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2008 Winter Trip -- Antarctic Peninsula

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2008 Winter Trip -- Antarctic Peninsula


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This article was posted on March 1, 2009.

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Page 1 -- Santiago and Coastal Chile
Page 2 -- Ushuaia, Argentina and Cape Horn
Page 3 -- Antarctic Peninsula
Page 4 -- Falkland Islands
Page 5 -- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Page 6 -- Montevideo, Uruguay
Page 7 -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Page 8 -- Petropolis, Brazil
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Fodor's South America Travel Guide

Antarctica Country Guide, by Jeff Rubin

The 600 miles of open ocean between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula is called the Drake Passage after British sea captain Sir Francis Drake. The Drake Passage has a reputation for rough weather and heavy seas. The Amsterdam encountered 8-12 foot seas for most of the passage, but its fin stabilizers made for smooth sailing.

Since late December is Summertime in the Antarctic, we had about 20 hours of daylight and it never really got dark at night. Air temperatures ranged from 32 to 38 degrees Farenheit. The sea temperature was 34 degrees.

Here's a detailed map of the m/s Amsterdam's route through the Antarctic Peninsula.



Picture 1:
Guest lecturers from Palmer Science Station arrive by Zodiac boat.



Picture 2:
This Argentine military outpost, Esperanza Station, is manned year round and includes a school for the several families that are
posted there. It's known as the birthplace of the first human born in Antarctica (Emilo Marcus Palma in 1978.)



Picture 3:
Thousands of Adele penguins breed at a site next to the Esperanza Station (i.e., the pink areas in the foreground).



Picture 4:

The Adele penguins jump out of the water like dolphins
as they swim to their feeding grounds. They typically travel in packs of
10 to 20 birds to make it harder for the leopard seals to catch and eat them.



The BBC recently reported on a new species of penguin found in the Antarctic, see link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23qDl1aH9l4

Picture 5:
These "tabletop" icebergs break off the Antarctic ice sheet. The Captain estimated
this iceberg at 2 miles square, 600 ft in height, and weighing perhaps 4 million tons.



Picture 6:
Deception Island (extinct volcano crater)



Picture 7:
Rock formation near Deception Island



Picture 8:
Elephant Island seen through a flock of Cape Petrals



Picture 8:
Elephant Island (site where the men of Ernest Shackleton's Endurance waited over 4 months for rescue.)



Pictures from Falkland Islands - click here.


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Copyright 2000-2009 John P. Greaney, All rights reserved.

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