More Antarctic stories

Trip Start Feb 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2013

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MV Expedition

Flag of Antarctica  ,
Sunday, March 17, 2013

So, the expedition leaders also took us to various research stations and expedition huts, old whaling stations, and abandoned sites as well.  Some of the places we went to spoke of the enormous challenge from both the internal and external forces.  One of the research stations was partially burnt down by a recently arrived medico who thought it would ensure his early passage home.  What it actually meant was that all the people had to live in far more cramped quarters for a couple of months.  Then there is the whaling station that was abandoned when the volcano on which it was built erupted.  The place is still black from the ash and the buildings are shattered ruins.  There are buildings that are perfectly preserved from the 1940s and are now simply kept as museums.  These places were particularly resonant as there are many personal items still on shelves and hanging on walls.  Coats on hooks and blankets on beds.  It is all a bit eerie.  
There are also the ship wrecks.  Although I wasn't one who saw them, there were some  photos brought back by the kayakers. Next time I am kayaking!!!  They are the ones who get to spend time in the absolute quiet of the continent as well as come eyeball to eyeball with all the gorgeous critters.  That is my kind of experience!
Believe it or not, I did swim in the Antarctic water - in bikinis no less.  I also set up a tent on the Antarctic mainland for camping.  The coldest activity we engaged in the whole trip!  

Our voyage is named Quest for the Antarctic Circle and as you may gather from the wording of this, it is not always possible to cross over into the Circle, but we did.  It was not what the expedition leader had hoped for, but we did make it and had photos taken of all of us on deck within the Circle!  This is something not many people in the entire history of the planet can say they have done.  According to the lore of the seven seas ( or some such decree) I am now allowed to put both feet on the table when I eat!  So, watch out for that when next we share a meal!!
Truly, if you want an experience that is beyond your imagination, this is the one.  I am still (3 days off the ship) in total awe and wonder of the place.  I shake my head and really feel I have been somewhere that was beyond the scope of my most adventurous imaginings.  I am more glad that I have had this experience than I can begin to say.
Home beckons now though and this is my final blog for the "All Elements Tour."  Thank you to all those who have joined me virtually on the journey (well over 1000 hits!) and a particular thank you to those who took the time to comment.  It made a big difference to my days and brought me joy!  And isn't joy, love, friendship and learning what it is all about?  What really matters?  I think so!  

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sista on

a beautiful epilogue! thanks for taking us all on your amazing journey by all you have shared....bon voyage on your way home and see you soon!

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