Antarctic Peninsula and Polar Circle 2020 Feb 10 2020 -13

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<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong> Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong><br />

Albatros Magazine<br />

A Visual Journey<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong><br />

& <strong>Polar</strong> <strong>Circle</strong><br />

A Journey of a Lifetime<br />


Albatros Magazine: A Visual Journey<br />

Editor-in-Chief:<br />

Layout & Design:<br />

Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Gaby Pilson & Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Front Cover Image:<br />

Back Cover Image:<br />

Photography Contributors:<br />

Gentoo Family © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowiz<br />

Elephant seal © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowiz<br />

S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Yuri Choufour<br />

Werner Kruse<br />

Renato Granieri<br />

Gaby Pilson<br />

Shannon Jensen<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong> Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>


The Voyage<br />

Meet the Team<br />

Day 1: Southward Bound<br />

The Seven Sisters of Szczecin<br />

An Unlikely <strong>Antarctic</strong> Explorer<br />

Day 2: Rolling Our Way South<br />

Penguins! Fun Facts for the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Adventurer<br />

Day 3: Our First Steps in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

Ice is Nice – Glacier Fun Facts<br />

Whales: Friendly Giants of the Sea<br />

Day 4: L<strong>and</strong>ing on Mainl<strong>and</strong> <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

The Geological Structure of the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

<strong>Peninsula</strong><br />

Day 5: The White Continent<br />

When <strong>and</strong> How the Earth Got Cold<br />

Day 6: In the Footsteps of Charcot<br />

Fire in the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

Day 7: South of the <strong>Circle</strong><br />

Day 8: Station Visit<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a: A Continent for Science<br />

Day 9: Departing the <strong>Peninsula</strong><br />

Day <strong>10</strong>: The Last Day<br />

A Brief History of the Zodiac<br />

Day 11: Northward Bound<br />

Day 12: The Beagle Channel<br />

King of the Southern Winds<br />

Day <strong>13</strong>: Home Again<br />

By the Numbers<br />

A Final Note<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

<strong>10</strong><br />

11<br />

<strong>13</strong><br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

18<br />

19<br />

21<br />

22<br />

25<br />

27<br />

28<br />

29<br />

31<br />

32<br />

33<br />

34<br />

36<br />

37<br />


The Voyage<br />

3<br />

The following map traces the approximate route that the M/V Ocean Atlantic took during our<br />

voyage to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a. You can find more information about our day to day activities, l<strong>and</strong>ings, <strong>and</strong><br />

excursions on the following pages. We hope that this magazine serves as a reminder of all of the<br />

wonderful memories you made while experiencing the <strong>Antarctic</strong> with.<br />

o<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Meet the Team<br />

4<br />

Rashidah Lim<br />

Assistant Expedition<br />

Leader<br />

Samuel<br />

Expedition Leader<br />

Christophe Gouraud<br />

Assistant Expedition<br />

Leader<br />

Ted Creek<br />

Zodiac Master<br />

Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Kayak Master<br />

David Reid<br />

Kayak Guide<br />

Isabelle Howells<br />

Equipment Master<br />

Nadine Smith<br />

Shop Manager<br />

Rose Li<br />

Translator & Guide<br />

Barbara Post<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Photographer<br />

Shannon Jensen<br />

First Aid Responder<br />

Kevin Burke<br />

Lecture & Guide<br />

Ab Steenvoorden<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Lisa Pettenuzzo<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Nick Gan<br />

Translator & Guide<br />

Christina<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Marta<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Sanna Kallio<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Chloe Shang<br />

Shop Assistent<br />

Steve Egan<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Wan Meng Chieh<br />

Translator & Guide<br />

Zoy Li Jianqun<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

1-<strong>10</strong>, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

5<br />

Day 1 - Southward Bound<br />

1 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> - Embarkation Day<br />

As the wheels of the plane touched down on the<br />

runway in Ushuaia, we were treated to<br />

magnificent views of Tierra del Fuego <strong>and</strong> the<br />

southernmost city in Argentina that marks the<br />

start of our <strong>Antarctic</strong> adventure. After a night in<br />

Ushuaia we were better rested from the long<br />

travel <strong>and</strong> mid-day we arrived at the pier eager to<br />

board the lovely ship Ocean Atlantic.<br />

Our adventure to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a started as the first<br />

busses drove along the pier in beautiful summer<br />

weather. Members of the Albatros Expedition<br />

Team welcomed us onboard <strong>and</strong> the excitement<br />

was palatable as we climbed the gangway steps.<br />

Everyone checked in with the hotel department<br />

<strong>and</strong> settled in our rooms before starting to<br />

explore the vessel which will be our home for the<br />

next ten days. Having time for tea as well as a<br />

small snack, it was soon time for the m<strong>and</strong>atory<br />

safety briefing followed by an important safety<br />

drill. The recognizable alarm went off throughout<br />

the ship <strong>and</strong> people gathered at their muster<br />

stations <strong>and</strong> later at the emergency life boats.<br />

Shortly after the drill was finished, the Ocean<br />

Atlantic slowly started to move away from the pier<br />

<strong>and</strong> began its journey through the Beagle channel,<br />

before heading straight South towards <strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

Meanwhile, Expedition Leader Sam hosted the<br />

welcome briefing in the Viking Theatre <strong>and</strong> Hotel<br />

Director Oliver introduced the ship <strong>and</strong> the many<br />

staff working to provide an excellent experience,<br />

including the food <strong>and</strong> beverage manager, the<br />

head of housekeeping <strong>and</strong> the purser. Sam then<br />

introduced the different members of the<br />

expedition team <strong>and</strong> their roles onboard. He<br />

proceeded then to outline the plans <strong>and</strong> details<br />

for the voyage, including an update regarding the<br />

weather, which was for a very pleasant forecast<br />

for the infamous Drake Passage.<br />

The evening ended with a big welcome dinner,<br />

where people got to know their new travel<br />

companions. Many went to bed early after several<br />

days of travel. However, a few went outside on<br />

the decks, where we were able to spot many<br />

seabirds flying around the ship, several of the<br />

larger albatrosses were sighted marking the start<br />

of a great wildlife journey in the southern<br />

hemisphere.<br />

But, as explorers know all too well, we can only<br />

ever experience true beauty in nature when we<br />

are brave enough to seek it out amongst the<br />

mountains <strong>and</strong> the seas in the world’s most<br />

remote places. It is with that sentiment in mind<br />

that we venture away from Ushuaia <strong>and</strong> south, to<br />

the future <strong>and</strong> all the wonders it holds.<br />

1-<strong>10</strong>, FEB <strong>2020</strong> Volume 2, Issue 12

The Seven Sisters of Szczecin<br />

David MacDonald, Lecturer (Geology) & Expedition Guide<br />

M/V Ocean Atlantic was launched in 1986 as the last-built of the ‘Shoshtakovich’ class of ice-strengthened<br />

passenger vessels, alongside six sister ships, together known as the “Seven Sisters of Szczecin.<br />

6<br />

Her original name was Konstantin Chernenko<br />

(Константин Черненко), after the President of the<br />

USSR (1984-1985). She was renamed Russ (Русс) in<br />

1989, <strong>and</strong> spent much of her life working in the Russian<br />

Far East.<br />

She was purchased by Albatros Expeditions <strong>and</strong><br />

completely refitted in 2017. She is now a 200-<br />

passenger expedition vessel <strong>and</strong> is one of the strongest<br />

polar cruise ships afloat. Here are some fun facts about<br />

the “Seven Sisters”:<br />

• All seven ships were built by Stocnia Szczecinska<br />

shipyard in Szczecin, Pol<strong>and</strong> between 1979-1986<br />

• Main engines: 4 x Skoda Sulzer 6LZ40 total power<br />

12800 kW, giving a maximum speed of 18 knots<br />

• Most of the class have one bow thruster (736 kW)<br />

<strong>and</strong> one stern thruster (426 kW); however, two<br />

ships, including ours, built in 1986, have two stern<br />

thrusters, each of 426 kW<br />

• Feature Siemens stabilisers for seaworthiness<br />

• Although built as ferries, they have a strengthened<br />

car deck for transport of tanks<br />

• Two of them had diving chambers<br />

• MV Mikhail Sholokov had hull demagnetising<br />

equipment so it could operate in minefields<br />

• All of these ships have been scrapped except ours<br />

<strong>and</strong> Konstantin Simonov – now Ocean Endeavour<br />

Our ship has had a complex history:<br />

1986-1987 In Baltic traffic, then Vladivostok to<br />

Japan & S Korea<br />

1989 renamed to Russ<br />

1997-1999 In traffic Stockholm-Riga; 2000<br />

Odessa-Haifa; 2002 back to<br />

Vladivostok transporting cars from<br />

Japan<br />

2007 Sold to Sea Ferry Shipping in Majuro<br />

<strong>and</strong> renamed 20<strong>10</strong> to Atlantic;<br />

renovations in Italy <strong>and</strong> in traffic<br />

Stockholm-Helsinki-St. Petersburg<br />

during summer <strong>and</strong> laid up (October<br />

20<strong>10</strong>) in St Petersburg<br />

2012 Sold to ISP in Miami <strong>and</strong> renamed to<br />

Ocean Atlantic under Marshall<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>s flag<br />

20<strong>13</strong> Used as a hotel ship in the German<br />

bight wind farm project<br />

2015-2017 Laid up in Helsingborg <strong>and</strong> taken to<br />

Gdansk in Pol<strong>and</strong>, where totally<br />

refitted<br />

2017 Chartered to Quark Expeditions<br />

2017-present Chartered to Albatros Expeditions.<br />

1-<strong>10</strong> FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

An Unlikely <strong>Antarctic</strong> Explorer<br />

Gregers Gjersøe – Snowshoe Master & Expedition Guide<br />

7<br />

In a suburb of Wellington, New Zeal<strong>and</strong>, the local<br />

cemetery is home to a rather unassuming grave.<br />

The final resting place of Henry “Chippy” McNish,<br />

one of the survivors of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s<br />

1914 Endurance Expedition, the grave is also a<br />

memorial to one of the most improbable of<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> explorers.<br />

McNish himself was a carpenter onboard the<br />

Endurance, though he didn’t travel alone. During<br />

the expedition, McNish brought along a cat that<br />

followed him around like an overpossessive<br />

wife. Soon enough, the<br />

crew named the cat Mrs. Chippy,<br />

although the expedition quickly<br />

realised that Mrs. Chippy was a<br />

gentleman, not a lady.<br />

Mrs. Chippy was an unusual cat,<br />

though an avid adventurer,<br />

having climbed the Endurance’s<br />

rigging lines on several<br />

occasions. Mrs. Chippy also did<br />

some very provocative strolls<br />

across the roofs of the dogs’ kennels<br />

<strong>and</strong> even once fell into the frigid water<br />

below. Thankfully, the crew heard her cries <strong>and</strong><br />

quickly turned the ship around so they could<br />

pluck her up from the icy cold waters <strong>and</strong> get her<br />

to safety.<br />

Also onboard the Endurance was a young man -<br />

Perce Blackborow. Perce had travelled to Buenos<br />

Aires looking for new employment, but wasn’t<br />

hired; at 18, his youth <strong>and</strong> inexperience counted<br />

against him. Somehow, he managed to sneak<br />

aboard the ship, <strong>and</strong> he hid in a clothing locker<br />

for three days. Eventually, he was discovered,<br />

<strong>and</strong> Shackleton was furious with him, but was<br />

sent to work in the galley where he became great<br />

friends with Mrs. Chippy.<br />

In January of 1915, the Endurance got trapped in<br />

the <strong>Antarctic</strong> pack ice. McNish's work prevented<br />

the ship from flooding, but he couldn’t do<br />

anything to stop it from being crushed. The ship<br />

was ab<strong>and</strong>oned <strong>and</strong>, much to McNish’s despair,<br />

Shackleton ordered Mrs. Chippy to be shot, as<br />

they couldn’t take her on their survival journey.<br />

Now, the group had to make it back to safety. For<br />

months, the expedition drifted through icy<br />

waters until they made it to Elephant Isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

Once at Elephant Isl<strong>and</strong>, Shackleton set out<br />

in a 22-foot-long open boat <strong>and</strong> made<br />

an 800-mile crossing through the<br />

rough waters of the South Atlantic<br />

to South Georgia. McNish was<br />

one of the five men who<br />

accompanied Shackleton,<br />

making improvements to the<br />

boat to make the voyage<br />

possible.<br />

For the next fifteen years, McNish<br />

lived a difficult life in Wellington<br />

before passing away in 1930. He never<br />

forgave Shackleton for shooting Mrs.<br />

Chippy.<br />

Nearly 30 years later, in 1959, the New Zeal<strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> Society realised that McNish had been<br />

given a very poor burial in an unmarked grave.<br />

The Society raised funds for a headstone <strong>and</strong><br />

even reunited McNish <strong>and</strong> Mrs. Chippy by adding<br />

a life-sized bronze statue of Mrs. Chippy to the<br />

grave.<br />

Now Karori Cemetery near Wellington is a<br />

pilgrimage site for <strong>Antarctic</strong> history buffs, who<br />

visit McNish’s grave <strong>and</strong> see Mrs. Chippy<br />

watching over him once again.<br />

1-<strong>10</strong>, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

Day 2 - Rolling Our Way South<br />

<strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Drake Passage South<br />

8<br />

A rolling sea greeted us for our first full day<br />

together on Ocean Atlantic as she sailed<br />

southwards toward the promise of a snowy white<br />

continent. A lovely breakfast as the skies<br />

lightened, gave us a nutritious beginning to the<br />

events of the day. It was a relaxed start as many of<br />

us were still finding our sea legs as we rocked<br />

gently in the arms of Mother nature, across the<br />

Drake Passage.<br />

Our ornithologist Ab rolled out an entertaining<br />

introduction to the Seabirds of the Southern<br />

Ocean, giving us a great taste of the encounters<br />

we could look forward to with these feathered<br />

friends who accompany us on our passage to<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a. Interest was high <strong>and</strong> the Viking<br />

theatre full of curious questions about our winged<br />

companions <strong>and</strong> time ‘flew’ - before we knew it, it<br />

was time for a M<strong>and</strong>atory IAATO briefing.<br />

Expedition leader Sam gave us a preview of some<br />

introductory thoughts <strong>and</strong> perspectives about<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a, following this we enjoyed a great lunch<br />

put on by our creative galley team, fuelling us for<br />

an afternoon of further activities.<br />

A sweet snack at Tea Time flowed into an<br />

invitation to join an introduction to the Sea<br />

Kayaking Program onboard hosted by Shelli &<br />

David. Later S<strong>and</strong>ra lent us some valuable insights<br />

<strong>and</strong> tips on Photographing <strong>Antarctic</strong>a. Soon<br />

enough, a day of various briefings, social occasions<br />

<strong>and</strong> educational presentations brought us to our<br />

official welcome to the journey by the Master of<br />

our vessel our captain Georgii toasted to an<br />

successful Expedition ahead. After this <strong>and</strong> the<br />

briefing of the plans for the coming day a<br />

delightful evening meal was served as Ocean<br />

Atlantic steamed on south towards the horizon.<br />

Some gathered after dining, for popcorn <strong>and</strong> a<br />

screening of Frozen Planet to fuel dreams of the<br />

icy realms ahead.<br />

Late tonight, while we slept, we would cross the<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> Convergence, the gateway into<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s unique biological zone <strong>and</strong> can<br />

consider ourselves then properly already<br />

embraced by the great White Continent.<br />

After dining, we followed up on our underst<strong>and</strong>ing<br />

of the importance of arriving clean into the<br />

sensitive <strong>Antarctic</strong> environment, with the<br />

practicalities of screening all the clothing &<br />

equipment we would take ashore & generally had<br />

a fun social time in doing so. Throughout the<br />

afternoon as the sea state settled, many of us<br />

w<strong>and</strong>ered upstairs to inspect the view from the<br />

Ocean Atlantic bridge as well as explored the<br />

outer decks, mingled with our naturalists, or<br />

photographed the many <strong>and</strong> wondrous seabirds<br />

that chaperoned our sea journey.<br />

1-<strong>10</strong>, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

Penguins! Fun Facts for the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Adventurer<br />

Gaby Pilson, Hiking Master & Expedition Guide<br />

For many of us, the chance to see penguins waddling around in the snowy vastness of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a is the reason<br />

that we came to the White Continent. These charismatic sea birds are a fan-favourite for visitors to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a,<br />

but even cuddly-looking penguins are incredibly well adapted to one of the harshest environments on Earth.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

Depending on what book you read, there are 19<br />

species of penguins. If you count all of the<br />

subspecies, there are 25 total varieties of<br />

penguins in the world, however, there are only<br />

four truly <strong>Antarctic</strong> species of penguins: the<br />

Adélie, Gentoo, Chinstrap, <strong>and</strong> Emperor. All of<br />

the other penguins in the world live south of the<br />

equator yet north of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a, with the<br />

exception of one species in the Galapagos whose<br />

range barely crosses into the northern<br />

hemisphere.<br />

The largest penguin to have ever lived was the<br />

now-extinct mega penguin, which weighed some<br />

115 kg. These days, the largest penguin is the<br />

Emperor Penguin, which tips the scales at 23 kg.<br />

Alternatively, the smaller gentoo penguin weighs<br />

just 15 kg.<br />

9<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Although they nest, breed, <strong>and</strong> socialize on l<strong>and</strong>,<br />

penguins rely on the sea for survival. As<br />

swimming <strong>and</strong> diving birds, penguins are adept<br />

at fishing <strong>and</strong> must head to the ocean for their<br />

sustenance. Indeed, the deepest diving bird in<br />

the world is the Emperor Penguin, with a<br />

record-breaking dive of 535 meters!<br />

Penguins are amazing swimmers. They spend<br />

much of their day searching for food in the<br />

ocean, particularly for their favourite meal of<br />

krill, squid, <strong>and</strong> small fish. The fastest swimming<br />

penguin is the Gentoo, which is known to reach<br />

speeds of upwards of 50 kilometres an hour<br />

while zooming through the water.<br />

Penguins are highly social birds, choosing to<br />

nest in large colonies, where they will also raise<br />

their young. Many penguin chicks, after<br />

hatching stay with their parents for a few weeks<br />

to a few months before forming large “crechés,”<br />

many hundreds of individual teenage penguins<br />

in size.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Day 3 – Our First Steps in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

12 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Drake Passage <strong>and</strong> Aitcho Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

<strong>10</strong><br />

As we began our second day at sea, we saw our<br />

first iceberg shortly after breakfast began.<br />

Overnight we had been <strong>and</strong> making good time<br />

across the Drake, it became apparent that we<br />

would be able to try a l<strong>and</strong>ing that very afternoon<br />

as we were passing through the South Shetl<strong>and</strong><br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>s. We had been moving at top speeds to<br />

successfully get in front of some bad weather <strong>and</strong><br />

thanks to this acceleration, we were able to add in<br />

an extra unplanned l<strong>and</strong>ing!<br />

So to prepare for this, we had a few activities we<br />

had to get done this morning, including the zodiac<br />

briefing <strong>and</strong> picking up our rubber boots that we<br />

would need for all of the shore l<strong>and</strong>ings.<br />

During a delicious lunch, we could see that we<br />

were approaching a group of isl<strong>and</strong>s – our first<br />

sight of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a! These were the Aitcho Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

named for the phonetic pronunciation of the<br />

letters H <strong>and</strong> O, which st<strong>and</strong>s for Hydrographic<br />

Office. Everyone excited for the first taste of<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> exploration, we got into the zodiacs <strong>and</strong><br />

went off to investigate both Barrientos <strong>and</strong> Cecelia<br />

isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

The wind picked up as the afternoon went on, <strong>and</strong><br />

upon returning back to the ship there was a chatty<br />

buzz in the air as people warmed up over cups of<br />

tea <strong>and</strong> exchanged stories of their new<br />

experiences.<br />

.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

The day ended off with a recap <strong>and</strong> briefing of the<br />

plans of the next day, <strong>and</strong> everyone was definitely<br />

looking forward to dinner after a long day. Those<br />

who love to sing had an opportunity to sing their<br />

hearts out that night after dinner during the<br />

Karaoke session in the Viking Theatre.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Ice is Nice – Glacier Fun Facts<br />

Gaby Pilson, Hiking Master & Expedition Guide<br />

Glaciers have, quite literally, shaped our world. Without glaciers, the rolling hills <strong>and</strong> wide valleys we know<br />

today would look very different, but it turns out that these icy giants have a much longer <strong>and</strong> more storied<br />

history than many of us would initially suspect. Here are some of the best fun facts about glaciers:<br />

11<br />

1<br />

Not just anything can be a glacier. In fact, there’s<br />

a size requirement that a piece of ice has to<br />

meet to become a glacier. Anything considered a<br />

glacier must be at least 0.1 km 2 (nearly 25 acres)<br />

in area to be worthy of the name. Although<br />

there’s a minimum size requirement to be<br />

considered a glacier, there’s no upper limit to<br />

glacierhood. The longest glacier on earth is the<br />

Lambert Glacier of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a, which measures<br />

out to some 434 km (270 mi) long. The world’s<br />

largest non-polar glacier is the Fedchenko<br />

Glacier of Tajikistan, which measures a<br />

respectable 77km (48mi) long.<br />

© Renato Granieri<br />

© Renato Granieri<br />

2<br />

Glaciers are formed by snowflakes. Although it’s<br />

crazy to think that a tiny snowflake can create<br />

something as large as a glacier, without snow,<br />

glaciers would never exist in the first place. To<br />

form a glacier, massive amounts of snow must<br />

accumulate <strong>and</strong> persist in a single location all<br />

year long for hundreds, if not thous<strong>and</strong>s of<br />

years. During this time, the individual snowflakes<br />

found in the snowpack change in a process<br />

known as snowflake metamorphosis, where<br />

individual ice grains fuse together <strong>and</strong> get bigger<br />

<strong>and</strong> air bubbles get smaller. Once the icepack<br />

builds up enough mass to start flowing downhill,<br />

then, voila! We have a glacier.<br />

3<br />

Glaciers are found all over the world, not just in<br />

the polar regions. While the majority of glaciers<br />

<strong>and</strong> glacial ice is concentrated in high northern<br />

<strong>and</strong> southern latitudes, glaciers are found even<br />

near the equator, such as on Mount Kilimanjaro<br />

in Tanzania <strong>and</strong> in the mountains of Ecuador.<br />

That being said, about half of the world’s<br />

200,000 glaciers are found in one place: Alaska.<br />

There, glaciers cover a whopping 72,500 km 2<br />

(28,000 mi 2 ) of the US state’s total area. That’s a<br />

lot of ice.<br />

© Werner Kruse<br />

4<br />

Glaciers are basically really, really, really slow-moving rivers. To be considered a glacier, a large mass of ice<br />

must be physically moving downhill. This movement downhill is driven by gravity <strong>and</strong> is the main reason<br />

why glaciers also act as major agents of erosion. Since glaciers move downhill, they often remove <strong>and</strong><br />

transport large boulders <strong>and</strong> chunks of rock, depositing them much further downhill then where they<br />

started.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Drake Passage<br />

Drake Passage<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Elephant seal<br />

Barrientos Is<br />

Gentoo chic<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Drake Passage<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Whales: Friendly Giants of the Sea<br />

Am<strong>and</strong>a Dalsgaard – Lecturer (Marine Biology) <strong>and</strong> Expedition Guide<br />

When one talks about whales, we must<br />

acknowledge the vast diversity of whales on earth<br />

<strong>and</strong> the uniqueness of each species. All whales fall<br />

into an order of marine mammals known as<br />

Cetaceans. The scientists who first discovered <strong>and</strong><br />

named this order of marine mammals, used the<br />

word cetacean or ‘ceatacea’ from the Greek<br />

‘ketos,’ meaning monster.<br />

Long ago, when whales were first scientifically<br />

observed <strong>and</strong> recorded, people believed they<br />

were monsters, due to their size. Today, we know<br />

much more about the gentle giants that roam our<br />

planet’s seas, thanks to a number scientific <strong>and</strong><br />

technological advances, our knowledge of these<br />

creatures will only continue to grow.<br />

The order Cetacea is divided into two sub-orders,<br />

Odontocete <strong>and</strong> Mysticeti. Odontocete, meaning<br />

‘toothed-whale’, includes all of the whales <strong>and</strong><br />

dolphins with teeth. Mysticeti comes from the<br />

Latin root meaning “mustache”, <strong>and</strong> includes all of<br />

the whales that have baleen plates instead of<br />

teeth. It’s important to keep these differences in<br />

mind when trying to observe whales from a ship<br />

as this information can help identify cetaceans<br />

from far away.<br />

Since whales are marine mammals, they must<br />

breath air to survive. They do so by breathing at<br />

the water’s surface through their blow holes.<br />

Interestingly enough, however, toothed whales<br />

have only one blow hole or spout, while baleen<br />

whales have two. Plus, many whales can be<br />

identified from afar using the size <strong>and</strong> shape of<br />

their spout blow as well. For example, grey whales<br />

tend to have spouts shaped like hearts, while<br />

orcas have low bushy spouts.<br />

Another distinguishing characteristic that sets<br />

these two sub-orders apart is the way that they<br />

communicate. Odontocetes use a method of<br />

communication called echolocation. This is best<br />

described as a series or clicks <strong>and</strong> precise sounds<br />

that are then reflected back to the animal <strong>and</strong><br />

allows the whale to ‘see’ their environment<br />

through noise. It is the same communication style<br />

used by bats in terrestrial ecosystems. Mysticetes<br />

on the other h<strong>and</strong>, communicate through a variety<br />

of low-frequency songs. These songs have been<br />

described by scientists as being beautiful,<br />

mysterious <strong>and</strong> sometimes gloomy, with the males<br />

being the most active singers of the Mysticeti clan.<br />

Regardless of the kind of whale you see however,<br />

any encounter with one of these graceful marine<br />

giants, however brief, is sure to be a memorable<br />

experience for years to come.<br />

<strong>13</strong><br />

<strong>10</strong> 22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Day 4 – L<strong>and</strong>ing on the Continent <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

<strong>13</strong> <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Hydrurga Rocks <strong>and</strong> Portal Point<br />

14<br />

We woke up this morning to whale tales off the<br />

port side of the ship for our pre breakfast views.<br />

The skies were grey, but the temperatures were<br />

warm, <strong>and</strong> we were eager to get onshore. The call<br />

to the mudroom came for an 8:30 am<br />

disembarkation. We waited eagerly at the<br />

gangway for our Zodiac to pick us up. The agenda<br />

for the morning was to visit Hydrurga Rocks.<br />

We made our approach through the narrow<br />

channel in the rocks <strong>and</strong> arrived at a small beach<br />

l<strong>and</strong>ing. The water we stepped into was mid-boot<br />

deep <strong>and</strong> we sloshed our way to shore to explore.<br />

The tide was high, <strong>and</strong> many Fur seals were<br />

playing in the shoals. We scrambled over the rocks<br />

to see Weddell seals sleeping in the sun. The one<br />

nearest the path had a smile on its face as it slept<br />

<strong>and</strong> occasionally woke just enough to open one<br />

eye <strong>and</strong> scratch it’s belly.<br />

At the end of the path a throng of Snowy<br />

sheathbills could be observed on the melting<br />

snow. They were almost invisible except when<br />

they came out to peck <strong>and</strong> scavenge the delicious<br />

morsels they found on the snowy terrain.<br />

The wind started to pick-up <strong>and</strong> we were swiftly<br />

transported back to the ship for lunch. Our<br />

morning visit came to a close at the perfect time.<br />

We had warm food in a warm dining room. After<br />

an exhilarating morning, the crowd thinned out<br />

during the 3-hour sail to our afternoon stop as<br />

many guests snuck off for a quick polar nap.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

The afternoon l<strong>and</strong>ing was at Portal Point, a<br />

chance to step on the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Continent proper.<br />

We l<strong>and</strong>ed in the shallow rocky shore <strong>and</strong> had a<br />

choice to walk up the hill to the left or to the right.<br />

Going left up <strong>and</strong> over brought us to a wind swept<br />

view of the glacier covered coast with an addition<br />

sliding option down to the old foundation left<br />

from a torn down British hut. On the alternate side<br />

was beautiful views <strong>and</strong> feeding humpback<br />

whales.<br />

Again, the wind picked up just as we were leaving<br />

<strong>and</strong> the snow started to fall. We zoomed back to<br />

the ship for our briefing, recap <strong>and</strong> dinner. The<br />

evening finished with Rose’s cocktail<br />

demonstration <strong>and</strong> games.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Another gr<strong>and</strong> day on the <strong>Antarctic</strong> peninsula.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

The Geological Structure of the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong><br />

David Macdonald, Lecturer (Geology) & Expedition Guide<br />

This cartoon shows what the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong> looked like <strong>10</strong>0 million years ago (mya). The main points to<br />

note are:<br />

• The peninsula was a continuation of the Andes. They were connected until 35 mya<br />

• The peninsula was a volcanic arc from about 200 mya3 until about 25 mya<br />

• Volcanism ended 50 mya in the south <strong>and</strong> 20 mya off Brabant Isl<strong>and</strong><br />

• Only the South Shetl<strong>and</strong>s Isl<strong>and</strong>s have any volcanic activity now<br />

15<br />

There are three main geological domains, each formed of multiple rock units:<br />

1. The basement domain (grey <strong>and</strong> brown colours) contains sediments scraped off the ocean floor which were<br />

changed by heat <strong>and</strong> pressure (metamorphosed) in the subduction zone <strong>and</strong> during folding <strong>and</strong><br />

deformation. These metamorphic rocks span a wide range of ages from 299-65 mya. They tend to be older<br />

on the east coast of the peninsula. These rocks are best seen in Paradise Harbour, at the shag colony near<br />

Brown Station.<br />

2. The igneous domain contains rocks crystallised from magma. This includes both plutonic rocks (where the<br />

magma crystallised slowly within the earth’s crust) <strong>and</strong> volcanic rocks (where the magma was erupted as<br />

lava <strong>and</strong> ash). Again, the rocks span a wide range of ages from about 2<strong>10</strong>-25 mya, <strong>and</strong> the younger rocks<br />

tend to be in the west. These are the commonest rocks seen in the <strong>Peninsula</strong> <strong>and</strong> are well displayed in the<br />

South Shetl<strong>and</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s (e.g. Half Moon Isl<strong>and</strong>, or Yankee Harbour) or on the peninsula (e.g. Cuverville<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>). Plutonic rocks form Goudier Isl<strong>and</strong> at Port Lockroy.<br />

3. The sedimentary domain contains rocks eroded from the volcanic arc <strong>and</strong> deposited in sedimentary basins,<br />

either on the eastern, Weddell Sea side (in a very large structure called the Larsen Basin), or in smaller<br />

basins to the west (the largest of which is the Fossil Bluff Basin on Alex<strong>and</strong>er Isl<strong>and</strong>). Sedimentary rocks are<br />

not seen on most peninsula cruises (unless they visit the area of James Ross Isl<strong>and</strong>), although there are<br />

sedimentary rocks with abundant fossils interbedded with volcanic rocks west of Hannah Point, in Walker<br />

Bay.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Day 5 - The White Continent<br />

14 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Neko Harbour <strong>and</strong> Paradise Bay<br />

Morning wakeup call <strong>and</strong> we must some of the<br />

luckiest people in the world. The sun is streaming<br />

through the window <strong>and</strong> Neko Harbour is a<br />

gorgeous mirror, speckled with ice. Waiting for the<br />

zodiacs never felt so long as we went outside to<br />

take picture’s that will never do this day justice.<br />

Alternatively, a few of us ran downstairs to put on<br />

dry suits for an <strong>Antarctic</strong> kayaking adventure<br />

16<br />

Arriving on shore the expedition team have<br />

already marked a route from the l<strong>and</strong>ing site right<br />

up the side of the hill across the back of a gentoo<br />

penguin colony to a high rocky viewpoint. On the<br />

route up, members of the team were guarding<br />

apparently empty areas with surprising vigour.<br />

However, as they pointed out crevasses to the<br />

side of our path <strong>and</strong> it all became clear.<br />

Back down to the zodiacs for the smoothest cruise<br />

we could imagine among icebergs of all shapes<br />

<strong>and</strong> sizes, some adorned with the odd crabeater<br />

<strong>and</strong> Weddell seal. So peaceful <strong>and</strong> calm, even the<br />

whales are having a sunbathing snooze on the<br />

surface.<br />

Time for a short, but very scenic reposition to<br />

Paradise Harbour through a narrow channel <strong>and</strong><br />

past the colourful painted Chilean base Gonzalez<br />

Videla covered in Geotoos! It was at this point that<br />

we heard we were going to witness some true<br />

polar logistics in action. As the Argentinian supply<br />

ship was making its way to service the summer<br />

station of Base Brown while we were also making<br />

our afternoon excursion in Paradise harbour.<br />

Before it arrived we set out on the zodiacs for l<strong>and</strong><br />

getting distracted by a pair of Humpback whales<br />

who decided to hang out right on the route.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

L<strong>and</strong>ing on a spit of l<strong>and</strong> just opposite the base,<br />

the shore was littered with seals basking in the<br />

sun. Once more the expedition team have found<br />

us a route up to a stunning viewpoint on a tongue<br />

of ice with lichens <strong>and</strong> ice algae to be observed.<br />

After the l<strong>and</strong>ing we began a picturesque zodiac<br />

cruise to see blue eyed shags, some of us found<br />

the Humpback whales, Crabeater <strong>and</strong> Leopard<br />

seals. The kayakers were off exploring Skontorp<br />

cove <strong>and</strong> embracing the quiet <strong>and</strong> reflections of<br />

the l<strong>and</strong>scape.<br />

Once everyone was back on-board, the outdoor<br />

activities were not quite finished yet <strong>Polar</strong> plunge<br />

began, <strong>and</strong> 52 of us having apparently lost our<br />

minds in the sun, deciding to jump from our warm<br />

ship into the icy water.<br />

Dinner <strong>and</strong> straight to Rose’s Valentine’s Day<br />

evening entertainment, where description will<br />

never quite fully illuminate the hilarity of<br />

activities. Happy Valentines day everyone.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz © Shannon Jensen<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Paradise Harbour<br />

Paradise<br />

Harbour<br />

Chinstrap<br />

penguins<br />

Paradise Harbour<br />

Neko Harbour<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowltz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

When <strong>and</strong> How the Earth Got Cold<br />

David Macdonald, Lecturer (Geology) & Expedition Guide<br />

The Earth’s climate has two end-member states:<br />

greenhouse <strong>and</strong> icehouse. In a greenhouse climate,<br />

there are no polar icecaps (although there may be<br />

valley glaciers in high mountain areas) – the climate of<br />

the Cretaceous Period (144-65 million years ago) is a<br />

typical greenhouse. We are currently in an icehouse<br />

climate, since there are icecaps at or near both poles.<br />

Although life on Earth goes back 3.5 billion years, the<br />

main expansion in numbers of species <strong>and</strong> hence of<br />

easily found fossils occurred 540 million years ago.<br />

During the time from then until now, greenhouse<br />

climates have dominated, with three periods of<br />

icehouse climate, lasting a total of about <strong>10</strong>0 million<br />

years. Our current icehouse period began abruptly 35<br />

million years ago, with formation of an icecap in<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a. Why did it happen then, <strong>and</strong> why did it have<br />

such an abrupt beginning?<br />

Water temperature (°C)<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> convergence<br />

October 2019<br />

8<br />

6<br />

4<br />

2<br />

0<br />

54 56 58 60 62 64<br />

Latitude (°S)<br />

18<br />

Figure 2: Temperatures in the Drake Passage from Friday 25<br />

October to Sunday 27 October 2019 as Ocean Atlantic sailed south<br />

across the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Convergence, where the sea temperature falls<br />

below 4°C.<br />

It was the severing of the link between the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

<strong>Peninsula</strong> <strong>and</strong> Tierra del Fuego that allowed deep cold<br />

water to circulate around the planet at 50-60°S <strong>and</strong><br />

thermally isolate <strong>Antarctic</strong>a from the rest of the world.<br />

This situation continues today (Figure 1)<br />

The key area for this was the Drake Passage, which is<br />

the western end of the Scotia Sea (Figure 3). Geological<br />

<strong>and</strong> geophysical studies of the sea floor show that the<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a-South America link was severed by the<br />

growth of ocean crust, beginning 35 million years ago.<br />

Opening of this deep-water gateway cooled the planet<br />

<strong>and</strong> turned <strong>Antarctic</strong>a into the white continent.<br />

Figure 1: Thermal structure of the Southern Ocean showing the<br />

position of the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Convergence (<strong>Polar</strong> Front) at the junction<br />

of the dark blue <strong>and</strong> mid blue shading. This is the line of the 4°C<br />

isotherm, where <strong>Antarctic</strong> surface water plunges below cold<br />

temperate water.<br />

The first, <strong>and</strong> most important factor was that we had a<br />

polar continent. <strong>Antarctic</strong>a was in roughly its present<br />

position over the South Pole, so would have had<br />

strongly differentiated winters <strong>and</strong> summers. However,<br />

although the former supercontinent of Gondwana had<br />

largely broken up by then, there was still a l<strong>and</strong> bridge<br />

to South America <strong>and</strong> <strong>Antarctic</strong>a was still forested,<br />

probably with a migratory fauna. Warm currents bathed<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s shores <strong>and</strong>, 35 million years ago, the<br />

temperature of the Southern Ocean was a relatively<br />

mild 6°C.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Figure 3: The Drake Passage <strong>and</strong> the Scotia Sea formed from 50<br />

million years ago, when there was slow extension between South<br />

America <strong>and</strong> the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong> which stretched the crust <strong>and</strong><br />

allowed surface waters to circulate through this former l<strong>and</strong><br />

bridge. The temperature of the southern Ocean fell from 12°C to<br />

6°C between 50-35 million years ago, then abruptly fell to 0°C<br />

when the deep water gateway of the scotia Sea opened, sundering<br />

the link between <strong>Antarctic</strong>a <strong>and</strong> South America <strong>and</strong> allowing<br />

continuous circulation of deep water, thermally isolating<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

In the Footsteps of Charcot<br />

15 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – French Passage <strong>and</strong> Port Charcot<br />

19<br />

Overnight the Ocean Atlantic headed back out into<br />

the Gerlache, upon reaching the strait, the<br />

weather changed, not for the better, <strong>and</strong> a NE<br />

wind was with us as we entered the north end of<br />

the Neumayer Channel the night before. Regarded<br />

as one of the most scenic <strong>and</strong> spectacular<br />

channels on the peninsula, dark ominous low<br />

clouds prevented all on board from seeing it at its<br />

best. This morning the plan was to visit Damoy<br />

Point, located on Weincke Isl<strong>and</strong>. Upon reaching<br />

our intended destination high winds meant that a<br />

l<strong>and</strong>ing was not possible. As the decision was<br />

being made, off in the distance the British station<br />

at Port Lockroy could just be seen.<br />

The route to Port Charcot took us near the<br />

southern entrance of the Lemaire Channel as we<br />

past Pleneau Isl<strong>and</strong>. The surrounding mountain<br />

scenery was spectacular <strong>and</strong> many guests on<br />

board braved the high winds to spend time out on<br />

deck.<br />

Nearby Booth Isl<strong>and</strong> offered some protection from<br />

the robust winds as we approached our intended<br />

l<strong>and</strong>ing. Surrounded by icebergs the Ocean<br />

Atlantic found a safe anchorage. Despite the high<br />

gusts, some shelter was found. As zodiac<br />

operations started, the wind was gusting close to<br />

40 kts.<br />

A great morning was had by all, catching up on<br />

diaries, reading, sleeping <strong>and</strong> other important<br />

duties. Ab gave an excellent lecture about<br />

penguins which was closely followed by Barbara<br />

giving an equally great lecture on krill, arguably<br />

the most important animal species in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

As lunch was being enjoyed distant humpback<br />

whales were spotted, but given the high winds <strong>and</strong><br />

waves, it was not the day for easy wildlife<br />

spotting. Patches of blue sky made a quick<br />

appearance but for the most part, it was a cloudy,<br />

windy, classic <strong>Antarctic</strong>a day.<br />

Plan B quickly swung into action <strong>and</strong> we heading<br />

instead west through Bismark Strait, then south<br />

towards the French Passage. Our new goal was to<br />

visit Port Charcot, located on Booth Isl<strong>and</strong>. The<br />

passage through the famous Lemaire Channel was<br />

not possible (this time) due to the hazards of a<br />

following high wind which would make ship<br />

navigation challenging <strong>and</strong> possibly dangerous.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

A slightly longer zodiac route, to avoid the worst<br />

of the waves, took us to our l<strong>and</strong>ing spot at Port<br />

Charcot. Once everyone was safely ashore, our<br />

early arrival meant that most guests had nearly<br />

two hours ashore with which to explore, take<br />

photographs <strong>and</strong> visit the historic cairn on a<br />

nearby hill-top.<br />

Expedition leader Sam started re-cap with the<br />

plans for tomorrow followed by Lisa, Wan, S<strong>and</strong>ra<br />

giving short re-cap presentations on Charcot,<br />

photography <strong>and</strong> the <strong>Antarctic</strong>a treaty. After<br />

dinner Sanna gave a fascinating talk about her ski<br />

journey to the South Pole.<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Port Charcot<br />

Gentoo Chics<br />

Crabeater Seal<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Port Charcot<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong> All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Fire in the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

Gregers Gjersøe, Snowshoe Master & Expedition Guide<br />

Fire is one of the greatest threats in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a thanks to<br />

the region’s very dry climate, frequent strong winds,<br />

<strong>and</strong> nearly complete lack of liquid freshwater. Due to<br />

the continent’s isolation with <strong>and</strong> little possibility of<br />

rescue for weeks or months, a fire in the <strong>Antarctic</strong> is a<br />

potentially very disastrous event.<br />

Although it is covered in snow <strong>and</strong> ice, the cold<br />

temperatures of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a make the White Continent<br />

very dry. As it is one of the windiest places on Earth,<br />

there is almost always a strong wind blowing much of<br />

the time, more than strong enough to fan any flames.<br />

As the temperatures across the whole continent of<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a is averaging below freezing, there is unlikely<br />

to be very much liquid water to fight fires. So, the<br />

response to fire is usually to make sure everyone is out<br />

of danger <strong>and</strong> safe <strong>and</strong> then st<strong>and</strong> back <strong>and</strong> watch it<br />

burn itself out.<br />

Bases in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a are often designed to survive fires<br />

because they are made up of a number of separate<br />

buildings, each with a significant distance between<br />

them. Many bases have emergency supplies stored in a<br />

hut near the base but well away. In these huts, there<br />

are often enough supplies <strong>and</strong> ample shelter for the<br />

base’s crew to be able to survive a fire or emergency<br />

until help can arrive.<br />

The Argentine <strong>Antarctic</strong> base <strong>and</strong> scientific research<br />

station, “Brown Station,” is named after Admiral<br />

William Brown, the father of the Argentine Navy.<br />

21<br />

Located on the Sanaviron <strong>Peninsula</strong> along Paradise<br />

Harbour’s Danco Coast, from 1951 to 1984 it served as<br />

a permanent research base, though, since then, it is<br />

open only during the summer season.<br />

During its heyday, the station was home to one of the<br />

most complete biology laboratories on the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

<strong>Peninsula</strong>, featuring a main house, as well as an<br />

additional building exclusively for scientific research.<br />

This building was equipped with three labs, a<br />

photography workshop, an emergency radio station, an<br />

office <strong>and</strong> a library.<br />

Unfortunately, Brown Station’s original facilities were<br />

burned down by the station’s doctor on 12 April 1984<br />

after he was ordered to stay on for yet another winter,<br />

despite the original terms of his contract <strong>and</strong> his desire<br />

to see his fiancé once again. As you can imagine, the<br />

stress of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s harsh winter conditions can take<br />

its toll on residents <strong>and</strong> explorers of the region, driving<br />

them to take extreme measures to get back home.<br />

The doctor simply couldn’t bear to stay on for another<br />

winter <strong>and</strong> he couldn’t st<strong>and</strong> the isolation as the days<br />

drew darker. His solution? To force an evacuation of<br />

himself <strong>and</strong> his colleagues in the only way plausible<br />

manner: by burning the station down.<br />

After the fire, the station’s personnel were rescued by<br />

the USS Hero <strong>and</strong> taken to United States’ Palmer<br />

Station. Argentina later rebuilt the base, but it is now<br />

only occupied during the summer months. The station’s<br />

doctor was sent to prison for arson <strong>and</strong> his fiancé<br />

decided to call off the engagement.<br />

© Werner Kruse<br />

1-<strong>10</strong> FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

South of the <strong>Circle</strong><br />

16 <strong>Feb</strong>rurary <strong>2020</strong> – Crossing the <strong>Circle</strong> <strong>and</strong> Detaille Isl<strong>and</strong><br />

We woke to Sam’s announcement, happy to have<br />

slept in, <strong>and</strong> eager for the excitement of the<br />

morning. We were due to cross the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

<strong>Circle</strong> at 9:30 am <strong>and</strong> a party was arranged on the<br />

back deck. As we approached the circle we<br />

gathered for a group photo while sipping on hot<br />

chocolate waiting for the captain’s count down.<br />

Upon reaching 0 in the count down a cheer roared<br />

through the crowed <strong>and</strong> a blast from the ship’s<br />

horn as everyone celebrated 66 o 33 South.<br />

Once the festivities died down guests strolled<br />

along the decks watching as we passed giant<br />

tabular icebergs, the largest of the ice bergs we’ve<br />

seen yet. Barbara shared a fascinating lecture on<br />

sea ice explaining how it forms <strong>and</strong> which critters<br />

rely on it to survive.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

22<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

After lunch wrapped up in the dining room<br />

operations began on Detaille Isl<strong>and</strong>. Here Base W<br />

still remains just as it was in 1959 when the<br />

resupply ship could not reach the station do to ice<br />

<strong>and</strong> the British crew had to ab<strong>and</strong>on the base<br />

taking only the necessities. Luckily, they had<br />

finished mapping the area <strong>and</strong> had a good<br />

underst<strong>and</strong>ing of the geology <strong>and</strong> were able to<br />

leave with their scientific papers. The hut still<br />

remains with clothing hanging up to dry <strong>and</strong> food<br />

stocked in the cupboards, frozen in time.<br />

A h<strong>and</strong>ful of brave souls took part in the <strong>Polar</strong><br />

Plunge 2.0, this time stripping down to their<br />

nickers <strong>and</strong> plunging in from the shore.<br />

At the evening briefing Sam showed the plan for<br />

the upcoming day <strong>and</strong> Ted explained what the<br />

heck the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Circle</strong> actually is. He<br />

demonstrated the process with a buoy, a ski pole<br />

<strong>and</strong> a head lamp leaving us with a good<br />

underst<strong>and</strong>ing. Marta gave us a quick run down on<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> history <strong>and</strong> encouraged us all to become<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> Ambassadors in simple ways such as<br />

carefully choosing the products we buy, the foods<br />

that we eat <strong>and</strong> the companies we support.<br />

Once dinner finished Rose wrapped up the<br />

evening with a fun game of bingo with excellent<br />

prizes for the winners.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

23<br />

Iceberg<br />

66 o 33 South<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Detaille<br />

Provisions<br />

Base ¨W¨<br />

Zodiacs through<br />

the Ice<br />

etaille Isl<strong>and</strong><br />

abular Iceberg<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong> All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Station Visit<br />

17 <strong>Feb</strong>rurary <strong>2020</strong> – Petermann Is <strong>and</strong> Vernadsky station<br />

25<br />

We all had a bit of a rough night as we left the<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> circle through a heavy headwind coming<br />

down the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong>. As we woke up the<br />

wind hadn’t yet left us <strong>and</strong> we can see that the sea<br />

conditions are still rough. Confirmed by our<br />

expedition leader Sam, who decided to cancel the<br />

zodiac cruise due to poor weather, but we still<br />

have the l<strong>and</strong>ing at Petermann isl<strong>and</strong> to look<br />

forward to. However, as the zodiacs were<br />

launched the wind dropped <strong>and</strong> all activities<br />

including kayaking are back on!<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Off we went in the zodiacs through the pelting<br />

snow l<strong>and</strong>ing in the harbour known as Port<br />

Circumcision for reasons that no one seems to<br />

want to reveal to us. Gentoo penguins littering<br />

around the l<strong>and</strong>ing site with a climb to see the<br />

Adelies or in the other direction we had a<br />

monument to 3 lost members of the British<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> survey or a viewpoint only slightly<br />

dimmed by the mist. Once we had walked our fill<br />

our zodiac trip did not disappoint,.Crabeaters,<br />

Leopard <strong>and</strong> fur seals could be seen along with of<br />

course the brush tail penguins <strong>and</strong> stunning ice.<br />

To the ship we go <strong>and</strong> an indoor BBQ was<br />

underway for lunch, as the snow had made the<br />

decks too slippery for an outdoor event. Making<br />

our way back south to Ukrainian station<br />

Vernadsky.<br />

The station members welcomed us with open<br />

arms <strong>and</strong> vodka from the Faraday bar. Named for<br />

the previous title of the base when it belonged to<br />

Great Britain. The bar still holds the 1 pound coin<br />

that the base was originally purchased for. A<br />

guided tour was provided around the working<br />

research base <strong>and</strong> happy faces were met. It was<br />

fascinating to get a glimpse into human life in<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a. We also visited Wordie house which is<br />

another old British hut kept as a museum to<br />

preserve the way of life of the early scientists.<br />

No recap tonight we were off ship cruising up the<br />

Lemaire Channel which is 16km long <strong>and</strong> just<br />

1.2km wide at it narrowest. The mountains tower<br />

above on either side with ominous hanging ice<br />

caps disappearing into the mist above. Opening<br />

back out into the Gerlache straight we were back<br />

in familiar territory with humpbacks appearing as<br />

if from nowhere during dinner. Another fantastic<br />

day finished off with stories from the arctic with<br />

the expedition teams Kevin who’s spent much of<br />

his life working with polar bears in northern<br />

Canada.<br />

Exhausted <strong>and</strong> exited for the next day we headed<br />

north towards Mikkelsen harbor.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Fun Fact:<br />

There are over 20000 species of lichen. Lichen is<br />

actually a combination of a fungus <strong>and</strong> a<br />

cyanobacteria! #thatsneat<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Argentine Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Gentoo & Adelie<br />

Base ¨W¨<br />

Fur Seal<br />

emaire Channel<br />

1-<strong>10</strong> FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a: A Continent for Science<br />

David Macdonald, Lecturer (Geology) & Expedition Guide<br />

Until the advent of mass tourism, <strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s tagline was: “A continent for science”.<br />

27<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a affects the rest of the world in a variety of<br />

ways, so “<strong>Antarctic</strong> Science” should really be “Global<br />

science that happens in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a”. Although many<br />

early expeditions were purely geographical in scope,<br />

there were some important scientific expeditions in the<br />

late 19 th to early 20 th centuries. In this “Golden Age” of<br />

exploration, there were many scientific contributions<br />

from <strong>Antarctic</strong>a which changed our view of the earth’s<br />

evolution <strong>and</strong> environment.<br />

Indeed, three expeditions brought back proof that<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a once had a warm climate. Scott’s first<br />

expedition (1901-1904) found coal from 250 million<br />

years ago in the Transantarctic Mountains;<br />

Nordenskjӧld’s Swedish <strong>Antarctic</strong> Expedition found<br />

warm-water fossils on James Ross Isl<strong>and</strong>; <strong>and</strong> the Scotia<br />

Expedition under Bruce (1902-1904) dredged<br />

fossiliferous 500 million-year-old limestone from the<br />

Weddell Sea. Scott’s second expedition (19<strong>10</strong>-19<strong>13</strong>)<br />

found fossil leaves(Glossopteris) in the Transantarctic<br />

Mountains. These fossils belong to an extinct order of<br />

seed ferns from 299-252 million years ago, only found<br />

in the southern hemisphere continents <strong>and</strong> India. They<br />

were used by Wegener in 1924 in his work on<br />

continental drift to reconstruct the former<br />

supercontinent of Gondwana.<br />

In the years after the First World War, the focus<br />

changed from individual expeditions to national<br />

pursuits, such as the British Discovery Investigations –<br />

the first permanent oceanographic body in the world.<br />

During 33 years (1918–51) of pioneering work, the<br />

research ships collected an enormous amount of<br />

oceanographic, biological, <strong>and</strong> geographical data.<br />

Among the results of the investigations was the<br />

discovery of both the Mid-Atlantic Ridge <strong>and</strong> the<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong> Convergence - the natural boundary of<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

By the end of the Second World War, the move to<br />

create national organisations was complete, with the<br />

formation of the Falkl<strong>and</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Dependencies Survey<br />

(now British <strong>Antarctic</strong> Survey), the Australian National<br />

Research Expeditions) <strong>and</strong> other civilian operations<br />

(France, New Zeal<strong>and</strong>, South Africa, etc).<br />

As a result of these organisations <strong>and</strong> better logistics,<br />

the rate of scientific discovery soared, <strong>and</strong> new polarspecific<br />

studies proliferated. Some highlights include:<br />

• 1957-58: The International Geophysical Year (IGY)<br />

was an 18-month collaboration between 67<br />

countries. <strong>Antarctic</strong>a was the focus, with 12 nations<br />

participating. Many new scientific stations were<br />

created <strong>and</strong> the IGY was a resounding success as it<br />

led directly to the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Treaty<br />

• 1959-1996: The discovery <strong>and</strong> delineation of<br />

subglacial Lake Vostok is a great example of scientific<br />

cooperation. Lab studies showed that ice under very<br />

high pressure reverts to water <strong>and</strong> in 1964, seismic<br />

soundings from Vostok Station were used to<br />

measure the thickness of the ice sheet. This<br />

suggested the existence of a subglacial lake. British<br />

airborne ice-penetrating radar in the 1970s detected<br />

unusual radar readings, suggesting a freshwater lake<br />

below the ice. In 1991, a radar satellite revealed<br />

that this subglacial water body is one of the world’s<br />

largest lakes. We now know that there are at least<br />

140 subglacial lakes in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

• 1980-present: The US-funded collection <strong>and</strong> curation<br />

of <strong>Antarctic</strong> meteorites has recovered about 22,000<br />

meteorites from <strong>Antarctic</strong>a (about 75% of all known<br />

meteorites worldwide). There are samples from the<br />

Moon, Mars, <strong>and</strong> asteroids.<br />

• 1985: In hole in the ozone layer over <strong>Antarctic</strong>a was<br />

discovered from ground-based instruments at Halley<br />

Bay <strong>and</strong> Faraday (British <strong>Antarctic</strong> Survey).<br />

• 1986: Research at McMurdo Station, the main U.S.<br />

scientific station in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a, established that<br />

chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the probable cause of<br />

the <strong>Antarctic</strong> ozone hole (US NSF). These two bits of<br />

work lead to signing of the Madrid Protocol on 1987,<br />

banning CFCs.<br />

23 JAN – 1 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue 11

Departing the <strong>Peninsula</strong><br />

18 <strong>Feb</strong>rurary <strong>2020</strong> – Mikkelsen Harbour <strong>and</strong> Cierva Cove<br />

It was a breezy, cold morning when we arrived by<br />

zodiacs at a rocky isl<strong>and</strong> called D´Hainaut isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

This isl<strong>and</strong> is only 1 km 2 small <strong>and</strong> situated in<br />

Mikkelsen Harbour, a 3 km wide bay, lined with<br />

ice cliffs, indenting the south side of Trinity Isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

We l<strong>and</strong>ed on the northeast shore, just next to<br />

large piles of whalebones <strong>and</strong> a whalers<br />

waterboat. As the tide was low, we were able to<br />

investigate some sea creatures in small tidal pools,<br />

including the most famous <strong>Antarctic</strong> krill<br />

Euphausia superba.<br />

28<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Slowly <strong>and</strong> carefully we walked around the isl<strong>and</strong>,<br />

the ground was a bit frozen <strong>and</strong> slippery, so we<br />

took our time in navigating the terrain. During our<br />

round tour we discovered fighting fur seals, a<br />

sleepy Weddell seal <strong>and</strong> many Gentoo penguins,<br />

our favourites! On the other side of D´Hainaut<br />

isl<strong>and</strong> was also a small colourful Argentine refuge<br />

to look at. On the way back to the ship our<br />

expedition team offered a zodiac cruise, where we<br />

enjoyed watching <strong>Antarctic</strong> terns feeding <strong>and</strong><br />

Weddell seals snoozing on rocks. Back on board a<br />

warming lunch was waiting for us, while the ship<br />

re-positioned to Cierva Cove.<br />

Upon arrival at our destination for the afternoon,<br />

the sky cleared up <strong>and</strong> the sea was calm. Perfect<br />

conditions for a long zodiac cruise, hurray! Our<br />

zodiac tour took us around beautiful glimmering<br />

icebergs <strong>and</strong> all of us had a good look at Leopard<br />

seals, sleeping on various ice floes. What an<br />

honour to meet this mighty apex predator of the<br />

Southern Ocean. After this exhilarating cruise our<br />

Expedition leader Sam introduced, as every<br />

evening, the plans for tomorrow. During the recap<br />

the expedition team gave us more information<br />

about the snow algae <strong>and</strong> the important Whales<br />

<strong>and</strong> Dolphin conservation project. Most of our<br />

burning questions from the question box were<br />

also answered, before we headed for dinner.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Our Last Day<br />

19 <strong>Feb</strong>rurary <strong>2020</strong> – Whalers Bay , Walker Bay & Hannah<br />

Point<br />

The day started with a 6:20 wakeup call over the<br />

loudspeakers. It was earlier than usual, but well<br />

worth dragging oneself out of bed. We were<br />

passing through the entrance of a caldera called<br />

Deception Isl<strong>and</strong>. The navigation is a challenge as<br />

in the middle of the narrow entrance there is also<br />

a rock, thus the captain brought us very close to<br />

the steep walls of the volcano.<br />

29<br />

We anchored in Whalers Bay to be transported by<br />

Zodiacs to the shore. We walked the long s<strong>and</strong>y<br />

beach to look at relics from the whaler’s epoch<br />

<strong>and</strong> the last remnants of the British Base that are<br />

still st<strong>and</strong>ing after a mud flow from volcanic<br />

eruptions in the 1960’s. The buildings were left<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ing after clean-up effort. It is a<br />

demonstration of the power of volcanic eruptions<br />

<strong>and</strong> it has since been designated as a historic site<br />

under the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Treaty. At the west end of the<br />

beach we hiked up a moraine to take in the view<br />

of the airstrip that one provided access to flights<br />

over the south pole by Wilkins on November 16,<br />

1928 .<br />

At the end of the l<strong>and</strong>ing it was yet another<br />

opportunity to <strong>Polar</strong> Plunge! For some of us this<br />

would be our third dip into the chilly waters of<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

In the afternoon, we visited our last <strong>and</strong> final stop<br />

of our journey in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a at Hannah Point <strong>and</strong><br />

Walker Bay. Again, the weather was calm as we<br />

explored the beach. To the right from l<strong>and</strong>ing we<br />

followed the narrow trail up the steep s<strong>and</strong>y slope<br />

to view the gentoo penguin colony <strong>and</strong> the<br />

elephant seals from a bird’s eye view. The<br />

penguins provided endless entertainment for us<br />

while we watched the chics chase their parents for<br />

a scrap of food. A Leopard seal had caught a<br />

penguin <strong>and</strong> stripped it of its skin <strong>and</strong> feathers by<br />

flinging it around to make a quick snack before it<br />

went hunting again. There were giant petrels on<br />

the ridge tops <strong>and</strong> more Elephant seals <strong>and</strong> a<br />

Chinstrap penguin colony on the horizons.<br />

For evening entertainment we had a talk from<br />

Sanna about her time at the Hailey Station in<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Another day completed with a happy tired feeling.<br />

Our last day on l<strong>and</strong> in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a brings out much<br />

contemplation. We will have 2 days now on the<br />

rolling seas of the Drake Passage to process our<br />

once of lifetime experience.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Fun Fact:<br />

There are over 20000 species of lichen. Lichen is<br />

actually a combination of a fungus <strong>and</strong> a<br />

cyanobacteria! #thatsneat<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Argentine Whalers Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Gentoo Whalers & Adelie Bay<br />

Base ¨W¨<br />

Gentoos<br />

Elephant Seal<br />

Hannah point<br />

1-<strong>10</strong> FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue 12

A Brief History of the Zodiac<br />

Steve Traynor, Zodiac Master<br />

In expedition cruising, the most important tool we use is the Zodiac inflatable boat. These manoeuvrable,<br />

reliable, robust vessels are the workhorse of the expedition cruise industry, from the north of Svalbard to<br />

the southern end of the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong>. They have a long history – as you can see from the stages<br />

below, many different inventions needed to come together to create the craft we use today.<br />

1838 Charles Goodyear (USA) discovered the process for vulcanising rubber (a US patent was granted<br />

in 1844) – this process is used for hardening <strong>and</strong> strengthening rubber.<br />

1843 Goodyear’s process was stolen by Thomas Hancock (UK) using the process of reverse<br />

engineering; less controversially, Hancock invented the “masticator” – a machine for re-using<br />

rubber scraps – this made the rubber industry much more efficient.<br />

1845 The first successful inflatable boat (Halkett boat) was designed by Lieutenant Peter Halkett<br />

(UK), specifically for Arctic operations. Halkett Boats were used by the Orcadian explorer, John<br />

Rae, in his successful expedition to discover the fate of the Franklin Expedition.<br />

1866 Four men made the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Britain on a threetube<br />

inflatable raft.<br />

1896 The original Zodiac company was founded by Maurice Mallet (France) to produce airships.<br />

1909 The first outboard motor was invented by Ole Evinrude in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.<br />

1912 The loss of the Titanic <strong>and</strong> subsequent shipping losses during World War 1 proved the need for<br />

inflatable rafts for use as supplementary lifeboats.<br />

1919 RFD firm (UK) <strong>and</strong> the Zodiac company (France) started building inflatable boats.<br />

1934 The airship company, Zodiac, invented the inflatable kayak <strong>and</strong> catamaran<br />

1942 The Marine Raiders – an elite unit of the US Marine Corps – used inflatable boats to carry out<br />

raids <strong>and</strong> l<strong>and</strong>ings in the Pacific theatre.<br />

1950 Alain Bombard first combined the outboard engine, a rigid floor <strong>and</strong> an inflatable boat (built by<br />

the Zodiac company).<br />

1952 Alain Bombard crossed the Atlantic Ocean with his inflatable; after this, his good friend, the<br />

famous diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau, started using them.<br />

1960 Zodiac licensed production to a dozen companies in other countries because of their lack of<br />

manufacturing capacity in France.<br />

31<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Northward Bound<br />

20 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Drake Passage<br />

A quiet <strong>and</strong> relaxed sea day on the Ocean Atlantic.<br />

After our last l<strong>and</strong>ing <strong>and</strong> leaving the South<br />

Shetl<strong>and</strong>s yesterday, we hit the Drake Passage<br />

again, making our way back to Ushuaia.<br />

The Southern Ocean, <strong>and</strong> the Drake in particular is<br />

known as one of the roughest oceans one can sail<br />

through, but for our first day sailing back, the<br />

ocean was gentle to us <strong>and</strong> we had a Drake Lake…<br />

which means not very strong winds or rough seas.<br />

We had West <strong>and</strong> North West winds, of 18 to 25<br />

knots from the morning to the late afternoon.<br />

Really good conditions for our vessel <strong>and</strong> it was<br />

also possible to conduct our educational program<br />

of the day.<br />

In the morning we were not woken up by Sam’s<br />

voice, thus the day started with a very well<br />

deserved later morning <strong>and</strong> breakfast in the<br />

Restaurant. It was nice to unwind a little after all<br />

the active days with the Zodiacs <strong>and</strong> l<strong>and</strong>ings.<br />

The educational program started with Steve´s seal<br />

lecture, a very good summary <strong>and</strong> explanations to<br />

learn more <strong>and</strong> underst<strong>and</strong> better the life of the<br />

different seal species that we have seen during<br />

our trip.<br />

After lunch, the knowledge program continued<br />

with two more lectures. One more wildlife lecture<br />

about Whale communication, by Isabelle, <strong>and</strong> also<br />

a personal experience lecture by Marta, about<br />

how it is to sail to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a on a sailing boat. In<br />

between the presentations we had a little culinary<br />

fun up in the Bistro making dumplings, which we<br />

later enjoyed as part of the many dinner options.<br />

At 18:15 the Expedition Team offered the<br />

traditional recap, with Sam’s weather forecast for<br />

our next day on the Drake, <strong>and</strong> Ted <strong>and</strong> Ab<br />

introduced us two other organizations that<br />

Albatros is collaborating to raise funding <strong>and</strong><br />

awareness: HookPod is trying to avoid the<br />

increasing number of albatross being hooked up<br />

on fishing lines; <strong>and</strong> South Georgia Heritage Trust<br />

which is running a very successful Rat Eradication<br />

Program on the whole isl<strong>and</strong> of South Georgia.<br />

The recap brought us into dinner time but the<br />

educational day was not over yet!<br />

Rose awaited us in the Viking Theatre, to test the<br />

knowledge <strong>and</strong> learning of guests <strong>and</strong> Expedition<br />

Staff with an <strong>Antarctic</strong> Quiz. Several teams of 3 to<br />

5 people gather together for the Quiz <strong>and</strong> 3 of<br />

them got a very valuable scored of 29 / 30! A final<br />

tricky question about eruption dates in Deception<br />

isl<strong>and</strong> was needed to have only one final winner<br />

group, that was rewarded with a free drink in our<br />

Bar.<br />

32<br />

From a political point of view, we left <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

after passing the 60ºS between 12:00 <strong>and</strong> <strong>13</strong>:00h,<br />

but we have crossed <strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s biological<br />

border, known as the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Convergence, at<br />

around 18:00h.<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

The Beagle Channel<br />

21 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Drake Passage<br />

We enjoyed a nice chance to sleep-in until 7:45<br />

am. The Drake was much more lively this morning<br />

with long rolling swells rolling us back <strong>and</strong> forth in<br />

our beds, <strong>and</strong> once upright we often were walking<br />

at an angle to keep balance.<br />

In the morning Expedition team member Lisa,<br />

held a presentation on the details of the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

Treaty. Throughout the morning the birders were<br />

our on deck hoping to get a glimpse of more<br />

albatrosses, however conditions were a bit<br />

challenging, nice to get some fresh air though.<br />

In the afternoon the kayakers had a debrief of<br />

their great adventures gliding along the surface of<br />

the sea, dipping their paddles left <strong>and</strong> right. Such a<br />

surreal experience to be fulling immerged in the<br />

ocean of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a, so close <strong>and</strong> personal. They<br />

shared photos <strong>and</strong> experiences together, all put<br />

together 22 individuals had the chance to explore<br />

the icy waters of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

In the late afternoon we had a slideshow of all of<br />

S<strong>and</strong>ra’s photos from the expedition. Such a<br />

talented photographer; she really captured all our<br />

experiences in crystal clear stillness for us to<br />

remember forever.<br />

The charity raffle was fun <strong>and</strong> managed to raise a<br />

beneficial sum for the important charities we have<br />

learned about. One is the “South Georgia Heritage<br />

Trust” whose efforts try to eradicate foreign<br />

species of flora <strong>and</strong> fauna that threaten local<br />

ecosystems; the other was “Hook Pod”, an<br />

invention that protects seabirds from getting<br />

caught in the fishing lines of commercial fishing<br />

vessels; <strong>and</strong> the last one was the Whale <strong>and</strong><br />

Dolphin Conservation (WDC).<br />

The evening events were literally Capt off with a<br />

toast from our Captain, a farewell to the hotel<br />

team, <strong>and</strong> a cast back of the recaps of all recaps<br />

with Sam walking us through the twelve last<br />

amazing days of our lives.<br />

The Captain’s dinner was our last “festival” for the<br />

trip <strong>and</strong> our last gr<strong>and</strong> display <strong>and</strong> consumption of<br />

chocolate as well as to enjoy our new friends<br />

made on the ship. Tomorrow we will be saying<br />

good-bye, <strong>and</strong> hopefully in the future a new hello<br />

again.<br />

33<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22 FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Base ¨W¨<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Ushuaia<br />

Cape Petrel<br />

© Renato Granieri<br />

Drake Passage<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Humpback<br />

Whales<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

King of the Southern Winds<br />

S<strong>and</strong>ra Ophorst, Lecturer & Expedition Guide<br />

The w<strong>and</strong>ering albatross is an impressive bird with the<br />

world’s largest wingspan of up to 3.5 meters in length<br />

<strong>and</strong> a weight of up to 11 kilograms. Unfortunately, the<br />

number of w<strong>and</strong>ering albatrosses is rapidly declining<br />

with only 20,<strong>10</strong>0 individuals left as of October 2019<br />

(Red List, World Conservation Union)<br />

The w<strong>and</strong>ering albatross is rarely seen on l<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

gathers only to breed, at which time it forms large<br />

colonies on remote isl<strong>and</strong>s, such as South Georgia. The<br />

female lays a single white egg <strong>and</strong> both sexes share<br />

incubation, which lasts about 60 to 80 days. Both sexes<br />

feed the youngster by regurgitating food, a process<br />

that can continue for up to nine months.<br />

The nesting cycle of w<strong>and</strong>ering albatrosses is so long,<br />

they can’t complete it in one year. So, they nest every<br />

other year. When young albatrosses become<br />

independent <strong>and</strong> leave their nest site, they begin a<br />

multi-year foray on the open ocean <strong>and</strong> will not return<br />

to l<strong>and</strong> until they are old enough to breed. This can<br />

take up to <strong>10</strong> years of their 50 year average lifespan.<br />

35<br />

The w<strong>and</strong>ering albatross is famous for its dynamic<br />

flight. They turn into the wind to gain height, then glide<br />

back down to the sea to gain speed. Sometimes they<br />

glide for hours without rest or even a single flap of<br />

their wings. Indeed, this principle was used to design<br />

airplanes, especially gliders that have albatross-like<br />

wings.<br />

As a result of these wings, however, an albatross’<br />

l<strong>and</strong>ing process often looks a bit comical as their<br />

narrow wings do not allow for a slow approach. So,<br />

they often l<strong>and</strong> on their feet <strong>and</strong> then tumble forward<br />

<strong>and</strong> slide on their bellies. The biggest threats to the<br />

w<strong>and</strong>ering albatross are pollution <strong>and</strong> large-scale<br />

commercial tuna fisheries. These tuna fishing boats are<br />

equipped with up to 20,000 fish baited hooks <strong>and</strong><br />

these lines can be up to <strong>10</strong>0km long.<br />

Unfortunately, these fishing lines often attract<br />

albatrosses get caught up on the hooks <strong>and</strong> drown as<br />

they are cast out at sea. Organisations such as Hookpod<br />

are trying to save the albatrosses from the dangers of<br />

long line fishing vessels by providing fishing boats with<br />

“hookpods” that cover the barb <strong>and</strong> point of the hook<br />

during setting, reducing the likelihood of an albatross<br />

by-catch.<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

Home Again<br />

22 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> - Ushuaia<br />

After last night’s end-of-voyage festivities, we awoke<br />

much too early for our final morning on the Ocean<br />

Atlantic. Although we wish we could stay, we started<br />

the process of leaving behind the ship <strong>and</strong> the people<br />

we’ve come to know so well over the past week.<br />

Our bags were packed <strong>and</strong> stowed in the corridors,<br />

ready for our early-morning busses <strong>and</strong> flights back<br />

home. After nine whole days immersed in the<br />

l<strong>and</strong>scapes <strong>and</strong> amongst the wildlife of the <strong>Antarctic</strong>,<br />

it was time to return home or to wherever our life’s<br />

journeys bring us.<br />

And so – farewell, adieu, <strong>and</strong> goodbye. Together we<br />

have visited <strong>and</strong> incredible <strong>and</strong> vast wilderness. We<br />

have experienced magnificent mountain vistas, seen<br />

icebergs roll <strong>and</strong> crack, felt the power of the elements<br />

<strong>and</strong> seen how quickly they can change. We enjoyed<br />

wonderful food <strong>and</strong> comfortable surroundings aboard<br />

the Ocean Atlantic.<br />

36<br />

We boarded zodiacs <strong>and</strong> cruised through icy bays at<br />

the end of the Earth. We shared unique moments,<br />

held engaging conversations, <strong>and</strong> laughed together<br />

over tea or wine. We’ve made new friends <strong>and</strong><br />

experienced the power of expedition travel.<br />

We hope the expedition team has helped make this<br />

the trip of a lifetime - one that will persist in your<br />

memories for weeks, months, <strong>and</strong> years, to come.<br />

Although we must say good-bye to these places we<br />

have come to know <strong>and</strong> love, it is a fond farewell as<br />

we are all true ambassadors for the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>and</strong> all<br />

the beauty it holds.<br />

On behalf of Albatros Expeditions, our captain <strong>and</strong><br />

crew, the expedition team, <strong>and</strong> everyone else who<br />

helped make this journey a resounding success, it has<br />

been a pleasure travelling with you. We hope that you<br />

will come back <strong>and</strong> experience these wonderful places<br />

with us once again!<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

By the Numbers…<br />

37<br />

Voyage Statistics:<br />

Southernmost Point: 66 o 51.49’ S, 65 o 48.62’W<br />

Total Distance Travelled: 2,147 nautical miles 3,864 kilometre<br />

Excursion Locations:<br />

Barrientos Is: 62 o 24’ S 59 o 44’ W Detaille Is: 66 o 51’ S 66 o 48’ W<br />

Hydrurga Rocks: 64 o 08’ S 61 o 36’ W Petermann Is: 65 o <strong>10</strong>’ S 64 o <strong>10</strong>’ W<br />

Portal Point: 64 o 28’ S 61 o 47’ W Mikkelsen Harbour: 63 o 54’ S 60 o 46’ W<br />

Neko Harbour: 64 o 50’ S 62 o 33’ W Cierva Cove: 64 o 08’ S 60 o 53’ W<br />

Brown Station: 64 o 53’ S 62 o 52’ W Whalers Bay: 62 o 59’ S 60 o 34’ W<br />

Port Charcot: 65 o 06’ S 64 o 01’ W Hannah Point: 62 o 39’ S 60 o 37’ W<br />

Ushuaia: 54 o 45’ S 68 o 23’ W<br />

During our time on the M/V Ocean Atlantic, we consumed:<br />

Beef<br />

Lamb<br />

Pork<br />

Poultry<br />

Cold Cuts<br />

Fish & Seafood<br />

Eggs<br />

Milk<br />

Cheese<br />

Ice Cream<br />

Vegetables<br />

Fruit<br />

Wine<br />

Beer<br />

Toilet Paper<br />

400 kg<br />

<strong>10</strong>0 kg<br />

400 kg<br />

600 kg<br />

<strong>10</strong>0 kg<br />

300 kg<br />

5400 pcs<br />

480 ltr<br />

75 kg<br />

180 ltr<br />

2250 kg<br />

2500 kg<br />

127 btls<br />

416 cans<br />

780 rolls<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

A Final Note…<br />

38<br />

As any good expedition comes to a close, many of us experience the<br />

effervescent excitement that comes when we immerse ourselves<br />

completely in an adventure. Although we all came into this voyage with<br />

our own expectations <strong>and</strong> personal motivations, on the ship, we quickly<br />

learned that the best plan is the one that we end up doing.<br />

While weather <strong>and</strong> the l<strong>and</strong>scape<br />

can conspire against us in the<br />

southern latitudes, the right mindset<br />

can make all of the difference.<br />

Wind, rain, sleet, <strong>and</strong> snow make no<br />

difference when we come prepared<br />

for an adventure <strong>and</strong> all the<br />

excitement it holds. Whether you<br />

saw what you came for or you<br />

experienced something else<br />

entirely, when you set out on an<br />

expedition, you come for the<br />

mountains <strong>and</strong> the wildlife, but stay<br />

for people <strong>and</strong> places you meet<br />

along the way.<br />

Although we all eventually have to<br />

leave behind our beloved Ocean<br />

Atlantic, there are always a few<br />

things we can take home from an<br />

expedition:<br />

• An acceptance <strong>and</strong> embracement<br />

of adversity <strong>and</strong> uncertainty<br />

when the natural world alters<br />

our plans.<br />

• A fondness for the wild <strong>and</strong> a<br />

strong desire to keep remote<br />

natural locations as beautiful <strong>and</strong><br />

free as they can be.<br />

• An insatiable interest in learning<br />

more about the people, places,<br />

<strong>and</strong> cultures in some of the most<br />

remote parts of the world.<br />

As you unpack you bags, you may<br />

find souvenirs <strong>and</strong> keepsakes from<br />

your journey. Your camera may be<br />

filled with countless photos,<br />

however blurry, of the many<br />

animals <strong>and</strong> mountains that have<br />

crossed our paths. At the end of the<br />

day, however, what matters most is<br />

the experience of, the journey to,<br />

<strong>and</strong> the memories of these wild <strong>and</strong><br />

wonderful places.<br />

Best wishes from all of us on the<br />

expedition team as you continue on<br />

with your adventures!<br />

Sam Gagnon<br />

Expedition Leader<br />

Rashidah Lim<br />

Assistant Expedition Leader<br />

Thank you for experiencing the <strong>Antarctic</strong> with us at Albatros<br />

Expeditions. We hope to see you aboard the Ocean Atlantic<br />

again in the future!<br />

Christophe Gouraud<br />

Assistant Expedition Leader<br />

© S<strong>and</strong>ra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>10</strong>-22, FEB <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>13</strong>

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