South Shetlands & The Antarctic Peninsula 22 Feb 2020 - 14

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<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong><br />

Albatros Magazine<br />

A Visual Journey<br />

<strong>South</strong> <strong>Shetlands</strong> &<br />

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


Albatros Magazine: A Visual Journey<br />

Editor-in-Chief:<br />

Layout & Design:<br />

Amanda Dalsgaard<br />

Gaby Pilson & Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Front Cover Image:<br />

Back Cover Image:<br />

Photography Contributors:<br />

Gentoo Family Shayne Mcguire<br />

Elephant seal Sandra Petrowiz<br />

Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Yuri Choufour<br />

Werner Kruse<br />

Renato Granieri<br />

Gaby Pilson<br />

Shannon Jensen<br />

Shayne Mcguire<br />

Phillip Hunter<br />

Amanda Dalsgaard<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong> Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>


<strong>The</strong> Voyage<br />

Meet the Team<br />

Day 1: <strong>South</strong>ward Bound<br />

<strong>The</strong> Seven Sisters of Szczecin<br />

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

Day 2: Rolling Our Way <strong>South</strong><br />

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

Day 3: Our Our Way to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a!<br />

Ice is Nice – Glacier Fun Facts<br />

Whales: Friendly Giants of the Sea<br />

Day 4: Our First Day in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a<br />

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

Day 5: In the Footsteps of Charcot<br />

When and How the Earth Got Cold<br />

Day 6: <strong>The</strong> White Continent<br />

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

Day 7: <strong>The</strong> Final Stop Among the <strong>South</strong> <strong>Shetlands</strong><br />

Day 8: Northward Bound<br />

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

A Brief History of the Zodiac<br />

Day 9: <strong>The</strong> Beagle Channel<br />

King of the <strong>South</strong>ern Winds<br />

Day 10: 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 />

10<br />

11<br />

13<br />

<strong>14</strong><br />

15<br />

16<br />

18<br />

19<br />

21<br />

<strong>22</strong><br />

25<br />

27<br />

29<br />

30<br />

32<br />

33<br />

34<br />


<strong>The</strong> Voyage<br />

3<br />

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

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

landings, and excursions on the following pages. We hope that this magazine serves as a<br />

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

o<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

4<br />

Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Assistant Expedition<br />

Leader<br />

Samuel Gagnon<br />

Expedition Leader<br />

Barbara Post<br />

Assistant Expedition<br />

Leader<br />

Ted Creek<br />

Zodiac Master<br />

David Reid<br />

Kayak Master<br />

Wan Meng Chieh<br />

Kayak Guide<br />

Isabelle Howells<br />

Equipment Master<br />

Nadine Smith<br />

Shop Manager<br />

Rose Li<br />

Guide<br />

Christophe Gouraud<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Shayne McGuire<br />

Photographer<br />

Amanda Dalsgaard<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Kevin Burke<br />

Lecture & Guide<br />

Ab Steenvoorden<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Lisa Pettenuzzo<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Mariam Pousa<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Christina Langer<br />

First Aid Responder<br />

Marta<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Sanna Kallio<br />

Lecturer & Guide<br />

Chloe Shang<br />

Shop Assistent<br />

Steve Egan<br />

Guest Services<br />

Rashidah Lim<br />

Guide<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

5<br />

Day 1 - <strong>South</strong>ward Bound<br />

<strong>22</strong> <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> - Embarkation Day<br />

From all over the world, passengers arrived on the<br />

dock in Ushuaia for a 15:00 embarkation onto the<br />

M/V Ocean Atlantic. Our <strong>Antarctic</strong> expedition was<br />

finally coming to fruition.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ship’s doctor all the guest’s by taking body<br />

temperature readings with a small gun shaped<br />

thermometer that he pointed at everyone’s<br />

foreheads. It was a funny way to welcome people,<br />

but we were glad for the precautionary measures<br />

with ‘Corona-virus’ spreading around the world.<br />

One of the expedition guides joked that they were<br />

uploading memories of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a for us and then<br />

going to send us home again! Ha.<br />

After we checked into our rooms and had some<br />

tea, we were given a safety briefing and practiced<br />

an emergency drill. <strong>The</strong> sound of the seven short<br />

blasts and one long was not to be mistaken. We<br />

gathered at our muster stations for roll call and<br />

learned where the lifeboats are.<br />

We reconvened in the Viking <strong>The</strong>atre for a ‘meet<br />

and greet’ with the ship’s Crew and Expedition<br />

Team. Our Expedition Leader, Sam, introduced us<br />

to the Hotel director Oliver, who proudly<br />

introduced his team that would be taking care of<br />

us for the duration of the trip. Following this, was<br />

an introduction of the Expedition Team.<br />

We dinned as the sun set and the glassy Beagle<br />

Channel gave way under us. <strong>The</strong> farms of the<br />

southernmost residents in <strong>South</strong> America were<br />

picturesque against the rugged mountains jutting<br />

out seemingly just a stone’s throw away on either<br />

side of the narrow channel. <strong>The</strong> dining room<br />

buzzed with excitement as we exchanged stories<br />

with our new travel companions answering the<br />

question, “…so what made you want to come to<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a?”<br />

After dinner the warm summer air of the<br />

continent, lured us out onto the decks to watch<br />

the albatross, terns and skuas dance in the ship’s<br />

wake. What a beautiful evening, and the salty<br />

fresh air so calming; such a grand way to wind<br />

down for bed and get a good sleep. Tomorrow will<br />

be an exciting day on the Drake Passage.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

<strong>The</strong> Seven Sisters of Szczecin<br />

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

6<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 />

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

Far East.<br />

She was purchased by Albatros Expeditions and<br />

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

passenger expedition vessel and 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, Poland 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 />

and 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 />

and 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 />

and renamed 2010 to Atlantic;<br />

renovations in Italy and in traffic<br />

Stockholm-Helsinki-St. Petersburg<br />

during summer and laid up (October<br />

2010) in St Petersburg<br />

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

Ocean Atlantic under Marshall<br />

Islands flag<br />

2013 Used as a hotel ship in the German<br />

bight wind farm project<br />

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

Gdansk in Poland, where totally<br />

refitted<br />

2017 Chartered to Quark Expeditions<br />

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

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

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

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

In a suburb of Wellington, New Zealand, the local<br />

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

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

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

19<strong>14</strong> 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 />

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

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

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

pluck her up from the icy cold waters and 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 and inexperience counted<br />

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

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

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

and 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. <strong>The</strong> ship<br />

was abandoned and, 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 Island.<br />

Once at Elephant Island, Shackleton set out<br />

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

an 800-mile crossing through the<br />

rough waters of the <strong>South</strong> Atlantic<br />

to <strong>South</strong> 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 Zealand<br />

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

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

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

even reunited McNish and 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 and see Mrs. Chippy<br />

watching over him once again.<br />

7<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 2 - Rolling Our Way <strong>South</strong><br />

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

8<br />

A rocking and rolling sea greeted us for our first<br />

full day together onboard the Ocean Atlantic as<br />

she sailed us southwards toward the promise of a<br />

snowy white continent, lost at the edge of the<br />

known world. A lovely breakfast as the skies<br />

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

events of the day. It was a relaxed yet<br />

adventurous start as many of us were still finding<br />

our sea legs as our ship lurched challengingly<br />

across the Drake Passage.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Our ornithologist Ab rolled out an entertaining<br />

introduction to the Seabirds of the <strong>South</strong>ern<br />

Ocean, surprisingly, given the conditions, to a full<br />

house, providing us a great taste of the<br />

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

feathered friends who accompany us on our<br />

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

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

companions. Time ‘flew’ and before we knew it, it<br />

was time for a mandatory IAATO briefing. After<br />

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

introductory thoughts and perspectives about<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a and how to be a respectful tourist, we<br />

enjoyed a great lunch put on by our consistently<br />

creative galley team, fueling us for an afternoon of<br />

further activities.<br />

After lunch and a siesta for many of us, Amanda<br />

welcomed those up and about to an excellent<br />

overview of the whales we may encounter in the<br />

region, giving us some important understanding of<br />

the lives and ways of these most engaging<br />

creatures of the seas we were entering.<br />

Throughout the afternoon as the sea state<br />

continued, many of us wandered out on the aft<br />

deck to inspect the view of the wild seas, mingled<br />

with our naturalists and other travelers over tea,<br />

or photographed the many wondrous seabirds<br />

that chaperoned our sea journey.<br />

A sweet snack at tea time flowed into an invitation<br />

to join Shayne for her valuable insights and tips on<br />

photographing in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a. Soon enough, a day<br />

of various briefings, social occasions and<br />

educational presentations brought us to our<br />

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

our vessel and our captain Georgii as he toasted to<br />

an expected successful Expedition ahead. This<br />

toast lead us into a delightful evening meal as we<br />

steamed south towards the horizon. Some<br />

gathered after dining for a screening of Frozen<br />

Planet to fuel dreams of the icy realms ahead.<br />

Late in the night, we would cross the <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

Convergence-the gateway into <strong>Antarctic</strong>a’s unique<br />

biological zone and would soon consider ourselves<br />

embraced by the great white continent.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

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. <strong>The</strong>se 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 />

9<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<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, and 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 />

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

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

115 kg. <strong>The</strong>se 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 />

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

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

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

at fishing and 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. <strong>The</strong>y spend<br />

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

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

krill, squid, and small fish. <strong>The</strong> 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>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 3 – On Our Way to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a!<br />

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

10<br />

Our second day at sea, and already people were<br />

getting used to the motion of the ship through the<br />

waves and were becoming accustomed to life on<br />

the water. Today, we had a few more tasks to<br />

prepare ourselves for our first landing, including a<br />

briefing on how to safely travel in the zodiacs.<br />

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a is a unique environment with a<br />

sensitive ecosystem, that can easily be disturbed<br />

by visitors. Because of this, we take extra<br />

precautions with the equipment that is taken<br />

onshore to check that it doesn’t have any seeds of<br />

vegetation that could cause a nuisance to the local<br />

area. Having made sure our outdoor kit was biosecure,<br />

we piled into the lecture theatre with<br />

plates loaded with tea-time treats and settled in<br />

for Christophe’s presentation about penguins.<br />

For many, seeing penguins will be one of the<br />

highlights of visiting the <strong>Antarctic</strong> <strong>Peninsula</strong>, and<br />

for good reason. <strong>The</strong>se charismatic critters are so<br />

at home in this hostile environment and that is<br />

thanks to some of the interesting adaptations that<br />

they have. Christophe talked us through some<br />

remarkable facts about their life cycle, their<br />

hunting habits and their breeding and social lives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> briefing, which explained the plans of our first<br />

landing, and recap was followed by a delicious<br />

dinner in the Vinland Restaurant. That evening,<br />

our fellow guest on board, Kurt, gave a moving<br />

and inspiring talk to a full house, giving us the<br />

opportunity to learn about the charity he is<br />

involved with that provides education, resources<br />

and nourishing meals to children with disabilities.<br />

.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</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 and wide valleys we know<br />

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

2<br />

© Renato Granieri<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 and persist in a single location all<br />

year long for hundreds, if not thousands 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 and get bigger<br />

and 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 />

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

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

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

in Tanzania and 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 />

<strong>The</strong>re, 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 and is the main reason<br />

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

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

started.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Drake Passage<br />

Drake Passage<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz © Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Elephant seal<br />

Gentoo chic<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Drake Passage<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Whales: Gentle Giants of the <strong>South</strong>ern Sea<br />

Amanda Dalsgaard – Lecturer (Marine Biology) and Expedition Guide<br />

13<br />

@ P.M.Hunter<br />

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

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

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

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

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

technological advances, our knowledge of these<br />

creatures will only continue to grow.<br />

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

Odontocete and Mysticeti. Odontocete, meaning<br />

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

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

Latin root meaning “mustache”, and 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 />

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 and 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 and precise sounds<br />

that are then reflected back to the animal and<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 hand, communicate through a variety<br />

of low-frequency songs. <strong>The</strong>se songs have been<br />

described by scientists as being beautiful,<br />

mysterious and 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 />

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

breath air to survive. <strong>The</strong>y do so by breathing at<br />

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

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 4 – Our First Day in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a!<br />

25 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Damoy Point and Port Lockroy<br />

<strong>14</strong><br />

After two full days crossing the Drake Passage, the<br />

bridge officers of the Ocean Atlantic and<br />

passengers alike were glad to at last reach some<br />

calmer waters. Guests were told at the recap the<br />

evening before that early morning, we would be<br />

travelling through the Neumayer Channel –<br />

arguably one of the most scenic and spectacular<br />

channels in all of the peninsula. Shortly after six<br />

am, the early sun was kissing the summits of the<br />

surrounding peaks. <strong>The</strong> tallest mountain on the<br />

peninsula could just be seen with a pink sunny<br />

summit. Rising to 2826m high, Mount Francais is<br />

often shrouded in cloud and obscured from view.<br />

Those out on deck early were treated to an<br />

amazing morning.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Today was also the first chance for the kayaking<br />

program participants to acquaint themselves with<br />

their kayaks and explore the waters and ice in<br />

Dorian Bay near Damoy Point and Jougla Point<br />

near the entrance to Peltier Channel. <strong>The</strong> weather<br />

was spectacular and by lunchtime everyone had<br />

forgotten about the ‘spicy’ Drake Passage crossing.<br />

During lunch, the Ocean Atlantic re-positioned to<br />

Port Lockroy. <strong>The</strong> incredible weather stayed with<br />

us as the guests split between visiting the restored<br />

buildings of the early British scientific station on<br />

Goudier Island and embarking on a scenic zodiac<br />

cruise.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first excursion of the day was at a place called<br />

Damoy Point. A well maintained hut on shore is of<br />

keen interest for anyone visiting. This area was<br />

used as a staging post for the British <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

Survey. On the ice shelf nearby, there is a runway<br />

from which scientists could be flown south to<br />

Rothera Station and beyond without waiting for<br />

the sea ice to clear. A colony of Gentoo penguins<br />

were the first animals seen by many of the happy<br />

guests on board.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Today, the Bransfield House is used as a museum,<br />

gift shop and post office. When the base was<br />

established. Goudier Island was attached to<br />

nearby Wiencke Island by a glacier, but this has<br />

since retreated sufficiently for the island now to<br />

stand alone in the harbour. A quick but thorough<br />

re-cap featured Sam, Isabelle, Sanna and Ab<br />

before the dinner bell sounded and the dining<br />

room became a boisterous and noisy gathering of<br />

very happy guests and expedition staff. Without<br />

doubt, a spectacular first day in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a!<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

<strong>The</strong> 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 100 million years ago (mya). <strong>The</strong> main points to<br />

note are:<br />

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

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

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

• Only the <strong>South</strong> <strong>Shetlands</strong> Islands have any volcanic activity now<br />

15<br />

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

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

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

deformation. <strong>The</strong>se metamorphic rocks span a wide range of ages from 299-65 mya. <strong>The</strong>y tend to be older<br />

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

Brown Station.<br />

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

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

lava and ash). Again, the rocks span a wide range of ages from about 210-25 mya, and the younger rocks<br />

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

<strong>South</strong> Shetland Islands (e.g. Half Moon Island, or Yankee Harbour) or on the peninsula (e.g. Cuverville<br />

Island). Plutonic rocks form Goudier Island at Port Lockroy.<br />

3. <strong>The</strong> sedimentary domain contains rocks eroded from the volcanic arc and 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 Alexander Island). Sedimentary rocks are<br />

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

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

Bay.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 5 – In the Footsteps of Charcot<br />

26 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Peterman Island and Port Charcot<br />

16<br />

It was an especially early wake up call for an<br />

especially exceptional view. At 6:00 am we rose to<br />

Sam’s voice on the loudspeaker announcing our<br />

transit through the Lemaire Channel. World<br />

famous, and for good reason, this was not an<br />

event to be missed for a bit more sleep, so we<br />

bounced out of bed for a viewing on the bow.<br />

With a few high clouds to offset the orange sky<br />

and the sun rising behind the mountains, we<br />

threaded the needle through the narrow channel.<br />

A rainbow appeared, backdropped by the charcoal<br />

clouds; we couldn’t have asked for a more<br />

beautiful morning.<br />

At lunch there was a barbecue on the back deck<br />

that trumped all other barbeques! What can beat<br />

the sweet smells of summer picnics to be eaten<br />

whilst cruising amongst icebergs?<br />

@ Amanda Dalsgaard<br />

Breakfast was at the usual 7-8 am slot and we<br />

quickly got ready for the morning’s excursion at<br />

Petermann Island. As we approached the shore,<br />

we could see a cross to the left along the beach<br />

commemorating three British researchers that had<br />

perished crossing the sea ice. On the shore, the<br />

red flags led us to a fork in the path with a high<br />

viewpoint over an iceberg-filled bay to the left and<br />

to the right we met our first Adelle colony. Ab was<br />

there to tell us the differences © Sandra Petrowitz between the Adelle<br />

and Gentoo penguins.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>The</strong> afternoon excursion was a landing at Port<br />

Charcot and a cruise through Pleneau Bay- an<br />

iceberg graveyard, where “icebergs go to die”. On<br />

our walk as we crested over the sun cupped<br />

snowfield to the iceberg laden bay at the back, we<br />

came upon many penguins that had been ravaged.<br />

<strong>The</strong> mystery was, why were they killed and not<br />

eaten?. A mad fur seal was the suspect as they are<br />

the only kind of seal that could move fast enough<br />

to impose such damage on a colony. It was a sad<br />

sight and a disturbing part of nature to witness.<br />

<strong>The</strong> zodiac cruise amongst the icebergs in Pleneau<br />

Bay was an antithetical contrast with a magical<br />

meander amongst the crystalline shapes melting<br />

out from the large blocks that not long ago were<br />

stranded on the shallow ocean floor.<br />

At 18:00 we had another chance to cross the<br />

Lemaire Channel and this time in the evening light.<br />

We had a group picture taken on the bow of the<br />

ship by Shayne; it will be great to remember all<br />

our new friends that we met on this journey.<br />

<strong>The</strong> evening ended with Rose’s entertaining<br />

banter over a bingo game and her all too<br />

memorable cue to ring out an emphatic “WOW”<br />

whenever mock amazement is required. For the<br />

duration of the trip, the occasional “WOW” could<br />

be heard ringing out from the dinner tables.<br />

Another amazing day in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a and fun was<br />

enjoyed by all.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Paradise Harbour<br />

Paradise<br />

Harbour<br />

Chinstrap penguins<br />

Paradise Harbour<br />

Neko Harbour<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

All photos © Sandra Petrowltz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

When and How the Earth Got Cold<br />

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

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

greenhouse and 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 (<strong>14</strong>4-65 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 and 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 100 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, and 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> and Tierra del Fuego that allowed deep cold<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

<strong>Antarctic</strong>a-<strong>South</strong> 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 />

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

Figure 1: <strong>The</strong>rmal structure of the <strong>South</strong>ern Ocean showing the<br />

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

of the dark blue and 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 />

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

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

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

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

although the former supercontinent of Gondwana had<br />

largely broken up by then, there was still a land bridge<br />

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

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

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

temperature of the <strong>South</strong>ern Ocean was a relatively<br />

mild 6°C.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

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

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

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

allowed surface waters to circulate through this former land<br />

bridge. <strong>The</strong> 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 and <strong>South</strong> America and allowing<br />

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

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

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 6- <strong>The</strong> White Continent<br />

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

19<br />

Waking up knowing that today is the day that we<br />

would land on the <strong>Antarctic</strong> mainland, we checked<br />

outside of our windows with baited breath to check<br />

if the weather would hold. <strong>The</strong> luck we have had so<br />

far held strong, and the surface of the water was<br />

mirror calm apart from the ripples left from the ship.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

We sailed into Paradise Harbour and away onto the<br />

zodiacs with the standard full split of half the group<br />

on land and the other half zodiac cruising. This was<br />

with the exception of the kayakers who were<br />

enjoying their forth outing of the voyage.<br />

On the zodiacs, we travelled around the rocky<br />

cliffs covered in beautiful lichens and algae to a<br />

Blue-eyed shag colony with many chicks just<br />

starting to leave their nests and settling on ice<br />

bergs all around. We proceeded into Skontorp<br />

Cove where we had views of the incredible glacier<br />

fronts and witnessed first-hand the power of the<br />

polar icecap through various calving events.<br />

<strong>The</strong> afternoon brought us another Humpback<br />

whale on our way to Neko Harbour. We took a<br />

narrow channel sailing past the colourfully painted<br />

Chilean base Gonzalez Videla, on our way towards<br />

our afternoon location. At this point, we no longer<br />

believe the expedition team and their dire<br />

warnings that <strong>Antarctic</strong> weather can be bad as we<br />

can see for miles across this perfect bay. Landing<br />

on a gravel beach we are spoilt with a larger<br />

colony of gentoos either rearing their fluffy chicks<br />

or else trying to conserve energy as they moult<br />

away their last years feathers. Another viewpoint<br />

and some relaxing peace and quiet.<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

At the landing site, a set of stairs lead us up and<br />

through the Argentinian ‘Brown Station’, where a<br />

small colony of Gentoo penguins resided and the<br />

expedition team organised a route up to a stunning<br />

viewpoint. Everywhere we looked there were<br />

glaciers, ice and mountains, perfectly reflected in the<br />

mirror that the sea has become. Meanwhile, the<br />

staff told stories of the peculiar situation of the<br />

bases doctor having burned it down after a long year<br />

away from his love.<br />

On the water as well as the normal icebergs the<br />

harbour seems to be filled with tiny wilsons storm<br />

petrels dancing on the surface of the water picking<br />

up tiny krill as they go in a pure masterclass in<br />

precision. To top it off a mother and calf<br />

humpback whale.<br />

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

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

began, and 78 of us having apparently lost our<br />

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

ship into the icy water.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Port Charcot<br />

@Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Gentoo Chics<br />

@Sandra Petrowitz<br />

@Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Humpback<br />

Crabeater Seal<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

@Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Port Charcot<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong><br />

@Sandra Petrowitz

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 />

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

the continent’s isolation with and 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 and 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 and safe and then stand back and 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 and ample shelter for the<br />

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

until help can arrive.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Argentine <strong>Antarctic</strong> base and 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 and 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 and 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 and explorers of the region, driving<br />

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

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

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

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

himself and 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 and taken to United States’ Palmer<br />

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

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

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

decided to call off the engagement.<br />

© Werner Kruse<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 7- <strong>The</strong> Final Stop Among the <strong>South</strong> <strong>Shetlands</strong><br />

28 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2020</strong> – Halfmoon Island and Whalers Bay<br />

<strong>22</strong><br />

On our last day of excursions, we were starting to get<br />

used to our routine: an early morning wake up, zodiac<br />

embarkation, landings, and recap, but all of that could<br />

not prepare us for the excitement that the day ahead<br />

would bring. Although we have had very warm<br />

weather in the previous days, today, true <strong>Antarctic</strong><br />

conditions appeared with snow and cold ocean wind<br />

on our faces.<br />

Signs of the explosive history of this volcanic caldera<br />

tinge the ice and earth here, giving the landscape a<br />

dark, ashy complexion. Deception Island has a long<br />

human history as well. <strong>The</strong> harbour was first used by<br />

British and American sealers who used Deception as a<br />

hunting base for fur seals. Over the years the<br />

populations of fur seals were disseminated in the<br />

<strong>South</strong> Shetland Islands and the sealers moved to new<br />

areas. <strong>The</strong>y were then replaced by the whalers who<br />

arrived in the early 1900’s. Like the sealers, the<br />

whalers used the bay as safe and protected place to<br />

process their catch. By 1912, the Norwegian Hektor<br />

Whaling Company established a permanent land<br />

station to process the whale carcasses more<br />

efficiently. Once whale oil lost its value in the market<br />

place, the whaling station shut-down and was<br />

abandoned in 1931.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>The</strong> day began at Halfmoon Island, which is<br />

predominantly inhabited by chinstrap penguins,<br />

forming several colonies throughout the crescentshaped<br />

land. <strong>The</strong> chicks present were grown and<br />

molting, showing a very fun, slightly awkward, ‘hairstyle’.<br />

We watched as their parents comically popped<br />

onto the rocky shore as they came back to their<br />

colony after feeding out at sea.<br />

Those who were not on land, enjoyed a short Zodiac<br />

cruise around the scenic coastline. <strong>The</strong> brief<br />

appearance of a shy Minke Whale made us smile,<br />

while we also got the chance to observe some<br />

friendly fur seals pups jumping in and out of the<br />

water.<br />

After a beautiful morning, we embarked back onto<br />

the Ocean Atlantic and sailed along the northern<br />

edge of the Bransfield Strait towards Deception<br />

Island. Onboard, after enjoying another fabulous<br />

lunch in the Vinland Restaurant, many people headed<br />

to the outer decks to experience the dramatic<br />

Neptune’s Bellows- the entrance way to the active<br />

caldera and Deception Island.<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>The</strong> caldera was particularly rich with life this<br />

afternoon – a marked juxtaposition to the skeletons<br />

of the old Norwegian whaling station rusting on<br />

shore. We also roamed the shores of Deception<br />

Island, dwarfed by the landscape surrounding us; In<br />

awe of the history that had come and gone.<br />

Upon arrival, the initial wind and the swell in the<br />

waters of the Whalers Bay caused some concern, but<br />

our experienced Zodiac drivers felt confident in their<br />

ability to handle the conditions. Luckily enough, the<br />

wind and the swell more or less abated, and we<br />

enjoyed a stunning cruise with a bright sunset over<br />

the caldera’s ridge. We spotted a handful of cheeky<br />

chinstrap penguins walking very close to the fur seals,<br />

while some blue eyed shags watched us from the<br />

cliffs inside the bay before we wrapped up the<br />

afternoon and headed back to the ship.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Molting Chinstrap<br />

Neptune’s Bellows<br />

23<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Half-moon Island<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Blue-eyed shags<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Detaille Provisions<br />

Deception Island<br />

Base ¨W¨<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Gentoo<br />

Neumayer Channel<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Leopard Seal<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 8- Northward Bound<br />

29 <strong>Feb</strong>rurary <strong>2020</strong> – Drakes Passage, At Sea<br />

25<br />

Our first day at sea on our way back to Ushuaia<br />

started with the well-known wake-up call by Sam<br />

at 7:45 am. With light winds and a cloudy sky, it<br />

seemed to be a relatively calm day on the Drake<br />

Passage. Breakfast was followed by an informative<br />

lecture by Sanna about the physical natural history<br />

of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a. Sanna shared her knowledge of ice,<br />

rocks and <strong>Antarctic</strong> glaciers with us all.<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

Following the lecture, our stretching master and<br />

dance teacher Rashida, offered an invigorating<br />

stretch class in the Bistro. <strong>The</strong> class was just what<br />

we needed after over a week of enjoying tasty<br />

food prepared by our talented chefs onboard.<br />

Roughly thirty of us left with a big smile and a 45-<br />

minute workout completed.<br />

In the afternoon, Amanda invited us back into the<br />

Viking <strong>The</strong>ater to learn all about the six different<br />

types of seals that are found in the <strong>South</strong>ern<br />

Ocean. And before we knew it, it was the most<br />

important time of day again- teatime! <strong>The</strong> galley<br />

team served a beautiful assortment of cakes,<br />

sandwiches and even ice cream Sundays!<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

Our daily recap followed and was rather intriguing.<br />

First, Sam told us the story of the Ocean Atlantic<br />

and it´s turbulent history. Being built in Russia in<br />

1986 and launched in 1987, the ship has travelled<br />

as far as the Eastern coast of Russia, where it<br />

served as a ferry to and from Japan. <strong>The</strong> story<br />

behind cabin no 502 was interesting as well. In the<br />

year 2000, soon after the Russian election,<br />

Vladimir Putin took the Ocean Atlantic on a oneweek<br />

holiday together with his wife and his two<br />

daughters. In 2017, Albatros Expeditions started<br />

running trips on the OA to <strong>Antarctic</strong>a and around<br />

the Arctic regions.<br />

Following the ship’s history, Christoph made us all<br />

laugh during his amusing recap about penguin<br />

poop and the pressure behind the action. Ab, one<br />

of our birders on board, emphasized the<br />

impressive wingspan of the seabirds we have seen<br />

during our trip. To help us visualize the size of<br />

these birds, he used a rope stretched across the<br />

room to exemplify the wingspans of these birds<br />

and left us speechless after seeing the wingspan of<br />

a wandering Albatross. <strong>The</strong> largest flying bird on<br />

our planet with a wingspan of 3.5 meters!<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

Shelli wrapped up the recap by revealing the<br />

secrets held within the big, red waterproof bags<br />

that went ashore for every landing. In case of a<br />

rapid weather change where it would be<br />

impossible to get back to the ship, the bags<br />

contain emergency equipment such as food,<br />

emergency blankets and bothy bags (similar to a<br />

parachute that turns into a tent), water bottles<br />

and toilet paper. After dinner, Karaoke provided<br />

all onboard with another successful and<br />

entertaining evening event in the Viking <strong>The</strong>atre.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Gentoo & Adelie<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

Fur Seal<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

Humpbacks<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

Lemaire Channel<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

<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 />

<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 and environment.<br />

27<br />

As a result of these organisations and better logistics,<br />

the rate of scientific discovery soared, and new polarspecific<br />

studies proliferated. Some highlights include:<br />

• 1957-58: <strong>The</strong> 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 and the IGY was a resounding success as it<br />

led directly to the <strong>Antarctic</strong> Treaty<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 Island; and 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 (1910-1913)<br />

found fossil leaves(Glossopteris) in the Transantarctic<br />

Mountains. <strong>The</strong>se fossils belong to an extinct order of<br />

seed ferns from 299-252 million years ago, only found<br />

in the southern hemisphere continents and India. <strong>The</strong>y<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, and geographical data.<br />

Among the results of the investigations was the<br />

discovery of both the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and 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 Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey<br />

(now British <strong>Antarctic</strong> Survey), the Australian National<br />

Research Expeditions) and other civilian operations<br />

(France, New Zealand, <strong>South</strong> Africa, etc).<br />

• 1959-1996: <strong>The</strong> discovery and 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 and 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 />

<strong>14</strong>0 subglacial lakes in <strong>Antarctic</strong>a.<br />

• 1980-present: <strong>The</strong> US-funded collection and curation<br />

of <strong>Antarctic</strong> meteorites has recovered about <strong>22</strong>,000<br />

meteorites from <strong>Antarctic</strong>a (about 75% of all known<br />

meteorites worldwide). <strong>The</strong>re are samples from the<br />

Moon, Mars, and 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 and 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). <strong>The</strong>se two bits of<br />

work lead to signing of the Madrid Protocol on 1987,<br />

banning CFCs.<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Whalers Bay<br />

Whalers Bay<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

Gentoos<br />

Elephant Seal<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

@SandraPetrowitz<br />

Neptunes Bellows<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

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. <strong>The</strong>se 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>. <strong>The</strong>y 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 and 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 <strong>The</strong> 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 <strong>The</strong> original Zodiac company was founded by Maurice Mallet (France) to produce airships.<br />

1909 <strong>The</strong> first outboard motor was invented by Ole Evinrude in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.<br />

1912 <strong>The</strong> loss of the Titanic and subsequent shipping losses during World War 1 proved the need for<br />

inflatable rafts for use as supplementary lifeboats.<br />

1919 RFD firm (UK) and the Zodiac company (France) started building inflatable boats.<br />

1934 <strong>The</strong> airship company, Zodiac, invented the inflatable kayak and catamaran<br />

1942 <strong>The</strong> Marine Raiders – an elite unit of the US Marine Corps – used inflatable boats to carry out<br />

raids and landings in the Pacific theatre.<br />

1950 Alain Bombard first combined the outboard engine, a rigid floor and 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 />

29<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 9- <strong>The</strong> Beagle Channel<br />

1 March <strong>2020</strong> – Drake Passage<br />

We enjoyed a nice chance to sleep-in until 7:45<br />

am. <strong>The</strong> Drake was much more lively this morning<br />

with long rolling swells rolling us back and forth in<br />

our beds, and once upright we often were walking<br />

at an angle to keep balance.<br />

In the morning Expedition team member Lisa, held<br />

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 and right. Such a<br />

surreal experience to be fulling immerged in the<br />

ocean of <strong>Antarctic</strong>a, so close and personal. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

shared photos and experiences together, all put<br />

together <strong>22</strong> 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 />

Sandra’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 />

<strong>The</strong> charity raffle was fun and managed to raise a<br />

beneficial sum for the important charities we have<br />

learned about.<br />

<strong>The</strong> evening events were literally ‘capped’ off with<br />

a toast from our Captain, a farewell to the hotel<br />

team, and a cast back of the recaps of all recaps<br />

with Sam walking us through the nine last amazing<br />

days of our lives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Captain’s dinner was our last “festival” for the<br />

trip and our last grand display and 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, and hopefully in the future a new hello<br />

again.<br />

30<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Ushuaia<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Cape Petrel<br />

© Renato Granieri<br />

Drake Passage<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Humpback Whales<br />

@AmandaDalsgaard<br />

@ShayneMcguire<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

King of the <strong>South</strong>ern Winds<br />

Sandra Ophorst, Lecturer & Expedition Guide<br />

32<br />

<strong>The</strong> wandering albatross is an impressive bird with the<br />

world’s largest wingspan of up to 3.5 meters in length<br />

and a weight of up to 11 kilograms. Unfortunately, the<br />

number of wandering albatrosses is rapidly declining<br />

with only 20,100 individuals left as of October 2019<br />

(Red List, World Conservation Union)<br />

<strong>The</strong> wandering albatross is rarely seen on land and<br />

gathers only to breed, at which time it forms large<br />

colonies on remote islands, such as <strong>South</strong> Georgia. <strong>The</strong><br />

female lays a single white egg and 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 />

<strong>The</strong> nesting cycle of wandering 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 and leave their nest site, they begin a<br />

multi-year foray on the open ocean and will not return<br />

to land until they are old enough to breed. This can<br />

take up to 10 years of their 50 year average lifespan.<br />

<strong>The</strong> wandering albatross is famous for its dynamic<br />

flight. <strong>The</strong>y 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 />

landing process often looks a bit comical as their<br />

narrow wings do not allow for a slow approach. So,<br />

they often land on their feet and then tumble forward<br />

and slide on their bellies. <strong>The</strong> biggest threats to the<br />

wandering albatross are pollution and large-scale<br />

commercial tuna fisheries. <strong>The</strong>se tuna fishing boats are<br />

equipped with up to 20,000 fish baited hooks and<br />

these lines can be up to 100km long.<br />

Unfortunately, these fishing lines often attract<br />

albatrosses get caught up on the hooks and 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 and point of the hook<br />

during setting, reducing the likelihood of an albatross<br />

by-catch.<br />

© Sandra Petrowitz<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

Day 10- Home Again<br />

<strong>22</strong> <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 and the people<br />

we’ve come to know so well over the past week.<br />

Our bags were packed and stowed in the corridors,<br />

ready for our early-morning busses and flights back<br />

home. After nine whole days immersed in the<br />

landscapes and 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, and goodbye. Together we<br />

have visited and incredible and vast wilderness. We<br />

have experienced magnificent mountain vistas, seen<br />

icebergs roll and crack, felt the power of the elements<br />

and seen how quickly they can change. We enjoyed<br />

wonderful food and comfortable surroundings aboard<br />

the Ocean Atlantic.<br />

33<br />

We boarded zodiacs and cruised through icy bays at<br />

the end of the Earth. We shared unique moments,<br />

held engaging conversations, and laughed together<br />

over tea or wine. We’ve made new friends and<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, and years, to come.<br />

Although we must say good-bye to these places we<br />

have come to know and love, it is a fond farewell as<br />

we are all true ambassadors for the <strong>Antarctic</strong> and all<br />

the beauty it holds.<br />

On behalf of Albatros Expeditions, our captain and<br />

crew, the expedition team, and 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 and experience these wonderful places<br />

with us once again!<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

By the Numbers…<br />

34<br />

Voyage Statistics:<br />

<strong>South</strong>ernmost Point: 65 o 11.03’ S, 64 o 08. <strong>14</strong>’W<br />

Total Distance Travelled: 2,<strong>14</strong>7 nautical miles 3,864 kilometre<br />

Excursion Locations:<br />

Cuverville Island: 64 o 41’00’S 62 o 38’00’W<br />

Port Lockroy: 64 o 49’00’S 63 o 29’00’W<br />

Damoy Point: 64 o 49’00’S 63 o 29’00’W<br />

Deception Island: 62 o 59’ S 60 o 29’ W<br />

Port Charcot: 65 o 06’ S 64 o 01’ W<br />

Petermann Is:<br />

Whalers Bay:<br />

Ushuaia:<br />

Neko Harbour:<br />

Brown Station:<br />

65 o 10’ S 64 o 10’ W<br />

62 o 59’ S 60 o 34’ W<br />

54 o 45’ S 68 o 23’ W<br />

64 o 50’ S 62 o 33’ W<br />

64 o 53’ S 62 o 52’ 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 />

477 kg<br />

119 kg<br />

400 kg<br />

300 kg<br />

55 kg<br />

391 kg<br />

4920 pcs<br />

418 ltr<br />

80 kg<br />

209 ltr<br />

1647 kg<br />

1874 kg<br />

311 btls<br />

1116 cans<br />

672 rolls<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

A Final Note…<br />

35<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 and personal motivations, on the ship, we quickly<br />

learned that the best plan is the one that we end up doing.<br />

While weather and the landscape<br />

can conspire against us in the<br />

southern latitudes, the right mindset<br />

can make all of the difference.<br />

Wind, rain, sleet, and snow make no<br />

difference when we come prepared<br />

for an adventure and 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 and the wildlife, but stay<br />

for people and 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 and embracement<br />

of adversity and uncertainty<br />

when the natural world alters<br />

our plans.<br />

• A fondness for the wild and a<br />

strong desire to keep remote<br />

natural locations as beautiful and<br />

free as they can be.<br />

• An insatiable interest in learning<br />

more about the people, places,<br />

and cultures in some of the most<br />

remote parts of the world.<br />

As you unpack you bags, you may<br />

find souvenirs and keepsakes from<br />

your journey. Your camera may be<br />

filled with countless photos,<br />

however blurry, of the many<br />

animals and 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 />

and the memories of these wild and<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 />

Barbara Post<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 />

Shelli Ogilvy<br />

Assistant Expedition Leader<br />

<strong>22</strong> FEB- 2 March <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 2, Issue <strong>14</strong>

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