February 12, 2006

  • A small boat is the way to go. Ours had 100 people on it and it was the perfect amount.

  • A small boat also does many more landings than big boats.

  • The landscape is much more diverse than I expected. There were islands with volcanoes. There were islands with barely any
    ice at all. There were islands with warm thermal waters.

  • There is nothing like seeing your first massive iceberg. After that, there is nothing like seeing icebergs floating by with
    penguins and/or seals on them.

  • Zodiac rides through the Antarctic waters are the best!

  • Definitely get patches prescribed at home. They don’t sell these in Argentina. I had to take Dramamine and it knocked me out.
    People with patches on seemed to look like pretty happy people.

  • It is possible to rent pants, jackets and boots in Ushuaia for about $60 US. I recommend this because the clothes will smell SO
    bad by the time the trip is over. It was nice just being able to drop them off at the office and not have to deal with bringing
    them back on a plane or shipping them home and washing them.

  • The lectures are a great way to learn more about the history, bird life, mammal life and geology of the continent.

  • The trust onboard was wonderful. None of the rooms had locks and I knew that my stuff was more than safe. Plus people had
    no problem leaving cameras, computers, etc. in common areas. Once again, no problems at all.

  • Wine was surprisingly not very expensive onboard. That being said, Alicia and I stocked up beforehand in Argentina and
    brought it onboard. There was corkage but it wasn’t much at all.

  • Gentoo penguins are friendly little guys. If you stand and watch them for a while, chances are that they will come up to you.

  • If a seal comes running up to you, just start clapping your hands and that should send it off in the other direction. While they
    are as cute as can be, they are very intimidating (and rightfully so) when they are coming after you.

  • Take advantage of clear nights. There aren’t too many other places that you can see a sky full of stars in such a remote place.

  • It is surprisingly not as cold as one would think out there. There was even one day where a lot of us had to take our jackets off
    because it was so warm.

  • The sounds are magnificent – whether it’s the whales, seals, penguins or glaciers. Can’t find all of these anywhere else.  

  • No need to bring snacks onboard – they have more than enough food.
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