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(E) End of the world but the beginning of everything Logbook
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/13/2005 | Tourism , People | Unrated
(E) End of the world but the beginning of everything Logbook

“End of the world but the beginning of everything.”



Logbook of the m.s.Andrea USHUAIA — ANTARCTICA
January 6-15, 2005

www.elegantcruises.com/

First Wedding on the Antartica

In late afternoon the wedding of Jessica and David Wilborn
took place ashore at Orne Harbor. A crowd gathered on a small
snow covered slope, Dick gave the preamble and then Captain
Pazanin conducted the service –pronouncing them man and wife.
Then Praba and Jittu sang a traditional Sanskrit song of good
wishes for the bride and groom. Then the revelers were taken on
a zodiac tour of the area and then back to the ship for a champagne
celebration. We remained at anchor all night in this beautiful area.

expedition leader: Dr.KimCrosbie
assistant E. L.: Sonja Messick
lecturers: Dick Cameron, Gustavo Lovrich, Nanette Schleich


Monday, 6 December ushuaia, argentina
The m.s. Andrea calmly awaited dockside for its passengers while
the crew was stowing supplies, preparing staterooms, and setting
tables for dinner. The expedition crew was also busy checking
radios, and practicing Zodiac launching from the bow area.
The passengers arrived at about 1600 hrs and were shown to
their cabins and their luggage appeared as well. All received their
own luggage and for the crew there was a sigh of relief, for when
luggage is misplaced immediate confusion breaks out with everyone
searching everywhere for the missing piece.
A buffet of sandwiches, pastries, tea and coffee was set in the
Kittwake Lounge for the passengers. This allowed them to mingle
and get to know one another. Dr. Kim Crosbie, Expedition Leader,
took advantage of this gathering to introduce the expedition staff :
Sonja Messick (Assistant Expedition Leader), Dick Cameron,
Nanette Schleich, and Gustavo Lovrich.
People then had the chance to familiarize themselves with the
ship by taking a nice walkabout. The Mandatory Life Boat and
Safety at Sea Drill was postponed as cargo was still being loaded.
Dock workers were on strike so the cargo had to be brought to
the ship by small boat and then loaded through the starboard side
(the port side was along the dock). Just before 2000 hrs the ship
began to maneuver from the dock and by 2007 hrs. the Andrea
was full away. And then in short order the mandatory drill took
place followed by dinner as the passengers were, by this time,
famished.
Leaving Ushuaia the sign on shore read “End of world but the
beginning of everything.” The Andrea sailed smoothly down the
Beagle Channel on its way to Antarctica.


Tuesday, 7 December All night long and all day long, the Andrea did her imitation of
Rock and Roll. Numerous passengers and a few of the Expedition
staff were somewhat without sea legs and thus scheduled lectures
and other informative activities were postponed. Several
times during the day one heard the crashing of dishes and one
would think that we were attending a Greek wedding.
Some lectures were given and they were:
A Time to Krill – Gustavo Lovrich
Krill are the keystone of the Antarctic ecosystem with whales,
penguins, and seals depending on krill for sustenance. Krill are the
most abundant animal on earth. Gustavo presented information
on numbers of krill, their biology, and the way in which krill studies
are being done.
Antarctic Sea Birds by Kim
Overview of the types of birds and their unbelievable life at sea.
Basic Geology by Dick
This was an overview of basic geology and a primer on plate
tectonics and the overall geology of the Antarctic continent.
Passengers reported seeing penguins and a whale. The system
works, as the only real way to enjoy Antarctica is out on deck. At
2000 hrs fog appeared and the sea temperature dropped to 0
degrees Centigrade. We were crossing the convergence where
cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer seas to the north.
In the evening a contest was announced whereby the person who
saw the first iceberg would win a bottle of champagne. The excitement
of the passengers was keen but it all came to a halt when at
2100 hrs all were notified that it was Ivan, the Ice Captain, was the
one who sighted the berg. As he is considered staff he was ineligible
for the bottle. The berg was sighted at 59 degrees and 25 minutes
south latitude and 62 degrees and 23 minutes west longitude.
NOON POSITION: 57°22.7’S 69°28.9’W


Wednesday, 8 December Icebergs were all over this morning, and under a beautiful blue
sky we sailed on Southwards. The first lecture of the day was by
Nanette, entitled Science in Antarctica Part 1. This lecture explained
the Antarctic Treaty and how it is the basis of worldwide cooperation
and governance of the continent. She also gave a brief
overview of the significant research projects that are underway.
Kim conducted a Mandatory Zodiac Briefing whereby the passengers
were given the rudiments of how to board and disembark
from these rubber crafts and the do’s and don’ts while in the zodiac.
They were also instructed in the IAATO Code of Conduct in
Antarctica. The environment on the continent is fragile and the
animals have such a short summer their activities must not be
interrupted.
The first landing of the day was to be Aitcho Island in the group
of islands called the South Shetlands. However, the wind would
not quit and a landing was impossible. So we sailed on. We found
a decent place to land at Half Moon Bay where there was an abandoned
boat most likely left by whalers. The landing went smoothly
and we were able have a nice walk to see the Chinstrap penguins
and some Weddell seals. Of course I am only kidding about a nice
walk, as every step of the way on the snow surface was one of
anticipation as to how deep will my foot go this time. This landing
was great as there was plenty of time to spend absorbing this environment.
After this good time ashore the passengers returned to
the Andrea to prepare for the Captain’s Welcoming Cocktail Party
and Dinner.
During the evening we sailed towards the Weddell Sea side of
the Peninsula. As we approached the Antarctic Sound the great
tabular bergs appeared as if on parade. A beautiful sight
NOON POSITION: 62°29.2’S 59°22.0’W


Thursday, 9 December By early this morning we had passed through the Antarctic
Sound and were in Terror and Erebus Gulf. The destination was
Devil Island but as we arrived the wind was too strong for a landing
so we sailed south along the Prince Gustav Channel that separates
James Clark Ross Island from the mainland Peninsula. But
before long sea ice obstructed further progress and the ship came
about and we once again headed for Devil Island. This island is a
strange one, set in an embayment of the larger island called Vega.
The islands in this area are fascinating in two ways. The first is
that the Swedish explorer Nordenskjold wintered on Snow Hill
Island in the early 1900’s and the story of his travail and rescue is
an amazing one which is yet to be properly appreciated. And secondly,
the islands have some interesting Mesozoic and Cenozoic
rocks in which numerous unique fossils have been found
including the remains of a 6 foot tall penguin.
We were able to land on Devil Island as the wind speed
decreased. On the island were large rookeries of Adelie penguins
guarding their precious eggs and it was more than entertaining to
watch their antics of communication and their serious attention to
the business of keeping the eggs at a proper temperature. Some
people climbed to the summit of the island while others watched
penguins and strolled along the beach.
There were several good examples of columnar jointed basalt
along the beach. This jointing is produced when lava flows out
onto the surface and cools rapidly. Back to the ship and Gustavo
told the fascinating story of Nordenskjold’s expedition with its
unbelievable coincidences of sledge journeys, boat trips, time, and
place that finally reunited the expedition.
During the evening we sailed towards Paulet Island where
there resides a tremendous number of penguins. Enroute, however,
the wind increased to a gale over 50km/hr. and the ship had a
permanent list to starboard. We could see where the huge rookery
was on Paulet but there was no way to visit the island so we
sailed on into the Antarctic Sound and then during the night the
ship made its way to Deception Island.
NOON POSITION: 63°45.7’S 57°16.1’W


Friday, 10 December As we awoke we were just off the entrance to Deception Island.
The sky was overcast but visibility was reasonable. When passengers
were notified of our position and what we were about to do
the decks were immediately filled and we sailed through
Neptune’s Bellows and into Port Foster. We made directly for
Pendulum Cove and the morning swim.
There were a large number of passengers hardy enough to do
the swim. Steam covered the beach and the shallows. Nanette
was to be the sacrificial lamb so in she went and said the water
was fine. The rest followed with giggles and oh’s and aw’s. As
swimmers came out they were handed nice heavy towels. Now
they could brag they had been swimming in Antarctica.
Our next stop on Deception Island was Telefon Bay where the
eruption of 1967 created a large crater. The passengers climbed to
the crater and viewed this large depression with steep sides and a
flat central area, and waterfall on the far side. Kim led a group of
walker/climbers up and around the crater while the remainder
relaxed and strolled to view a small crater nearby and then back to
the beach. At the beach a group of Weddell seals were sunbathing
on the snow so passengers had another opportunity to take a few
photographs. The number of photos being taken on this trip must
be phenomenal as cameras seem to be in constant action. In the old
days one could here the clicking of cameras – now they are silent.
Onto Whaler’s Bay to view the remains of the old whaling station
and the equipment used for rendering the blubber and storing
the whale oil. Here also are the remains of a British research station
abandoned after the 1967 volcanic eruption. Lincoln
Ellsworth landed here on his historic flight from South America to
Little America in 1935.
We left Deception in early evening headed for a landing on the
continent.
NOON POSITION: 62° 56’ S 60°40’ W


Saturday, 11 December Early this morning we approached the continent of Antarctica. It
was with palpable anticipation that the passengers were ready to
land on what is known as the Seventh Continent. The Zodiacs
took the Redcoats to Selvick Cove of the Antarctic Peninsula and
people stepped onto a new continent. For many of them it was
indeed their 7th continent while others, especially the younger
passengers, have a few continents yet to go. Group pictures were
taken and people mingled about on the rocky beach and on the
snow platform beneath the rocky cliff.
Taking advantage of surrounding majestic mountains and their
ice cover as plateau glaciers and outlet glaciers, Dick gave a brief
talk on glaciology; their classification from ice sheet to ice cap to
valley glacier and how they are formed and how they flow.
From here the zodiacs took all to Cuverville Island where there
were several Gentoo penguin rookeries. The water here was very
clear so one could watch the penguins swimming underwater. A
number of passengers went on a stimulating walk high up on the
rock for fantastic views of the mountains and glaciers that surround
the area.
With all aboard once again the Andrea sailed from Cuverville for
Neumayer Channel, a spectacular waterway between Anvers and
Wiencke Island. Unable to penetrate the channel very far, the ship
came about with the intention of trying to reach the southern
entrance of the Neumayer via the Gerlache Strait. Had we been
able to do this we would have visited Port Lockroy, a Heritage Site
run by the British. But unfortunately ice blocked the Andrea’s path
once again and at 64 degrees 47 minutes south latitude, the most
southerly point reached on this trip, the Andrea headed north.
Before long a pod of orcas’ were sighted headed south.
In late afternoon the wedding of Jessica and David Wilborn
took place ashore at Orne Harbor. A crowd gathered on a small
snow covered slope, Dick gave the preamble and then Captain
Pazanin conducted the service –pronouncing them man and wife.
Then Praba and Jittu sang a traditional Sanskrit song of good
wishes for the bride and groom. Then the revelers were taken on
a zodiac tour of the area and then back to the ship for a champagne
celebration.
We remained at anchor all night in this beautiful area.
NOON POSITION: 64°41.0’S 62°38.0’W


Sunday, 12 December Waking, the passengers could not believe their eyes, for once
again blue sky and absolutely wonderful calm weather engulfed
them as if embraced by a loved one. Well, that seems to be a little
too poetic but it indeed was a beautiful day.
We arrived at Enterprise Island and a zodiac cruise was initiated.
The island is located in Whilemina Bay where whalers would
bring in the whales for processing. The wreck of the factory ship
Guvernorn is there rusting away. The ship was destroyed in a fire
on the 27th of January in 1915. Through a hole in the hull we
could see the explosive harpoons that were used to kill the whales.
A bygone age. Although the Japanese are still doing some whaling.
We cruised around the area and saw many Kelp Gulls and a
few Weddell seals. One seal left his snowy perch, entered the
water, and swam past the zodiac creating a fantastic wake. Back
to the ship and we sailed north to Ceirva Bay.
Into the zodiacs again. This area is the sight of the Argentine
station Primavera which is presently unmanned. These stations
cost a great deal to maintain and so it will most likely only be utilized
for special research projects. The reason for our visit here
was to see leopard seals. Kim knows this Peninsula so well that
indeed we saw a wonderful leopard seal on an ice floe. We were
able to get quite close and get good pictures. As we were concentrating
on the seal a Minke whale appeared and began to play
with us. The three zodiacs cut their engines and drifted about as
the whale came up between the boats and then dived under the
boats. The passengers and the staff were thrilled with this performance.
In the evening we made our last landing on Trinity Island
where there was a Argentine Refuge and many Gentoo penguins.
This was a somewhat sad visit as the passengers knew this was
their goodbye to Antarctica. It was a quiet evening with no wind
and on the ride back to the Andrea we could see golden clouds at
the horizon.
The Andrea set sail on a heading of 330 degrees for Cape Horn.
NOON POSITION: 64°32.1’S 61°51.2’W


Monday, 13 December At sea in the Drake Passage. This cruise has been an extremely
lucky with a southern crossing in relatively moderate seas and
now as we head north the seas seem to be behaving once again.
Today the activities were confined to shipboard as the zodiacs
are stowed away for the crossing. We have had eleven landings
which is quite remarkable in such a short time.
Today’s lectures were:
Science in Antarctica II by Nanette
Nannette devised a research project to determine the amount of
sunlight that penetrates snow. She conducted this work near
Scott Base on Ross Island, McMurdo Sound. Her results agreed
favorably with other researchers.
Armageddon in Antarctica by Gustavo
Icebergs scrape the bottom of the sea destroying animal and
plant life that have been living for hundreds of years. It will take a
long, long time for these biota to reestablish their communities.
Global Warming by Dick
A series of examples of warming trends were presented including
coral reef loss, drying up of Chinese rivers, increased rain and
storms on East coast of the U.S.A°., and finally how the ice cover
of Kilimanjaro will be gone in about 15 years. An astute observation
by one of the passengers noted that in the map shown a
majority of the ice cover disappeared between 1910 and 1923,
before real concern about the greenhouse effect.
After each lecture there were numerous questions that led to
more questions and a lively ensued.
Just before dinner we had the Andrea Quiz with groups of six
answering 25 questions, doing a crossword puzzle, and composing
a song. The creativity of the songs was amazing. The group with
the highest number of points won a bottle of champagne.
Dinner was delightful as ever with conversation somewhat
more animated stemming from some of the controversial answers
to quiz questions.
NOON POSITION: 61°08.0’S 63°33.8’W


Tuesday, 14 December At sea. Last night the Andrea gave the passengers a taste of the
Drake with pitching and rolling for a number of hours. But by
breakfast time the sea had moderated and remained that way for
the rest of the day. By late morning Cape Horn was sighted –
South America was in sight.
Today the lectures were:
How to Cope with Antarctica by Gustavo
This talk explained the mechanisms by which the various animals
keep from freezing.
Long line fishing and the Albatross by Kim
The ongoing slaughter of these birds is a terrible tragedy that is
caused by the birds taking the baitand being pulled under the
water and drowned. Efforts to develop methods to minimize
these deaths were discussed.
The Uttermost Part of the Earth by Dick
Two books that are about the Beagle Channel area were reviewed.
Lucas Bridges was the son of a missionary to the Ushuaia area in
1871 and in his book “Uttermost Part of the Earth” he describes
the life in Tierra del Fuego and the various the Indian tribes.
Rockwell Kent’s book “Voyaging Southward from the Strait of
Magellan” describes his trip to this area in 1922 and his woodcuts
are gorgeous.
Rain began to fall as we approached the Beagle Channel. The
first bad weather of the trip. We hove to for part of the evening
as we waited for the pilot to take us into Ushuaia. The Captain’s
Farewell Cocktail Party and Dinner was a splendid affair. At the
end of the Cocktail Party Kim showed a series of photos with
African music in the background. The photos were made available
for those contributing to the Save the Albatross effort and
this wonderful group of passengers all did so.
The dinner was magnificent. It was a great finale to this adventure.
NOON POSITION 55°54.8’S 66°43.3’W


Wednessday, 15 December The Andrea arrived at the dock in Ushuaia at 0700 hrs amid a
bright sunny day and the mountains about the harbor covered
with powdered sugar. While rain was falling on the lower Beagle
last night snow was dusting the mountains.
Disembarkation day is always a day of where did I put my luggage?
What time does the bus leave for the airport? And can I
board the ship again to look for my pen? But it always works out
and the passengers leave for their many destinations with happy
memories of a wonderful trip to Antarctica and a good feeling
about the Andrea and its crew.
NOON POSITION 54°48.5’S 68°16.4’W

Captain Stanovic, owner of m.s.Andrea, Nenad Bach, Marilyn Armbruster

For further information regarding our special luxury cruises call your travel agent or contact us at:

Elegant Cruises & Tours, Inc.
24 Vanderventer Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050

Ph: 516-767-9302
1-800-683-6767

Fax: 516-767-9303

e-mail: info@elegantcruises.com

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