Land! Antarctica at last.
Trip Start Dec 07, 2010
66Trip End Jan 14, 2011
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A peaceful night sleep meaning one awoke to still see that the Drake Passage was nearly flat as a lake. Wow such luck.
We must be getting closer to land as more bird life outside.
9 am IOTA compulsory briefing as to what to do and not to do on the ice. All basic and commonsense. Then how to enter and exit the zodiacs.
Broken into our 4 zodiac landing groups - I am in Scott. All groups rotate to be first off the boat so no advantage which group you sign up for.
Just before lunch and out of the grey haze we could see the outline of land in the distance. As the ship came closer the islands of bare rock, snow and ice just got larger. Here at last!
Lunch and then into the zodiacs for our first landing ... How excited we all were!!!!!
Monday 3rd Jan, 2011
Drake Passage Bound for Aitcho Islands
The Aitcho Islands are located in the northern entrance to the English Strait between Robert and Greenwich Islands. These islands were charted and named in 1936 by the Discovery Investigations for the Admiralty Hydrographic Office (H.O.).
09:30: Join the Expedition Staff for a Mandatory IAATO and Zodiac Briefing in the Discovery Lounge.
10:30 Boot Fitting: The Expedition Staff will give out boots for the voyage. Wear any socks that you plan on wearing ashore to the mudroom. You will be called by group, please wait for announcements. The mudroom is on deck 2 in the middle of the ship.
14:00 Landing: Our first landing will be at the Aitcho Islands. The disembarkation order will be Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen, and Ross.
18:30 Recap & Briefing: Please join the Expedition Staff in the lounge for an overview of tomorrow's itinerary and a recap of today’s events.
21:30: Join Frank Todd in the Discovery Lounge for his talk on Photo Tips for you trip down south.
by Scott MacPhail & Osi Shahaf
Monday, 3rd January 2011
This Day in Polar History:
1912, Scott names the members of the expedition who will accompany him on the final advance to the South Pole- Bowers, Wilson, Evans and Oates.
"Who would believe in penguins unless he had seen them?"
It was time for the mandatory briefings after breakfast and Roger and John took care of these important topics for us to follow when we are in the Antarctic region.
The IAATO presentation was an informative and important talk in order for us to understand the rules and regulations involved in Antarctic tourism. Next was an instructional presentation on how to feel safe when traveling in the zodiacs as well as a step by step how-to for the infamous TAG board.
We made our way to get our boots in a place that we would soon familiarize ourselves with, the mud room, where the real chaos began. In no time at all we were all kitted up and ready to go for our first landing at Aitcho Island, to get our first look at the penguins and seals in this precious corner of the earth.