Hey whos the guy in the tuxedo?

Trip Start Feb 18, 2008
Trip End Mar 07, 2008

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Flag of Antarctica  ,
Sunday, February 24, 2008

At 4:30 am while we slept, we passed latitude 60 south making it official. We are in Antarctica! The waves started to really pick up last night. The boat was really rocking. I can't imagine how it would be on a smaller boat. The wind was blowing so hard that the boat would list to one side and just stay there. It sometimes felt like it would totally tip over. Funny thing is that I don't feel sick at all. I feel sleepy. I don't think that I have slept that well in years. Babies definitely have something. Being rocked to sleep is wonderful. I think that when I get home I am going to shop for an adult sized cradle... LOL.

The captain started detecting ice on the radar around 8 am. The sea temps started to decrease to only 37.4 degrees farenheit. That made for perfect iceberg viewing... We made landfall off Elephant Island just before 9am and there were numerous icebergs in our vicinity. There were many penguins spotted but only in the distance.

We got up and had breakfast this morning and we were itching to get out on deck. As we ate our breakfast we watched the icebergs start to appear and float by. They were beautiful. Something that wasn't beautiful was the constant dialog by the "experts" on board. Here we are, as far away from civilization as anyone can get. The chance to experience the peace of solitude and over every P.A. system on board we had to listen to a Brit with a severe mucus problem chew his face and microphone. In between comments on the glaciers and the little "bergie bits," we got to hear him cough up loogies while we tried to eat our fried eggs that morning... Ewwww! 

As soon as we had fortified ourselves with a hearty breakfast we bundled up and went outside. Bernard on the P.A. followed us out onto the deck. It didn't totally distract from the majestic peaks of the icebergs. Nothing could. The wind was blowing and with the wind chill it was around     -15 degrees. Yikes. That is cold even for someone that doesn't live in Sunny Florida. The air is so crisp and clean. There are no words to describe what it is like sailing through Antarctica. It isn't just the beauty. It is something that has to be experienced. The wind howling over the deck of the ship, the feeling of the cold as it permeates every cell of your body, the way truly untouched air tastes... I didn't know that clean air has a taste but it does. Amazing.

The wind was really blowing they say that it was about 40 knots. That is about 46 miles an hour... That will blow the shingles off your house and break small limbs off of trees. We played for about 30 minutes just leaning into the wind. I think that I know what a kite feels like. We were able to maintain an angle of about 45 degrees. It was so much fun. I only have about 2 more years until I am 40 but I really don't feel that old. Especially on this trip where everyone was calling us the kids. We ended up playing to that and acted like a group of kids most of the trip.

Video of our group playing in the wind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42TKJl2BbDc

After cruising close to Elephant Island we finally turned south west around Gibbs Island around 12:30

As we waited for what had become our favorite lunch, pizza, we listened to the howling of the wind. It sounded like the piped in audio from the Exbedition Everest roller coaster at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We had a little lunch and then tried to warm up with some hot tea. After we finished lunch we happened to be by the indoor pool when they pulled out two big blocks of ice. We enjoyed watching two artist carve the ice into beautiful sculptures... Guess that in Antarctica you have an endless supply of ice. 

The winds and the waves were so bad that the water in the pool was crashing from one side to the other. We were more mezmerized by the little chinese man trying to swim in it than we were by the sculptures. He was trying to swim laps but it was more like a wave pool. The water would crash shooting 8 feet into the air. He finally gave up and got out of the pool. It was bad enough that the engineers were out taking pictures and assessing the situation. Yikes!

Video of man trying to swim in rough seas

The views today were spectacular. I will never forget what it was like watching the bergs float by.

Video clips of some of the bergs
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