands, we weven have the ex-governour of the Falklands, Donald Lamont with us. he has a lot of knowledge from his time there from 1999-2003 and is a jolly good chap, as the british would probably say it;0)

today my father and i went to the sauna and the hot-tub, it is such a hard day at the office...

Preparing lectures and restructuring them and attending meetings and listening to other lectures also takes time....

we have 218 passengers onboard;

3 Austria

7 Australia

1 Belgium

1 Brazil

1 Swiss

4 China

47 Germany

1 Denmark

6 France

46 GB

1 Luxembourg

2 Netherlands

28 Norway

6 Sweden

1 Thailand

18 Vietnam

45 USA

i put some photographs on "pictures"

sunny day at sea

On the 2nd we had only good weather and calm seas and almost no wind. The guests where enjoying the sun on the deck, working out and sitting in the hot-tubs...

I had a lecture about dogs in Antarctica for the scandinavians, which was ok, but i spent soem hrs adding material to it, since it was a bit short and not very catchy!

Sea-birds and seal and some kind of penguin species started to swim and fly around our ship.

first day at sea...

Early morning on the 1st of November I went down to the docks and the ship, MV Fram, while my father stayed at the hotel and later went on a guided tour around in the city.

it was a very warm day and the taxi drivers drive like crazy in this town, nothing for my mother!

It took some time to get the taxi driver to the right place, since he did not speak english and i not spanish. the security guard at the docks did not speak english either, but luckily i had my old crew card and could get in that way, through millions of containers...

the rest of the afternoon went with getting things ready for the guests, like jacket they would get, luggage, dressing ourselves up in our uniforms and having lunch.

the weather was very warm, around 25 degrees and absolutely now wind and no clouds.

my father and the others came onboard and we could head out to sea...

Roaming the streets of Buenos Aires

On the 31 st my dad and I went walk-about in the city. it is a quite beautifull city with a lot of modern houses, old houses and poor  quaters. people are friendly and open and we never felt un-welcome. We looked at the old harbour with lots of good restaurants with people sitting in their summer clothes eating steaks and drinking good Argentine redwine, enjoying the sun. i evene managed to get the colour of a medium rare steak!

we had a bottle of redwine and a wonderful tender beef for lunch, watched the worlds largest flee-market, the presidential palace of Eva Peron and in the evening we met up with the guide-team and had a great dinner at La Grava.

One of my friends, Björn told me his brother was in town and he surprised us at the restaurant, and we had a long talk over some wine, steaks and beer. it was just great to meet Per-Christian on the other side of the world...

A long day and a longer evening turned out well and we could sleep with good conciousness...

Buenos Aires

My father and i arrived in Buenos Aires on the evening of the 30th of October after an very long and cramped up flight. first we flew with Lufthansa from Oslo to Frankfurt which took 2 hrs and got a halfbaked sandwich for breakfast, but it was free;0)

After a long walk in this HUGE terminal we where told that there might not be enough places on the flight, due to overbooking! but things solved out to our best and we got onboard on the jumbojet, 737-400 with around 400 other passengers...

the seats were really small and absolutely no space and no tv-screen on your own. so basicly a really long and bad flight, were we only got food twice, which wasn´t much to write home about.

After 14 hrs flight and 2 hrs delay we landed in Buenos Aires, which only has 13 mill inhabitants!

we found a bus taking all the passengers to the hotel. the drive was 30 min and took us through 3 toll-roads and we passed rich and poor peoples houses.

the hotel was really great. after some fast unpacking we went down in the bar and had some food before going to bed. the temperature was still 18 degrees.