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Antarctica Journal


Antarctica: A Ship Based Exploration of the 7th Continent

Friday Nov 28 to Saturday December 14, 2014
Buenos Aires, Argentina Nov 28- Dec 1, Cruise: December 2 - 11, 2014

Organized by Global Expeditions Club (617.645.7689 or  The tour operator that they are using to coordinate, book and run this trip is: Head Out Adventures  ( The cruise is by Quark Expeditions  Name of the tour is "Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent"  


NOTE TO my fellow travelers:  Sorry for the delay of this journal posting.  If you have anything to add to this journal, another (funny) story, or you see something I didn't get quite right, or if I wrote something you'd rather not share with the world, PLEase email me and I will edit these drivels of writings. 


PICTURES  Antarctica Pictures Page 1 and Antarctica Pictures Page 2      /     MOVIES  Antarctica Movies


Antarctica Journal Table of Contents

Before the Trip stuff

Day 1: Friday, November 28 - Fly Atlanta to JFK to Buenos Aires.

Day 2: Saturday, November 29 - Arrive Buenos Aires at 4:40 am

Day 3: Sunday, November 30 - Tour Buenos Aires

Day 4: Tour Day 1: Monday, December 1 - Fly Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

Day 5: Tour Day 2:  Tuesday, December 2  in Ushuaia

Day 6: Tour Day 3: Wednesday, December 3  Board Ship: Ocean Diamond

About the ship

Day 7: Tour Day 4: Thursday, December 4 Cape Horn, Crossing the Drake

Day 8: Tour Day 5: Friday, December 5 -Cross Drake Passage

Day 9: Tour Day 6: Saturday, December 6  Camping tonight

Day 10: Tour Day 7: Sunday, December 7

Day 11: Tour Day 8: Monday, December 8

Day 12: Tour Day 9: Tuesday, December 9 Deception, Cross Drake Passage

Day 13: Tour Day 10: Wednesday, December 10  Cross Drake Passage

Day 14: Tour Day 11: Thursday, December 11 - Arrive Ushuaia 9 am, fly to JFK

Quark Logs

Daily Bridge Briefing Report for the Entire Voyage

Quark Document: Daily Bridge Briefing Report

Expedition Log for the Entire Voyage

Kayak Log for the Entire Voyage

Wildlife List

5: Friday, December 12  Travel Day  Argentina to Atlanta.

Day 16: Saturday, December 13 Arrive 8 am in JFK, Arrive ATL 3:33 pm

Other Information

About the trip

Price etc

Travel insurance

Quark Expeditions emailed us final documents with important information

Guidelines for Visitors to the Antarctic IAATO Guidelines

est Henry Shackleton's' Expeditions

First experience: The Discovery Expedition, 1901-03

Second expedition: Nimrod Expedition (1907-09)

Third Expedition: Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17

Final expedition on the Quest and death

uin Information

Quark Expedition Trip Route


The Drake Passage is the 500 milie (800 km) stretch of water between the most southerly tip of South America and the most northerly tip of the Antarctic peninsula - between South America's Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It is the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other landmass.

The Drake passage has been described as the roughest stretch of water in the world. To reach the Antarctic peninsula it is necessary to traverse this stretch of water at right angles to the current flow. The result is often very lumpy seas indeed

Be prepared for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. It is the place where not only are there high and strong winds that blow most of the time, but where the "Circumpolar Current" is squeezed through its narrowest gap. This is a Westerly flowing current that flows around Antarctica powered by Antarctic winds. It flows at the rate of around 140 million cubic metres (tonnes) of water per second, the equivalent of 5000 Amazon rivers or four times the size of the Gulf Stream.

It is named after 16th-century English privateer Sir Francis Drake. Drake's only remaining ship, after having passed through the Strait of Magellan, was blown far south in September 1578. This incident implied an open connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.







Before the Trip stuff


I found out about this trip at a meetup happy hour for the Atlanta International Adventure Travel Club  Kevin and Jeff ran the group.  They organize meetings (at a bar) all over the United States. There were color flyers for all their trips. I picked up the Antarctica information.


There were several people at the happy hour who had traveled with Kevin and Jeff.  They spoke highly of their organizational skills, email communications, pre-planning and leadership on the trip.

I reviewed the trip info, their web site Head Out Adventures, review other options, then I was sold on their trip.

I booked this trip in August, 2013.


Another option


This was another option that I had for a vacation in 2014. This trip was the wonderful group that I went to Seychelles with last year: Suzy's adventures for Singles.  This looked interesting, but"  ¦ the final destination was Patagonia, not Antarctica.  Why bother going to the end of the earth if you aren't really going to the end of the earth?

Dec 9-17, 2014 "Expedition Voyage to the End of the World" Xtreme Patagonia

Dec 9 -     Fly Miami to Santiago.

Dec 10 -     Welcome to Chile!  Hotel Plaza San Francisco

Dec 11 -     After breakfast, enjoy a day at leisure. 

Dec 12  Morning transfer to airport for our noon flight to Punta Arenas Chile, the gateway city for Patagonia.  We are met on arrival and transferred to Hotel .  Diego de Almagro with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

Dec 13  Patagonia Expedition Cruise on Cruceros Australis

Sail through the Straight of Magellan along channels, fjords and bays passing glaciers, verdant forests and snowcapped peaks.  The imposing glaciers Serrano, d'Agostini, Garibaldi and Brookes will amaze you.

Daily land excursions with naturalist guides will help us appreciate the nature and history of Patagonia.  We'll disembark on foot or in zodiacs near glaciers, fjords, wild animal colonies and the mythical Cape Horn.  The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego and Darwin Mountain Range are breathtaking.  And in December, the marine life is abundantly active.  Look the Magellanic penguins, majestic elephant seals, dolphin and various whale species.  Also photograph the birdlife such as cormorants, rare reptiles and guanaco.  And then there's exotic flora found nowhere else on the planet.

Cruceros Australis has a maritime history in Tierra del Fuego over 100 years bringing visitors close to the wildest areas with little environmental impact as possible.  The entire staff is trained in all areas of conservation.  Tour groups are small.  Expedition leaders provide scientific information, constantly updated, with onboard lectures throughout.

The Stella Australis is an awe-inspiring expedition ship.  Built in 2010 with the most modern amenities, it consists of only 100 cabins.  Daily excursions are on the fun zodiac boats.

All meals included with open bar!  The menus offer fresh international and local cuisines and Argentinian and Chilean wines.

Dec 14 -  Ainsworth Bay  Tucker Islet

At dawn, we navigate through Almirantazgo Inlet to Ainsworth Bay inside Alberto Agostini National Park.  Arrive near Marinelli Glacier where we disembark for a nature walk in the marvelous sub polar Magellanic forest.  Also visit a beaver dam.  On the beach we may observe a colony of elephant seals.  The backdrop is the Darwin Mountain Range.  Learn about the region and how life changes here after the retreat of ice sheets.

Later we sail to Tuckers Islet.  After lunch we board Zodiac boats to view colonies of Magellanic penguins and cormorants.  Ship  B,L,D

Dec 15  Pia Glacier  Glacier Alleypatagonia

We navigate along the main part of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where we disembark near the glacier.  We take a hike to a lookout point with spectacular views to the entire glacier tongue stretching form high mountains to the sea. 

Continue sailing along the arm of the Beagle Channel into the magnificent Glacier Alley where you can see nearly a dozen glaciers of the bluest ice spilling into the sea.

Dec 16  Cape Horn  Wulaia Bay

We'll sail through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we disembark to explore.  (Always weather permitting.)  The mystical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and is a sheer vertical 1400 foot high rocky promontory.  For many years it was an important navigation route for sailors between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and is known as "The end of the earth."    This park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2005.

In the afternoon, we go ashore at historical Walaia Bay, originally the site of the region's largest Yamana aboriginal settlement.  Charles Darwin and Capt. Fitzroy landed here in 1833 during his voyage on HMS Beagle.  The area is renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of vegetation and geography.  We will walk through a forest of lengas, coigues, ferns and other endemic plants to reach a vantage point for great photos.  Then walk to an old customs house which houses a museum dedicated to the indigenous people in Tierra del Fuego.

Dec 17 - Ushuaia, Argentina

Our cruise comes to the end as we sail into Ushuaia, Argentina.  Disembark at 8am.  After some free time (dependent on air schedule), transfer to airport for our flight home.

Land & Cruise  $2895 + $60 Port Charge + $1195 Group Air + 309 tax + 160 Argentina fee + Gratuities. All together about About $4600.

Weather Research

Buenos Aries:  For those doing the Buenos Aries extension, the average daytime temperature there in December is 73 and night time can be in the 50's.  Rainfall is fairly low there.

The Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate. Higher temperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing.

Temperatures are warmest in January, averages 1 to 2  °C, and coldest in June, averages from 15  °C to 20  °C.


  ANTARCTICA                                                           Astronomical Applications Dept.              U. S. Naval Observatory                   

 Location: W068 03, N54 08                                                              Universal Time

  Duration of Daylight for Dec 7 2014     7:33



Polar Travel Advisers M-Th  8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Est)  Fri  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time)        Tel +1 203 852 5580  Toll Free and local numbers:  North America (Toll Free) 1 888 332 0008


Pay Argentina Reciprocity fee

Before you departing for Argentina, you must pay this fee.  Go here 

Pay $160 USD.  Bring the print out with you because you'll need to show in Argentina. It is supposed to be good for 10 years.


Official Forms for Quark Expeditions

These are the mandatory forms, which will filled out online.

[1] Expedition Enrollment Form one per guest

[2] Expedition Medical Information Form one per guest

[3] Cruise Contract one per guest

[4] Arrival/Departure Form one per guest

[5] Parka and Boot Form one per guest


Money exchange table



ARS Peso



































Day 1: Friday, November 28 - Fly Atlanta to JFK to Buenos Aires

I'm starting the story about this trip with the day before this trip started. On Thanksgiving Day, 2014, THOUSANDS of flights were cancelled because of the weather, mostly bad snow / ice in the North East.  I remained calm.  I let my sister do all my worrying for me. 

Next day, Friday I'm awake at oh-dark-4 am.  The weather is ALL CLEAR.  No flights cancelled.

I did my normal go-to-airport ritual: No coffee (yet), stop at McDonald's to buy an Egg McMuffin. Stuff it into my carry-on and wait to eat it at the gate.

I drove to my normal place where I park my car when I go on trips: PARK 'N GO, Atlanta, 1-800-325-4863 on Camp Creek Parkway. I had a reserved covered spot. It was the day after Thanksgiving. There was very few spot available so was glad I had reserved a spot -For 15 days, I paid $138.

No problem going through security. Get to the gate and eat my Egg McMuffin.

I was remembering the last time I was at gate in the Atlanta airport and they rolled dead person off the airplane at the gate where I was waiting"  ¦ Nothing like that this year.  So far, everything was going perfectly. 

Atlanta to JFK  flight  Fri, 28 Nov 2014 ATL to JFK  DL 2352     Depart:  8:15 AM     Arrive:  10:27 AM     21A

Plane is boarded and we roll to the de-icing sprayers.  They de-iced the plane! I can't recall ever being on a place that got deiced. It was a beautiful sunny day and here we are in the plane getting deiced. Go figure. Then the flight to JFK was fine because I paid an extra $29 for a "Comfort Economy"   seat. That was worth it.

At JFK we had a long wait.  Gary, Gary, and I had a very nice lunch. I got a Cuban sandwich. Expensive, but it was good.

Walk to the gate at JFK to "meet the group"   before departure.  Saw Kevin and Jeff and I met my roommate.  Very nice, Diana.  Seems like it' going to be good trip. This is our JFK to Argentina direct flight with the GROUP:

Aerolineas Argentinas Airline           AR1301 28NOV JFK-EZE        3:25P 4:40A +1day

Aerolineas Argentinas Airline           AR1300 12DEC EZE-JFK     11:00P 8:05A +1day


These were booked seven months before departure.  Kevin from Global Expeditions Club (GEC) emailed us on May 14, 2014 to let us know the ship company has completed our flights.  The e-ticket is booked and confirmed to/from JFK and attached to email




PLEASE QUOTE EMERGENCY CODE: SEA1S217N     From the web site:  1-800-333-0276


Important note that  Buenos Aries has 2 airports

EZE is the international airport and is further outside the city

AEP is the domestic airport --- only for the flight from Buenos Aries to Ushuaia on Dec 1st we will be flying out of AEP, otherwise we fly into/out of EZE.


On the long, 10-hour flight to Argentina I was in an extremely uncomfortable window seat. That flight was tough. Very tough. .  They took away all the legroom!  Note to self: on the long flight back, put everything in the overhead cabin

Every single seat on the flight was full. And the seats are very tight.  Gary P was behind me. I had to recline my seat. It was just too uncomfortable.  The guy in front of me was very aggressive with his set coming back into my lap.  I coined a new word from the guy beside me. I experienced the "SPILLOVER effect"  .  When the person next to invades your space with their body parts. He had control of the arm rest between us for the entire flight.  And his left knee was definitely in my "space"  . We shared a long mutual tough jockey for my own space session. That was a little awkward, but I wasn't going to give up my terrain without a fight. The seat was just so darned uncomfortable. I needed a back support. Knees were jammed into the seat in front of me. The seat was so close that I could not bend down to tie/untie my shoes. 10 hours of that.

I cannot get into the mode that I was in Seychelles: How many more days before this it is over.  I have to make this one last as long as possible.  I do not want to get back to all that "up the creek without a paddle"   stuff going on at work.

After the plane takes off, drinks, then dinner is served.  I took a 5 mg. Ambien with hopes of trying to get a little sleep. I needed 20 mg. The pill barely worked. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep, maybe. The cabin lights were out until about an hour before we land. Then some "breakfast"  . A croissant, a roll, yogurt, a banana.  Yup, was in travel mode. I had to remind myself that I loved airports and airplanes. I have never traveled for work, so any time I'm around airport or in an (albeit uncomfortable) airplane, that means I'm on VACATION. Yeah!

We land in Buenos Aires, made it thru customs, get our suitcases. Kevin / Jeff arranged a "private transfer Buenos Aries airport to hotel"  .  We arrived at the hotel about 5 am.


Our hotel in Buenos Aries is:

725 Continental Hotel (

Av Pres. Roque Saenz Pena 725, C1035AAC Buenos Aires, Argentina     Phone:+54 11 4131-8016


It was so very early in the morning.  The hotel rooms were not ready, so we sat in the lobby of the Buenos Aires hotel. I tried to nap and relax. Chill out.

It was maybe the fourth time that I had been in Buenos Aires.  1967 with Mom and Pop when we were touring, and when we met gramma and grampa to get on the ship.  That was the radical night that mom said we were rockin' and rollin' all night.  It was a freighter vessel and we were basically the only passengers on board. Dad said the workers fell in love with us three kids.  They rigged up a swing for me to play on.  I remember sitting on that swing when we went across the equator and I noticed the swing move on its own. 

About 7 am, some people on the street, business open soon, then we can go out walking.



Day 2: Saturday, November 29 - Arrive Buenos Aires at 4:40 am

2 nights 4-star hotel in Buenos Aries (29 & 30NOV - with breakfast and all taxes)


On the trip: 15 of us on the boat


December is summer in Buenos Aries. We expected temperatures in the 70's during the day (or in 80's) and 60's at night.  Typically it's relatively dry, but showers are always possible.

Tourist Attractions

Plaza de Mayo One block from the hotel, Plaza de Mayo is surrounded by the Government House, the Cathedral and historic buildings.

Avenida 9 de Julio Six blocks from the hotel, Avenida 9 de Julio is home of the Argentine opera and ballet.

Florida Street  Plaza San Martin One block from the hotel, this famous pedestrian street houses world-famous shopping and eateries, and it culminates in the tree-lined Plaza San Martin.

Avenida Corrientes Known for its libraries, theater and restaurants and nicknamed "the street that never sleeps,"   Avenida Corrientes is just six blocks from the hotel.

May Avenue Four blocks from the hotel, the traditional Spanish style architecture extends from Plaza de Mayo to Plaza de Congresos.

Puerto Madero -This transformed dock full of restaurants is just four blocks from the hotel.

San Telmo -This historic old town known for antique fairs, museums and tango shows is just eight blocks from the hotel.

Recoleta The exclusive area houses the National Museum of Fine Art and is just a 10-minute taxi from the hotel.

La Boca  Caminito The famous pizzerias and pubs of Port of La Boca and Boca Juniors Stadium are just 15 minutes by taxi.



Museo de Arte Espanol  Enrique Larreta

Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco

Museo de Arte Moderno

Museo de Artes Plasticas  Eduardo Sivori

Museo de Esculturas  Luis Periotti

Museo de la Ciudad

Museo del Cine  Pablo Ducros Hicken

Museo Casa Carlos Gardel

Museo de Boca

Museo Evita



In the evening we met in the lobby at 7 pm. It was sprinkling light rain, but we opted to walk to the restaurant.  Then it started raining. Then it started pouring rain.  I wore my black jacket. I can remember wearing that same jacket in 1997 when it was raining in Argentina. I'm glad it has a hood so I was very comfortable.  Gary P was getting a little / a lot wet so I gave him my umbrella. The rain was blowing into our back so the back of all of our pants were soaked.

The restaurant was in Puerto Madero four blocks (seemed like more in the rain) from the hotel. There is a transformed dock full of restaurants.

We went to  Cabana Las Lilas  Address: Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo, 516 C1107AAL Buenos Aires

At the restaurant, they seated all of us at one big table outside!!!  It blew rain on the group at the end of the table.  Suneel was getting wetter. He was still smiling but I'm sure hoping to change our dinner table location. They moved us inside. Thank you.

This was definitely the place to come for a steak.

Excellent steak _tenderloin. Melt in your mouth. Kevin and I ordered the same. A plate was being served, and he told them to give it me.  His plate didn't arrive. I had 2 filets so I made Kevin take one until his dinner came. Then he gave me one his filets.

We sat for hours after we finished eating. It was a very long dinner. Everyone was enjoying the evening.  Not wanting to walk back (in the rain). Not sure how many bottle of wine.  Then they brought Lemoncello and Frappa (yuk) . We finished that off.

Finally, walk back in the rain. I was so tired from lack of sleep and feeling the red wine.

12:15 am back at the hotel. Shower, sleep great.  Straight thru to 7:30 am.



Day 3: Sunday, November 30 - Tour Buenos Aires

Breakfast in the hotel.  Diana and I got to breakfast when there was still tables available. It was really crowded. People were waiting at the door until a table was ready. They had oatmeal. Yeah and Yum. And the standard eggs, bread, cheese, ham, cereal, coffee.

Today was a day tour of Buenos Aries with an "English speaking private guide"  


9:10 am. 12 of us on the City Tour.

The street:

The widest street in the world is here in Buenos Aires. It is named July 9 for their independence day from Spain.

It is 450 feet (140 meters) wide.     Widest in the world ?!?

It reminded me the Chaps Elysee in Paris. In fact the whole city had a European ere.

Buenos Aires has European architecture because the visitors built the buildings in their architecture.

She said there are lots of Nazi's here ?!?!

Somewhat of a European lifestyle here also. So "other South American countries don't like us"  

The Obelisk (one of the city's iconic landmarks)

67.5 meters (200 feet) high.

It was built in 1936 to commemorate that there was fort there in 1536.


Colon Opera House - Teatro Colon (an internationally renowned opera house opened in 1908)

Capacity 3000 (or 4000?) seats.

One of the 4 most important in the world (with regard to infrastructure and acoustics).

Sound quality is perfect.

Architecture is Italian Renaissance, it has solid German construction with French ornamentation.

It has 4 underground floors where they have set designers, makeup, hair stylists, costume designers.

There are more than 70,000 costumes stored here.


At one time, Argentina was the richest country in the world because of exports.

1860-1930 was the Golden Period

French Embassy. The building has square windows that are painted on (for decoration  not for security). The round window on the roof are real windows.


There are 50 public universities here.  You must speak Spanish, and then you can study for free.

We passed huge Mechanical flower  it opens in the morning and closes night. It is Huge!

Now we are in Palermo  (a trendy neighborhood filled with restaurants, shops and clubs called boliches)

12:46  is the cost of gas at the Shell gas station.

No streets are straight.  It was designed that way on purpose.

Cost is about $6000 US dollars per square meter, and the typical size is 900 square feet (85 square meters)

Wow!  Expensive.

It is illegal to cut trees in public area. There is a house build around a tree.

We drove past the Malbe Museum - The modern style of the museum stands out in this area.

P Lakes area are all artificial lakes.

Central Park

Rose Garden


Rio de la Plate River

La Plate (the "silver") river. It's 280 km long and 280 km wide and flows into the ocean.

220 km wide at the widest part.

Plata means "silver"  

"Argentum"   means silver

Because of silver mines to the North in Bolivia and Peru

Do not eat the fish from this river.

Salt water.

1 hour ferry to cross

Silver was transported down the river

The River is only 4 meters deep.

Ships get stuck.


Comments from our guide:

Elections are a "real problem"  . We are in a depression now. We are in a crisis.

It looks like the quality of our life is great.

At one time in our history, the exchange rate was 16 pesos for one US dollar.  Today we exchange about 8 pesos for $1 USD.

The Central bank changed recently. And the value of the peso went down some more this week.

Some restaurants post USD exchange rate so you can pay in USD. Otherwise, you just pay in pesos.


The double  L is pronounced "sh"  . Pollo (chicken) is "posho"  


Two blocks away are the slums

The government gives money to people in the slums based on square meters.

So they build high.

They don't pay tax

They don't pay electricity  there are wire everywhere.  Looks like huge fire hazard

Cross the train tracks, then we are in right in the Recoleta district

Recoleta (the traditionally upscale district combines Parisian architecture with trendy high rises and a variety of cultural venues)

Recoleta is the most elegant part of the city. It is residential. The cemetery is in Recoleta.

She told a story of a man that committed suicide in Recoleta so he could be buried in the Recoleta cemetery.



21 former presidents are buried there

Carrerra marble from French and Italy

Some have 200 coffins in a grave

There are elevators down.

1732 Church

Wall between city of death and the city

On the Main Avenue to the Bronze Jesus Christ are the most expensive graves

There are 4000 graves.  64,000 buried here

Guide said "There are 5000 mausoleums here. Each one belongs to a different family. There are stairs down to where the caskets are stored (buried).

There are no more plots available.

All coffins are 5 meters deep

Except Evita's is bigger

But these are family plots. So families still bury here

Most beautiful  the casket is open and the soul of the dead person is going to heaven. And angel represents the living Mourning for the dead.

The government owns and maintains the cemetery.

Families that own the plots cannot resell the plots. But they are trying to change the law to resell because there are families where the member are all deceased (gone), and other people want to be buried here.

A Grave has two faces / A mausoleum and four faces/sades.

Now they are doing more cremations because they take up less space.

Familia Federico R Leloir


No cost to ? ( I can't read my writing)

Map is ? pesos.

There are many of cats in the cemetery. I wonder if they are spade and neutered.


About Evita

Evita was NOT president, but there was a time when she had more power than anyone.

Born 1919.


At 15 years old  she went to the city with a tango singer. She was not a good actress.

She worked hard for the poor people.

With the money from high society (not necessarily Government money)

Division of classes were established.

Then people started to leave the country.

She wanted to be vice president, but cancer found her in 1950 so she did not run for office

In 1952 she died. She was 33 years old

There was a 16-day funeral in Buenos Aries after she died.

In 1955 there was revolution to destroy Peron memories (including Evita body).  So her body was sent to Italy as "Maria"   an immigrant.  No one knew where Evita's body was,

In 1976 Evita arrived back in Argentina

Peron died 1974 and he was buried with his first wife.

Original owner got permission to put her in their grave.

Eva's had "Familia Duarte". Eva Peron died in1952 (of breast cancer?). She was 33 years old. Her body was put in this mausoleum in 1982.

7 meters down she is buried.

People that did NOT like her moved their family member away from here. So they won't be in the same cemetary as Evita.

Ava Peron

1952-26 de Julio 1982

10 year anniversary plaque

Oldest graves are closest to the entrance.

1822 the cemetery opened.

Rufina Cambaceres

She was buried alive. There was no funeral  nobody really checked if she was dead.

The mother noticed the body was in a different position. They opened the grave and then she was really dead.

Pix map 294 listed

In the Plaza de Mayo:

Government house, The pink house, or the Presidential mansion. This is where Eva Peron spoke from the balcony. 

The famous balcony is the one with lights on in the photo on the right below.

1880 built

Animal blood and grease was used to paint it so it is pink

The back side is on the square

The front of the house faces the river.

My notes from the lecture from our guide: 

1976 president of Argentina

Ruler was Isabel Peron

The leader was weak so the military took power.

There are over 30,000 missing people

She said  "You could see the helicopters drop body bags into the river."  

'76   83 when they got democracy back.

They took pregnant women.  They killed the women and gave the babies to the rich.

They are trying to find the babies.

About 150 Grandchildren have been found so far

There are about 400 more missing that they are look for.

The Mothers demonstrate once a week. They move / walk around the monument every Thursday.

One day every week the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo march in a plea to find out what happened to the 30,000 people who disappeared in "The Dirty War" in the 70's and 80's.



1960 Photo.
That is my mother and grandmother on the bench.
Sister is feeding the birds.

2014 photo

 Notice what is painted on the pavement - The Scarves
that represent the mothers mourning for the missing people and babies.

1997 photo - notice that we are standing on OUTLINE OF BODIES.

There outlines es represent the missing people and babies.


From my 1997 trip to Buenos Aires: 


After we checked into the hotel, we walked around looking for some place to eat. Sheree, May, Pat and I ended up at a great Italian place. We had no idea what we were ordering, so we used a computer translator.  The computer translated what I ordered as "men with cheese".  It was very good.  When I got home to United States, I told that story to my sister.  She said they eat "boy parts" of animals.  I'm glad I didn't know that when I was eating it! 

After dinner we walked around some more and ended up in the Plaza de Mayo. There was a nice nativity scene there. We also saw a drunk guy dressed as Santa Claus who was giving out candy. I took a picture us with Santa!  We walked in the cathedral. It was about 9:20 and since it was Christmas Eve we stayed for the 9:30 service.

  2014 photo
2014 painting on the pavement.



This is from the Art Gallery in the Museum Maritima in Ushuaia.  I'm sorry I didn't write down the name. These are striking. 

If you know who did this art, please email me so I can give credit where it is due.



Plaza de Mayo more buildings:


Metropolitan Cathedral with the mausoleum for San Martin, patron saint of the city. He died in 1850 in France and they brought his body back. The floor is a beautiful mosaic from India. The Altar shows the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

National Congress Building or City Hall

Monument in center: Contitucion Nacional established 1853. Independence from Spain was declared in 1816.

Jose St Martin - Liberator of S. America

Statue of him on a horse.

May Square

Mary 25, 1810

Start revolution of independence

The govt independent six years later.

90 percent catholic.

St. Martin. 12 columns represent the 12 apostles



Puetro Madero - The Ladies Neighborhood"  

1989 refurbish Puerto Madero harbor. It is now a very desirable place to live now.

$10,000 USD per square meter.

Small population and very safe.

All street are named after women.

Puetro Madero. "Women's bridge"  

Puerto Madero (these 1880-era docklands are now the city's newest neighborhood with a modern skyline and upscale restaurants)

Puerto Madero and Liberator Avenue named after General Don Jose do San Martin, father of the country. This area is made up of recycled warehouses, shops and restaurants.

Where we had dinner last night.


Tango - "Dance by two men"   there were No ladies to dance with.


La Boca (the old port district still maintains its 19th-century ambience)  immigration area


They used left-over paint so there are many colors everywhere.

La Boca (means "the mouth" as in the mouth of the river) district. This a port city where seamen settled. It is the city of colors. It has some houses that are 100 years old. They are made of zinc and wood shingles and painted with shrill colors. We saw multi-colored scenery on Vuelta de Roca which is a famous street known as Caminito (means "little road"). 


1960 photo.
taken by my Grampa.  The lady in tan coat is my Grandmother

2014 photo of the same place.


This photo was taken in


We stopped for coffee and there was entertainment.  Diana showed us that she really knows how to Tango. 

She was amazing!  Watch the movie here:   Diana Salsa.MOV / 255K / 2:51



After the tour, she left us on the street. very busy street with people selling stuff.

Got a pizza with Gary's and John, and the California girls.

The empanada was delicious, but I tasted it hours later from the good seasoning.

Pizza was ok.


The Cafe Tortoni is a coffeehouse located at 825 Avenida de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Inaugurated in 1858  Cafe Tortoni was selected by UCityGuides as one of the ten most beautiful cafes in the world.


A Don Quiote monument given by the Spanish in 1980.


The Congress building. The statue is very European. The building has Greek, roman, French, and Italian styles.


Drove by the National Fine Arts Museum on Liberator Ave. It has 10,000 works of art including Goya, Manet, Van Gogh, Ruben, Renior, Picasso, and Degas.


Overall it was good tour day except that it was rainy. We got out at the river for pix. It was sprinkly and very cool. Yesterday it was warm/hot. Definitely worked up a sweat walking around yesterday.


After the tour I went to the Plaza de mayo.

OMG. I am sitting in the church here I attended midnight mass Christmas in 1997. This is it. St. Martins, on the Plaze de Mayo. Cathedral bus stop.

There is a festival going on in the plaza. It is so nice just enjoying. I don't feel like I have to record and journal (yet). I think this is St. Martin's. I can hear loud rock music playing on the stage in the square. It is not sirene here in this church. They are getting ready for Christmas. Whtie man on a donkey has a red cape wrapped around her shoulders. He doesn't look like he normally belongs there in front of La Pieta.

"Mauselolei del General San Martin"   has live guards.

Saint Martin of Tours

Privileged Altar piece behind scaffolding

I went inside Casa Rosada. The Pink House

Allendes  Primer Pr"  ¦.

Walked back to the hotel.


In the evening we walked back to the Puerto Madero to go to another restaurant that Kevin found.


Buffet dinner. $160 + 26 for aqua sin gas.

The best thing was the pork rib meat, tender, great flavor. Everyone in line getting a little of this and that. Purple potatoes were really good. Eggplant OK.

Paella was great. Grilled banana. Yum. Zucchini, squash. Tons of meat on the grill. You ask for Chicken, beef, pork. We got one dessert per person. I had to get flan with Dulce de leche. Flan was good, Dulce de leche was awful goop they squeezed out of a tube. We were pretty lively at the restaurant  loud Americans.


The place started to get more people as we were ready to leave.

 This is a photo of our rowdy table.

Diana, Amanda, Jeff, Tish, Gary, Suneel, Gary, Kevin, Suzanna, Jonathan, Erika


I was asking questions about Nigeria and living there. Wow. Intense. She said that I needed to go to Unesia Tunia on the Meditereanean.

Walk back to hotel. It had quit raining. Cool.

In bed writing by 10:30.



Day 4: Tour Day 1: Monday, December 1 - Fly Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

Up at 5:30 this morning.  It seems so much easier for me to get up early, insanely early, when I " m on vacation. I would never consider getting up at 5 am on a work day.  Dress, zip suitcase closed, wheel it all down to the lobby.


6:40 am depart the hotel to the international airport.  Everyone in the group was all on the time. This is a very seasoned group of travelers. Nobody is stressed. Nobody is asking too many questions or too worried about stuff. This is so different from a Globus tour  which generally has people that need their hand held and every instruction repeated again and again.


When the flight was booked, it departed at 10:50 am.


AR 1854  AIRCRAFT:      BOEING 737-800


Buenos Aires to Ushuaia flight departure got changed to 8:40 am.  It is a 3 hour flight.


The weight limit for domestic flights is 5 kilo (30 pounds) for checked luggage, and 5 kilo for your carryon bag.  For international flights, the limit is 23 kilos.     Someone mentioned maybe a 150 peso ($20) extra charge for overweight.  Which I was. Many people, maybe everyone was over 30 pounds

Almost everyone was checked in. There was a little hitch with John.  Oh no, booked for departure at the other airport, but that was impossible because the plane was at this terminal. Small mix up, but Anne helped get everything straightened out.

I got Coffee at shop at the gate. Relax. I'm on vacation.

Everyone else got on the bus transport to the plan.

I looked up from writing  I didn't see anyone but Jeff was waiting for me to appear from the crowd. Thank you Jeff. I do love group travel where someone else checks all the details and I just follow.
Tina stresses me out too much with her questions on how well I am prepared. Just go with it.


Aerolineas Argentinas Airline           AR1854 01DEC AEP-USH    10:50A 2:25P


About Ushuaia  (pronunciation: [u' shwaya])

The capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world.

Ushuaia is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego,

It is bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel.

It is the only municipality in the Department of Ushuaia, which has an area of 9,390 km2 (3,625 sq mi).


Population of more than 63,000 people (or 80,000?)


Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for our Antarctic cruise.

If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park (see below), enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafes before for your expedition to Antarctica.


Arrive in Ushuaia.  " After you have collected your luggage, meet our transfer agent from Rumbo Sur who will be in the luggage area. The busses are parked outside.

There was very strong wind walking to the bus


Transport to the hotel. The bus stopped at the other hotels first: Hotel Las Lengas, Hotel Albatros, and/or Canal Beagle.     Then we drove out of town to where we were staying at

Los Nires Hotel     Av. de los Nires 3040 9410 Ushuaia     Phone: +54 2901 44-5173


1 pm and we are on the bus.  Marcia (Quark), Nino is the driver

In Ushuaia From 9 am to 1 pm businesses are open, then they have siesta 1-5, then open again 5-9 pm.

Marcia said that it is VERY safe here. Very little crime.


1 pm and we arrive at our hotel.  It was exactly as described on TRIP ADVISOR:

Breakfast, rooms, service are good, but it's located far from the centre of the city.

You must alias take a cab its around 60 (or 50) pesos Argentina

This place is for those who want to stay away from the city and spent some quiet time enjoying the views.

No elevator

Rooms and bathrooms are big. Walls are thin.

Little light in room so bring a flashlight

 Wifi connnection in the rooms was below average. 

Free breakfast is average

Walk down stairs to get to the beach

Restaurant has excellent food at great prices, service was great


This is our view from the hotel room!

Kevin and Jeff are in the room right next to us. It was hot as heck in the room. There were two small windows that we opened ad we tried to figure out the heaters (3 of them) and turn the heat off. Imagine that, we're at the end of the world and we turned off the heat.

Keven announced the schedule for tomorrow is 9 am departure for the Trek, and a 6:30 orientation meeting. If you want to go into town tonight, meet in the lobby at 6 pm. It's about a 60 pesos cab to town.

I was starving. Diana and I decided to get some food in the hotel restaurant. Another bunch was going into town.  We got our food  I got very yummy Lamb ravioli with mushroom sauce (118 pesos $15 UDS) Very, very good.  We started eating, then the other group joined us in the restaurant.  Diana got crab crepes  long story, but she ended up giving them to someone else who said they were delicious. 

We hung out in the restaurant. Numerous bottles of beer were acquired and consumed. Good, tall bottles of very good beer.  Everyone was talking about TV shows.  I think it was Amanda had download some Walking Dead episodes (or was it the last episode?) that several people had not seen.     I don't watch that show. Maybe I should because they were sure talking like every episode is worth seeing.     I think they found a TV to hook to the computer to watch the show.

So 7 pm they met in the lobby to go into town for dinner.

I passed because I had that big pasta lunch. I had some PB and crackers snack and the cookies from the airplane. That was just enough for me.

8:30 pm and it is still light out!

I sat in bed and looked out at the spectacular view.  There is a small cluster of homes on a huge lake with tall mountains beyond. Wow. Captivation.

I had that view and I can't believe that I actually turned on the television.  That is my norm at home. I always have a TV turned on (with the sound muted) when I'm home.  On the TV in the room I found three English ( Ingles ) channels: 706, 768, 710.  Of course one of them was CNN.

I sorta got the heat figured out.  We had not turned it off before and it was still very warm in the room. I turned all of the registers OFF.  And they stayed off all night!

  Off |>>> On  It was super hot when we entered.

We opened the window and now it is very comfortable temperature in the room.

I like it that this is not a dress for dinner kind of crowd. 

I remember the Austria ski trip when John insisted that I dress properly for dinner every night.  I made him pack the dress, panty hose and my high heel shoes in his suitcase.  I never had the opportunity to wear it. I'm glad it was taking up room in his suitcase and not mine.

10:10 pm and it is still light outside

Diana has not returned yet!

Another couple entered our room!  Oops Their key also said 116, or rather "^^6"

Not sure if it ever got dark during the night. We slept with both windows open and no heat on. I pulled the blanket up over me this morning. I got a great nite sleep. At least 8 hours!



Overnight in Ushuaia hotel: Los Nires


Day 5: Tour Day 2:  Tuesday, December 2  in Ushuaia

9 am  The rest of group departed on their trek:

Tierra del Fuego National Park day trip (on 02Dec): $165 per person

OPTIONAL: Full Day Trekking in the Tierra Del Fuego National Park (8 Hours)

CLICK Here to jump below to some pix of their hike.

This is what I did today: 

I had a leisurly breakfast in the hotel. It  was basic everything. Coffee rolls, toast, scrambled eggs. Bacon if you get there early. Cereal.

11 am I took the shuttle to go into town. It was quite a ride.  Too far to walk. It would be over an hour hike. The shuttle dropped us off by the Tourist office. I got my passport stamped.  This is from the web site:

Tourist Information Office           opened after 17.00 hours  +54 2901 43-7666

San Martin Avenue and Juana Fadul y en el Puerto | Prefectura Naval Argentina 470, Ushuaia, Argentina       

Would you like to have stamps on your passport saying "Ushuaia Fin del Mundo" without need to go to Bahia Lapataia (25km inside Tierra del Fuego National Park which ticket costs $85 pesos)? This is the place

The tourist information office is helpful and the free stamp in your passport is fun. Note that, besides a small location at the airport, there are two tourist locations. One is in the historic wooden house that used to be a library at 674 San Martin Avenue (the main drag) corner Juana Fadul. The other location, only about 3 blocks away, is near the port in a new-looking building across the street from the Albatross Hotel. This is near the main taxi stand and where various excursions are sold and from where they leave. Both locations seem to have the same information, including maps, and the passport stamp. The personnel we met spoke barely enough English to answer our questions, but they tried and were very nice.








I found this museum:

Museo Yamana       

Address Rivadavia 56  Telephone  +54 2901 422874


Price admission AR$48  Opening hours 10am-7pm

Small but carefully tended, with an excellent overview of the Yamana (Yahgan) way of life. Delves into their survival in harsh weather without clothing, why only women swam and how campfires were kept in moving canoes. Expertly detailed dioramas (also in English) show the bays and inlets of Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego; coming here before a park visit offers new bearings.

About the Yamana (a term I could NOT find in Wikipedia)

Southern Tierra del Fuego went unpopulated for a long time.

20,000 years ago the Beagle Channel was covered with ice, then it became a fresh-water lake when the glaciers melted,

Only 8,000 years ago sea levels rose and the Beagle Channel was flooded by the sea, which brought the fish, mussels, seals necessary for survival.

The ancestors of the Yamana arrived 7,000 years ago. It is not known where from.

Adapted to life on the coast of Tierra del fuego were the worlds southernmost residents. They hunted seals for their fat and calories, also took advantage of stranded cetaceans, birds, fish, quanacos, and a variety of mollusks.

They used canoes to navigate until the forest formed 6,500 years ago.

Men, women, and children went naked all year round. Except for a loincloth. Occasionally they used a small skin accross (sic) they backs as protection against the wind.



Foto E. Payen, Mission Scientifique du cap Horn 1882-83


The Yamana did not use clothes.  The spend a short time in each place so they never constructed waterproof homes which could be used as permanent shelter and storing places.

Without a solid roof nor adecuate (sic) heating, they lived at the mercy of humidity, rain, and snow.

Any clothes they put on were drenched by the first showe or rain, and thereafter had no occasion to dry but remaing damp and cold over the wearers skin. Causing him great discomfort.

The naked skin, on the other hand, with a protective covering of grease and oil, was easy to dry by the fire after each rainfall.

The grease on their bodies, and the fire in their huts and canoes, took the place of clothes.

Photo: Kamanakar y Chaokouche, Bahia Orange Foto: Mission Sc. Du ap Horn, 1882-83


They had no chiefs. Men and women had the same rights. Children lived with the parents until marriage and only then could they have their own canoe.

They are hunter-gatherers with nomadic habits. They spent few days in each place.

Each hut harboured 1 family.

Building a hut took them only 1 or 2 hours work.

It was used for 3 or 4 days, and left standing when they departed.

Once it was abandoned, other people were free to use the hut.

A fire was kept going inside at all times.

They slept directly on the naked floor.

On occasion, over 20 people could sleep huddled together in one hut.

The dogs slept inside.

The canoe was the Yaman's most prized possession, used to obtain food and as a means of transport.

Each family had its own canoe.

Natural decomposition limited its durability to 1 year at most.

From on board they fished close to the coast and speared seals farther out.

When in use, they always kept a fire going inside the canoe.

When not in use, the left it moored to the kelp, or hauled up on the beach.

To keep afloat they had to tail out the vessel continuously.

Harpoons, baskets, ropes, and fishing elements were standard equipment in the canoe.

They always carried a fire in the canoe!

They spent many hours almost immobile in the canoe, so this source of heat was very necessary. The coals were also very useful to help start a fire when they landed, because the firewood they obtained wasn't always dry and ready to burn. They carried the fire in the center of the canoe, on a platform of grass with the roots up, or on clay or sand. The constant leakages suffered by the canoe helped to minimize the risk of the fire.  Not sure I understand that, but that is what the sign said"  ¦


The women spent long hours on board each day fishing and gathering mussels and crabs. Only women knew how to swim.

The father usually travelled in front with his harpoons, the children in the middle tending the fire and bailing out the water, and the mother at the back padding and guiding the canoe.

They set the fire in the center of the canoe as a source of warmth and to help them start a fire easily when they arrived at a new place.


The stranding of a whale was announced by means of a large bonfire on the beach. In a short time 15 or 20 canoes could arrive and sometimes others from far away (50 kms or more) . The newcomers hastily build their huts and the blubber and bones were cut out and distributed among everyone present.

Excess blubber was buried in streams as a reserve for leaner times. A large whale provided food for several weeks, and allowed them to celbrate their initiation rites of passage known as Ohiejaus or the Keene in which spirits were represented with the use of masks.

The "Onas" was another tribe who lived, just north of the Yamanas. The were "bigger people" than the Yamanas.  The tribes could not communicate because they spoke different languages!

The "Cultura Shelknam" was tribe that had a ritual where they paint body black with white stripes on their bodies.  spooky.

The first sailor were europeans who arrived in the 16th century. In 1520 Magellan discovered the Strait that was first called Strait of All Saints, the only passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  This was the only means of communication between both oceans until 1914 when the Panama Canal was opened.

I spent AR$532 for 19 post cards and stamps. The post cards were 95 ($12 USD), 437 ($50 USD) for stamps. I mailed the post cards in Ushu

Write on the post card: 

I'm at the End of the World. Fin del Mundo at Tierra del Fuego  (Land of Fire)

Sailing thru the Drake passage to camp on Antarctica with the penguins.

My last continent. This is a doozy.


It was very warm when I arrived in town at 11:15.  There is a hot sun outside and I did not bring my sunglasses. I found the first museum. Very interesting.


12:30 LUNCH

I found a great restaurant. Restaurant Villaggio  San Martin 326 Tel (02901) 421183 Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, Argentina.

I ordered

Cafe con Leche

"Spagheti Filetto 95  Spaghetti

Sopa Crema       69  Pumpkin soup (fabulous, creamy butter squash taste)

Propina no incluida (Tip NOT included)  

        I was watching live King Crabs swim in a tank while I eat one. There were 8 of them in that tank.

12:45 and it is cold and pouring down rain. I would not want to be out hiking in this weather.

There is a very hearty bunch of people on this trip. They knew as a fact that it was going to start raining at 1 pm. That did n't seem to phase anyone. Bring some dry clothes layers use the plastic lundry bag.

12:50 and the restaurant is packed. No more seats

I was starving. I only had a snack last night of PB and crackers. I liked breakfast. I almost waited too long to eat. This pumpkin soup was fabulous.

I brought the gamg back to this same restaurant the next day.  Click here for pix


Museo Mari  ­timo & Museo del Presidio

Address cnr Yaganes & Gobernador Paz  Telephone  +54 437481

Prices admission AR$110  Opening hours 9am-8pm $35 the ticket is valid over 2 days?





Convicts were transferred from Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) to Ushuaia in 1906 to build this national prison, finished in 1920. The cells, designed for 380 inmates, held up to 800 before closing in 1947. Famous prisoners include illustrious author Ricardo Rojasand and Russian anarchist Simon Radowitzky. The depiction of penal life is intriguing, but information is in Spanish.

Maritime exhibits provide a unique glimpse into the region's history. Remains of the world's narrowest-gauge freight train, which transported prisoners between town and work stations, sit in the courtyard. From December to March, guided tours (also in English) are at 11:30am and 4:30pm. If you can, take your tour with Horacio

Read more:

Was bit pricey to enter, and was an old prison with some cell blocks restored to clean display rooms for artifacts and model ships etc. Can be cold in here, so rug up. Has cafe in central zone and some gift shops around the complex. You can kill a few hours in here, if waiting for one's cruise boarding time to arrive.

An online REVIEW

In the various wings you can learn about the history of the region both political and maritime, shipping, climate and Antarctic exploration as well as the Penal Colony.

The exhibits are all in the cells. One wing has not been renovated so depicts the original prison. Another wing has art exhibitions.

The central hall was the recreation area for the prison but is now an atrium with seating and a cafe which serves excellent coffee.

There is a lot of information to take in and it is very interesting

For the end of the world, they've made rather a good job of fashioning tourist attractions out of not very much at all in Ushuaia. We went to this museum because we thought we really ought to, but we actually thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's in the old prison, and it's been left very much as it was so you get a real sense of how it must have been back in the day. Once you get past the (to me) rather dull maritime exhibits on the ground floor (although I did think the "treacherous pirate Francis Drake" exhibit was amusing) the rest is interesting and sensitive, and gives lots of insight into all things Fuegian, from the lives of the indigenous Jamana, through the penal colony to life in Ushuaia today. It was well worth a visit and we spent longer than we meant to there.


The prison was in Puerto Cook until 1902 when it was decided to move it - again for humanitarian reasons to the bay of Ushuaia.

Convicts worked for a lifetime with a little salary. They had primary school education and severe discipline.

There were work area in jail and town where prisoners tended to telephone, electricity, fire station, building streets, bridges, buildings. A railway was built in 1910. It was the Southern most railway in the world.

It was when the population reached 120 men that there was an uprising and the famous escape took place. When part of the prisoners were being taken to the Military Prison build in Golondrina bay (to the west of the town of Ushuaia), a group of 51 convicts ran a riot and controlled the military staff. A small group of these prisoners on board a small boat succeeded in crossing Le Maire strait thus arriving in Isla Grande of Tierra del Fuego (see Escape from Estados and The Fugutives of Isla de los Estados, by Alfredo Becerro) drawing the attention of th ewhold country till they were apprehended.

By 1920 the jail had 5 pavilions with 79 exterior facing cells each. The 380 cells were single, but the jail housed more than 600 convicts at one time.

Not being a penal colony Puerto Cook lodged some convicts' families. El Pais newspaper published on August 13 1901 that past the yard and the kennel, "...some distance away from the prison there are four modest cabins that lodge a number of convicts' families."

in 1947, the president ordered the closure of the jail. In 1950 a Naval Base was set up there.

Pix prisoner by fire. "In Mount Susana's refuge should prisoners had a very good conduct for working out this place. They even spent the night here."  

March 21 1947 - Ushuaia prison is closed by a presidential decree issued by Juan Domingo Peron. The prison building later houses naval Base Headquarters.



3:50 finishd the museum . missed the shuttle back to the hotel. I'll have to do a taxi. That definielty worth $150 or $13 USD.


I thought this picture was hilarious. It is the GIMNASIO BASE NAVAL - Penguins pumping iron at the Ushuaia Gym:


I did not do the rest of these things listed here:

Ushuaia Double Decker Bus Tour $34.99 USD

See top attractions in Ushuaia on a 1-hour sightseeing tour aboard a London-style double-decker bus. Become acquainted with this charming Patagonian town, located on the coast of the Beagle Channel at the southernmost tip of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego. Observe old homes and government buildings on your way to Le Martial Glacier and pass the old prison, lighthouse and several museums on your return. Enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 20 people.

Highlights: 1-hour double-decker bus tour in Ushuaia, See historical landmarks in the Patagonian capital of Tierra del Fuego, Pass the lighthouse, old prison and several museums, Enjoy sweeping views of Le Martial Glacier and the islands in the Beagle Channel from Paseo del Centenario, Hear informative commentary from your professional guide

What You Can Expect on Ushuaia Double Decker Bus Tour

Surrounded by Le Martial mountains in Patagonia, Ushaia offers a glimpse of sea, mountains and forest at the " end of the world.' Aboard your double-decker bus, depart from Maipu Avenue in Ushuaia's city center, heading toward the Luis Pedro Fique footbridge.

Cross this narrow pass that ends at La Mission neighborhood, an area settled by Europeans at the beginning of the 20th century, and drive through districts like Brown and Solier for a glimpse of homes built by Ushuaia's first immigrants. Hear entertaining onboard commentary about these original Fuegan families  including Bebans, Pastorizas, Cangas, Fiques, Salomons and Ramos  and observe the Patagonian town's commercial growth since the arrival of new settlers during the 1980s.

Next, enter the naval base, a restricted area where the first public buildings like the provincial legislature and old government's house were constructed. From Gobernador Paz Street, your coach will drive to Paseo del Centenario, a panoramic point with great photo ops of the mountain chains and islands across the Beagle Channel, which is the jumping off point for Antarctica. Then, head back down to sea level to see the vessel of St Christopher and hear his story from your guide.

Your Ushuaia coach tour includes a transfer to the base of the chairlift to Le Martial Glacier, where you can stretch your legs and view the gorgeous landscape. On your return to the city center, drive through Leandro North Alem Avenue and continue past the Maritime Museum and Old Prison of Ushuaia. Your guide will point out a replica of the original lighthouse and the End of the World Museum, which exhibits part of the Fueguian past on the continent's southernmost tip. Your coach tour ends at your original departure point.

Read more:


Cerro Martial & Glaciar Martial

The fantastic panoramas of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel are more impressive than the actual smallish glacier. You can arrive directly or from the ski run 7km northwest of town, where an aerosilla (chairlift) can take you up. For the best views, hike an hour above the chairlift terminus. A cozy refuge offers coffee, desserts and beer at the aerosilla base. Weather is changeable so take warm, dry clothing and sturdy footwear.

Evening canopy tours are run from the base of the aerosilla and offer an hour's worth of Tarzan time, zipping through the forest with 11 zip-line cables and two hanging bridges. The highest cable is 8m. It's by reservation only.

Catch a taxi up the hill or jump aboard one of the minivans (AR$60) to Cerro Martial that leave from the corner of Av Maipà º and Juana Fadul every half-hour from 8:30am to 6:30pm.

Or, if you're up for an all-day hike, follow San Martà ­n west and keep ascending as it zigzags (there are many hiker shortcuts) to the ski run. At this point, either take the Aerosilla chairlift or walk another two hours into town

Read more:

Read more:


Plaza Malvinas     at Maipu Av. & Patagonia St.,

This inscribed monument is a touching reminder of the Falkland Islands War (La Guerra de Las Malvinas) of 1982.

Town Hall        at  San Martin Av. 674, Ushuaia, Argentina

Iglesia de la Merced                 Address cnr Av San Martà ­n & Don Bosco

The century-old Iglesia de la Merced , was built with convict labor.

Read more:


Tierra del Fuego National Park day trip (on 02Dec): $165 per person

OPTIONAL: Full Day Trekking in the Tierra Del Fuego National Park (8 Hours) Description: If you like action, this is the excursion to choose. Departing the hotel around 8:00 AM, we „ ¢ll hike for 3 hours through a protected forest of rare subantarctic trees. After a lakeside lunch, we „ ¢ll don waterproof clothing and a life vest in preparation for a paddle from Lake Roca to the Ovando River. We „ ¢ll leave the canoes in Lapataia Bay at the terminus of the Pan American Highway. Lapataia Bay is a feeding ground for petrols, albatrosses, flightless steamer ducks and, sometimes, penguins. Park fees and the transfer to the Park and back to our hotel is included. Meals and drinks, tips and personal expenses are not.

Tierra del Fuego:  For those doing the Tierra del Fuego hike on Dec 2nd before we board the ship, you will need to have warm clothing (layers) and a water proof outer layer.  Daytime temps average around 55 and nighttime is low 40's.  Please note that we will NOT have our free parka from Quark yet at that point, so pack accordingly.  Below is a description of the Tierra del Fuego day trip (NOTE: for the leisurely rafting part, the company provides rubber boots, rain gear and personal flotation devices):


You are picked up from your hotel around 8:00-8:30am and driven to the National Park. Arriving at Ensenada Bay we will have time to enjoy the beautiful view of the Beagle Channel before starting our trekking along the coast. These 4 miles (7kms) of wild trail, we come in contact with, are the native flora and fauna of the channel. In 3 hours we will reach Roca Lake where lunch will be ready. After a hot meal we will start rafting down Lapataia River, which will take us to the end of the tour at Lapataia Bay on the Beagle Channel, precisely where the Pan American Highway ends. Return to Ushuaia by minibus.  Total about 7 hours.

Diana, ready to hike 

Where they hiked

Doesn't that look like fun?       Jonathan's rain poncho doesn't stand a chance in the high winds!





On the schedule for Tuesday, December 2, there was one thing said "mandatory attendence:   6:00 PM in Ushuaia hotel - Mandatory Orientation run by the ship's staff.


6:30 pm  7:30 pm:

Our Quark representative will hold an optional briefing at the group hotel and details will be given to you when you check in. Attendance is not mandatory.

 "Marcello"   explained what was going to happen tomorrow

Bring your luggage to reception at 9:30 am. Do not put anything fragile in your luggage. No computers, no camera equipment. To get the luggage onto the boat, they pile it into a net and lift the net up to the boat deck.

At 3 pm you will be picked up from the hotel, or at 3:30 you must be at location #10 on the map.

Bring your carry-on luggage, passport, return flight information.

For insurance reasons, you will board a bus, drive around the block, then dropped off at the ship.

Use anti-bacterial lotion before entering dining room. Ebola or "evil outbreak"  .

We will be in open water by 12am to 2 am.

On Friday Dec 12 at 7 am we will return to port and 8 am disembark or "debark"   and you can get on the transport to the airport or go into town.

They do not tip taxi's here.

There is a 28 pesos departure tax. 3.50 USD


Classic questions that people really asked at our briefing: 

"What is the weather going to be like?"  

"How do we know if we are going to be sick"  


My roommate Diana is awesome. We have done great and been comfortable from the first time that we met. I wish I could find guy who was that nice to be with"  ¦.

From the program:     In the evening, following the ship staff's orientation, join the group for an optional dinner.. it's a great way to start to get to know your fellow group members! Today many people will be strangers to you, but by the end of the trip they will be lifelong friends!


Overnight in Ushuaia hotel: Los Nires


Day 6: Tour Day 3: Wednesday, December 3  Board Ship: Ocean Diamond

Quark schedule:

December 3  Ushuaia, Argentina

Breakfast is served at the hotel. Your day is free to enjoy Ushuaia at leisure but please be aware of the following timeline before you board the ship:

9:30 am:

Attach the cabin tags to your luggage which you will receive at your hotel in Ushuaia. To avoid leaving luggage behind please bring it to the hotel reception area. Remember, you will not see your luggage until the evening, so keep things that you may need during the day.

10:00 am:

Your luggage will be transferred to the ship.

3:00 pm:

If you are staying at the Hotel Las Lengas or Hotel Los Nires our local agent Rumbo Sur will transfer you from your hotel to the parking lot at the entrance to the pier, joining the other passengers for your voyage. If you are not in the lobby of Las Lengas or Los Nires at this time, we will assume you have left your hotel and will meet the group on your own. If you are staying at the Hotel Albatros or Hotel Canal Beagle, please meet the group at the parking lot, which is across the street.

3:30 pm:

A RUMBO SUR bus will be waiting at the parking lot meeting point.

3:50 pm:

The bus departs for the ship.

4:00 pm:

Embarkation of the ship begins.

*Early boarding of passengers is not permitted.

*Prior to arrival shipside, please have your passport ready. It will be collected by one of our staff members upon embarkation.

TBA: Depart for Antarctica

Sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as we depart - the next time you see land we'll be in the world's most southern continent!


You must advise us at least 4 weeks prior to your arrival of your flight details. Transfers must be arranged in advance - without your flight details we are unable to provide them.


My record of WHAT WE DID


We deposited our bags in the lobby of the hotel and went to breakfast. It was "a leisurely affair"  .  I had oatmeal, some bacon, and coffee.

11 am Most of us in the group took the shuttle into town.  We all went to a souvenir shop where several people made purchases. Some of my notes from the shop:

The National Stone is Rodocrosita, or Rodochrosite is the "Inca Rose"  . A pretty pink stone.

White sheep skin $500.

James and Phillip  - empanadas on the street. Yummy! Thanks!


After the souvenir shop, we gathered on the sidewalk, two guys approached us and asked if we wanted some empanadas. Sure . Turns out everyone else met them on the hike yesterday. So they were not strangers.  Thanks James and Phillip  - the meat empanadas were Yummy! really, really good.


We walked about 2 blocks to the Village restaurant. 5 of us got the pumpkin soup. Yum. Amanda and Lisa got delicious looking king crab soup. Gary's got the spaghetti that I got yesterday.  Diana went to post office across from restaurant.


I convinced everyone to go to the restaurant where I ate yesterday. 

So we walked over to Restaurant Villaggio  San Martin 326 Tel (02901) 421183 Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, Argentina.

The "Sopa Crema"  Pumpkin soup (fabulous, creamy butter squash taste) and "Spagheti Filetto 95  Spaghetti was good..

5 of us got the pumpkin soup. Yum. Amanda and Lisa got delicious looking king crab soup. Gary's got the spaghetti that I got yesterday. 

I was watching live King Crabs swim in a tank while I eat one. There were 8 of them in that tank.

Here is the Villaggio restaurant:

Information from the restaurant: Villaggio was the name of Ushuaia's first neighborhood, built in 1948 by the Italian immigrants who had arrived on October 28 aboard the steamer Genova. Villaggio (now Barrio Solier) lodged these Italian families who came under charge of Bolognese construction firm Carlos Borsari, hired by the Argentinian government to perform public works in the region.

The Italian men and women who migrated far from their own culture integrated with the local inhabitants, and played a leading role in tranforming the village into a thriving city.


Here are the happy huge king crabs swimming around


This king is headed to his demise.  Doesn't that look delicious!


Here is our group enjoying our lunch:  Gary, Gary, Suneel, Amanda, Diana


Then we all went to this museum:


The End of the World Museum-Museo del Fin del Mundo       

Museo address Av Maipu 173 (at Rivadavia), Second location of the museum is Antigua Casa at Av. Maipu 465.  Telephone  +54 2901 421863      or 422551    

I bought one ticket for 90 pesos and it got you into BOTH locations of the museum. The second location was better - the president congress.      Prices admission AR$70  Opening hours Monday to Fri 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun 2 pm to 8 pm.

Built in 1903, this former bank contains exhibits on Fuegian natural history, stuffed bird life, life of natives and early penal colonies, and replicas of moderate interest. Guided visits are at 11am and 3:30pm.

Read more:

Legislatura Provincial        Address Av Maipu 465

The 1894 Legislatura Provincial was the governor's official residence

Read more:

 The old government house was built in 1891. It was the first governors residence, then Government offices and legislature from 1983 to 1990. In 1983 it was declared a National Historic Monument.

Right now it is 2:50 pm and we are waiting till 3:30 when we meet to get on the ship. Had a wonderful morning with Diana and Suneel, Gary's, Amanda and Lisa. Souvenir shop.

I called Wells Fargo this morning. They verified by ATM should work. It didn't work in three different Banks yesterday. So today 11 am, shuttle to town. See HSBC bank. It still didn't work. "invalid card"   or something like that message. It worked in another ATM. But I think I used my Visa card with the chip.  My visa debit does not have a chip. I have been able to use it for purchases.  For dinner etc. I may have used both cards, not sure


It is now 4 pm and this is so weird. We are sitting ON A BUS. The bus must take us around the block and drop us off at the pier, then we board the ship. For insurance reasons they must do it this way. And it spaces out the ship boarding process. And if it is pouring rain, we don't get wet. At this point I get the impression that we are driving to Antarctica. I've been on so many bus tours. I so prefer a cruise now. Not in the mood for long bus ride. And we're off. Going around the block in the bus.


FINALLY boarding the ship!!!  Headed to Cabin Number 418


About the ship: OCEAN DIAMOND


Built in 1974 as a "RO-RO" (roll-on roll-off) vehicular ferry.
1986 - conversion to become a cruise ship.

Length overall is 400 feet (124 m) and breadth 53 feet (16 m).
Height from keel to antenna 113 feet (34 m)

Two main engines; two propellers have four blades and are variable pitch; two semi-balanced rudders.

Cruising speed is 15 knots (17 mph), full speed 16 knots (19 mph).

The hull is double bottomed. Nine watertight compartments.

Fresh water is produced by reverse osmosis (maximum 100 m3 d-1) and vacuum evaporation using
heat from exhaust gasses (average 26 m3 d-1).

Two lifeboats, each with a capacity of 145 persons, and eight liferafts each for 25 persons are
available for emergencies.

Passenger capacity is 190 in 94 cabins.
Officers and other ranks are 94.
Quark staff average 24.
Quark Expeditions began operating her in polar regions from November 2012.

CICK HERE for Picture of the ship on my Antarctica Picture page


Great video about the Ocean Diamond ship. It is 34 minutes long

At about minute 27 he explained that crossing the Drake was so violent that one of the passengers suffered "retinal detachment"  




Wednesday 3rd December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond


On behalf of Quark Expeditions, the Captain, his Officers and Crew - Welcome aboard!

Captain & Officers Expedition Team

Captain                                   Oleg Klaptenko                                                       Historian                                                                    Victoria Salem

Chief Mate                              Dmytro Ashanin                                                      Ornithologist                                                              Travis Keay

Chief Engineer                    Panagiotis Stathopoulos                                          Marine Biologist                                                     Nick Engelmann

                                     Geologist                                                                  Wolfgang Bluemel

Hotel Team                                                                                 Lecturer-Guide                                                        Chris Croxson

Hotel Manager         Thomas Pfennings                                                              Kayak Guide                                                             Shelli Ogilvy

Executive Chef          Indra Wicaksono                                                                 Kayak Guide                                                              Michelle Reid

Chief Purser               Willie Lirio                                                                          Kayak Guide                                                                Scott Caspell

                                    Kayak Guide                                                                Ryan Munro

Expedition Team                                                                        Climb/Ski Guide                                                        Jean Cane

Expedition Leader                      David " Woody' Wood                                      Climb/Ski Guide                                                         Keith Riley

Expedition Coordinator              Niki Trudeau                                                     Stand-up Paddleboard Guide Gray Claxston

Expedition Coordinator              Laurie Di Vincenzo                                         Guide                                                                                            Cam Browne

Logistics Manager                       John "Flipper' Suta                                        Guide                                                                                               Juanita Volker

Logistics Manager                        Vladimir Seliverstov                                     Guide                                                                                                Alex Preston

Quark Physician                            Dr. Adrienne Darhower                            Guide                                                                                                  Yukie Hayashi

Wellness Guide                              Ross Howatson                                         Guide                                                                                                  Bill Davis

Photography Guide                      Dave Merron                                                Expert-In-Residence                           Dr. Tom Hart

Polar Boutique Manager              Jaymie MacAulay                                        Expert-In-Residence                             Mike Polito

                                Expert-In-Residence                             Jonathan Shackleton

1600 Embarkation  Welcome aboard!

Please feel free to explore the vessel and make yourselves comfortable. Welcome snacks, tea and coffee will be available in The Club (Deck 4)


To Be Announced (Voyage Journal says this happened at 17:00)

Please join the Expedition Team for a Welcome Briefing, including essential safety information, in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


1800  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 18:30)

The m/v Ocean Diamond sets sail for Antarctica. Join us out on deck as we depart Ushuaia


To Be Announced  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 19:15)

Mandatory Lifeboat Drill: Please assemble at your designated muster station, as indicated on the back of your cabin door. Bring your SOLAS lifejacket (large orange jacket) located in your cabin cupboard.


Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and the Restaurant (Deck 4)

Please speak with the Maitre d', Glenn, regarding any food allergies or dietary requirements


Should you have any concerns about seasickness and medication, Dr Adrienne will be available for consultation in The Club (Deck 4) until 2145.

To Be Announced (Voyage Journal says this happened at 21:15)

Quark Waterproof Jackets will be distributed, by deck, in the Main Lounge (Deck 5). Please listen for announcements


 Join us out on deck aboard the Ocean Diamond to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Beagle Channel


Please check that all of your luggage has been delivered to your cabin. If you are missing luggage or find another person's luggage in your cabin, please inform staff immediately.

Please stow away loose and breakable items in your cabins in case of heavy seas tonight.

Please take care moving around the ship, especially once we are in open water.


Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. Either way, during this famous crossing we'll spend these first days getting to know our fellow group members, while the ship's staff provides safety briefings, talks, and insights into what excitement lies ahead.

The Drake Passage is the stretch of water between the most southerly tip of South America and the most northerly tip of the Antarctic peninsula.    

It is the place where not only are there high and strong winds that blow most of the time, but where the "Circumpolar Current" is squeezed through its narrowest gap. This is a Westerly flowing current that flows around Antarctica powered by Antarctic winds. It flows at the rate of around 140 million cubic metres (tonnes) of water per second, the equivalent of 5000 Amazon rivers or four times the size of the Gulf Stream.

The Drake passage has been described as the roughest stretch of water in the world, it is what must be navigated when rounding Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego - the southern most tip of South America. To reach the Antarctic peninsula it is necessary to traverse this stretch of water at right angles to the current flow. The result is often very lumpy seas indeed as seen in this shot where HMS Endurance is making the crossing.


Suzanna's Notes for Wednesday December 3:


Welcome Briefing on the ship

Woody  Expedition leader


The crew is on deck 2

Bow  Forward

Port  left     starboard  right

Aft  Stern

The Bridge is open to us. On Deck 6.

Dining room on deck 3

All water in the cabins on the ship is OK to drink.

Closed shoes only. No flip flops, thongs, slippers.

Always Leave one hand for the ship.

Thomas Pfennings  Hotel manager

998 emergency

7:30 dinner

There is an Immersion suit for everyone

At 9:15 there is a sea-sickness clinic

You must "Drake-proof"   yourself, and your cabins.


We had our Mandatory Muster drill. Learn how to put on your life vest. I had no idea how to manage that buckle on my life vest.

Then we got outside and line up by the life raft. Then we are done.

10 minutes to dinner.

We walk down to the restaurant. Get 3 tables. Kevin and Jeff finally show up after we order. I got vegetable crepes. There was also pork, or salmon. Nice small portion. Nice small chocolate puff pastry for dessert.

I put my patch on around 5 pm. It is 10:40 now. My mouth feels dry. I could feel the patch kick in  dry mouth and dry throat.

It is not dark out, but it is not light either. Saliling along smooth so far. Hope the Drake is OK

After first night on the ship, I heard eerie sounds all night. Creaking noises like the ship is adapting to the roll of the sea.


Go to sleep about 11. I could still hear the ship creaks thru my ear plugs. It never got totally dark. The curtains open when the ship rocks.

I could feel a gentle movement cross the width of the ship. Port to starboard, and back and forth. It was never back waves. We are not that big.

Breakfast is 8 to 9 or maybe 9:30.


Breakfast and the dining room was full of people. So we were lucky to have a camp sail.

Looks like today is the same nice weather outside. They said "it is 4 degrees"   outside. 

There is mandatory briefing at 10 am in the lounge.

There will be a roll call to verify that everyone is there. You can't go on the excursions until you attend this mandatory meeting.


Woody. They practice "bio-security"  . They vacuum your clothes and boots are disinfected

Check Velcro for anything that is lodged in there

You may get penguin guano on your boots

No food should go shore

All animal species are protected.

DO NOT interact with wildlife.

DO NOT walk on the penguin highway

You must stay 15 feet or 5 meters away from wild life.

But if a penguin approaches you, that is ok to be closer. They can come to you.

You CANNOT go to them  stay 5 m away.

Keep away 50 from the seals.

We are permitted to enter some buildings.

"refuge huts"   are there for emergency.

They have food in case "zodiac operations are suspended"   and we are stuck on land.

There are 189 passengers

Unloading takes about 20 minutes

Zodiac 15 people per boat

You can stand. It is very stable, but you must ask permission to stand.

When arrive on shore there is a change area.

1 to 1.5 hour on the Zodiac

If you are on the Zodiac and you are cold and ask to return to the ship, the Zodiac driver must return you to the ship.

 Then everyone else in the boat will be mad at you so dress appropriately.

Put your camera in a bag, attach the bag to you. If the bag blows away, we have to retrieve it.


Neoprene and liner boot rated to -28 degrees.

Put your pants on TOP of boots.


Life vest stays on you for the entire excursion.

Grab each other forearm (no hands) entering and exiting the Zodiac. That is called the "sailors grip"  

Back of the Zodiac is a calmer ride.

We will be landing on land, ice, snow or water.

The life vest has a salt tablet that dissolves and jacket inflates automatically

If your foot goes down in the snow, you create a "post hole"   and a penguin could fall into it so stay on the packed down trail.

You will smell the penguin colony before you see it.

You must wash your boots as much as possible on shore.

Guano is like glue, cemented to your boot.

You will know if someone on your floor has not cleaned their boots.

You will smell it.

There are NO TOILETS on shore. If you need to go to the toilet, we will take you back to the ship.

"It is light all night now."  

11:15 done with briefing.


Lunch is at 12 or 12:30?

It is posted at the end of the hall and I'm sure they will announce.

Boot fitting  boxes of boots. You can try on as many sizes as you need to find the correct fit with 2 pairs of socks.

I ended up with size 9 (men's sizes)

Quark people in the lobby at the end of corridor with vacuums.

"Would you like a vacuum?"  

I've never heard that before.

A bio hazard station. They are vacuuming everything that you will bring on shore so we don't introduce foreign things to Antarctica

"bio-secure"   your clothing means to get it vacuumed.



 Back to Top

Day 7: Tour Day 4: Thursday, December 4 Cape Horn, Crossing the Drake

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 04

56  º 54' S / 064  º 53' W

182 NM



+6  º C

+42.8  º F





Thursday 4th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

At Sea to Antarctica

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."    - Helen Keller



 Early morning tea, coffee and pastries are available in The Club (Deck 4)


Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 Climbers & Skiers: Mandatory Climbing & Skiing Briefing in The Restaurant (Deck 4)


 MANDATORY Landing Guidelines, Biosecurity, and Zodiac Safety Briefing with Expedition Leader Woody and Logistics Manager Flipper in the Main Lounge, Deck 5

TBA (Voyage Journal says this happened at 11:30)

 Biosecurity Procedures & Boot Distribution: During this morning, you will participate in a thorough cleaning of the clothing and equipment you expect to take ashore in Antarctica. During this, we will also distribute rubber boots. Please listen for further instructions.


 Kayakers & all interested in participating: Mandatory Sea Kayak Briefing & Orientation in The Restaurant (Deck 4)


Climbing & Skiing Gear Distribution: confirmed climbers, please pick up your gear on Deck 7 near stairwell


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 " Seabirds of the Southern Ocean', a presentation with our ornithologist Travis in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " A Whale of a Time', a presentation with our marine biologist Nick in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Lower Back Care Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Sign up at the Expedition Office by Noon. Minimum of 4, Maximum of 10.


 Sea Kayakers: Mandatory Kayak Safety Briefing and Gear Outfitting in the Observation Lounge (Deck 7)


 Afternoon tea is served in The Club (Deck 4)


 " 21 Steps to Better Photography', a presentation with our photography guide Dave in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Please join Captain Oleg and your Expedition Team for our Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 The Welcome Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and Restaurant (Deck 4)


 Bar Talk: A fine tradition on the Ocean Diamond, bar talks are light-hearted, brief and always entertaining! This evening, please join Woody for " Maritime Superstitions' in The Club (Deck 4)


 Documentary: BBC Blue Planet, episode, Frozen Seas will be screened in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)



Suzanna's Notes for Thursday December 4:


8 to 9 Breakfast. They had porridge!  (oatmeal). That's a good sign that this is going to be a great trip.

Diana and I packed a laundry bag this morning.


12:30 Lunch. Buffet with fish, chicken wings, Thai salad, etc etc etc

There is a dessert area. Chocolate pudding


There are barf bags on the handrails on every corridor and along the handrail for the staircases!  I took a picture of the barf bags.  As I was walking to my room a man rushed into the hall way, grabbed a barf bag and ran away. That is not good situation to be in.  Seems like everyone I've seen today is OK for most part.     If they are not OK, then of course no one can see them in their room.

Lisa had something called "Quese ease"    Sniff it when you don't feel well. It appeared to work for her. My theory is that if you convince yourself that it will work, then it will work.


After lunch

2 pm Lecture on birds by Chris  interesting things maybe for others, not me.

5:15 pm -  " 21 Steps to Better Photography', a presentation with our photography guide Dave in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)

Dave provided some great tips on how to take pictures in Antarctica. There's not much color here  lots of white, white, BLUE, more white, another splash of blue, sunset colors.

Some people have some very serious cameras.  Like, Gary. Thank you Gary!  Thank you for carrying all that heavy camera gear in your backpack and airplane carry on bag. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.  Especially the whale blowing, and the only picture of me sitting on my sleeping bag the night we camped.  Thank you to Kevin for organizing all of us to give him copies of our pictures and to Quark for encouraging us to copy our best photos to the ship computer and providing us a DVD of those photos on the last day of the expedition.

I'm not a good picture taker. I have a camera. It uses two double AA batteries (which I had to replace every day  batteries don't like cold weather).  I rely on my words, then my pictures help me organize my words.

Anyway, some people really learned a few things about their complicated camera (or their borrowed camera) settings.  He said to set exposure to "+1"   plus one) for all white Antarctic pix

Do not flash the penguins. You can flash the people but not the penguins.

He saves in RAW format because you never know when you will want a poster of a photo.  And you need special software to manage RAW format.  Light Room software to edit is $10 USD a month. Or save in JPG format.  That doesn't take up as much space.

I say again that I am NOT a good picture taker. I have to rely on my words. Maybe I can get someone else's good photos.


It's 6 now. I'm sitting in the club.

6:30 Captains Happy Hour and Intoroductions

Gym is on deck 6


11 degrees C to 8 Centigrade when we cross the Antarctic convergence flow of water around Antarctica.

We just moved into the convergence so we are finally in Antarctica!

We were lucky we had Drake Lake (not Drake shake)

Zodiac cruise and landing on stony cobblestone beach.

We'll see nesting Gentu and Chinstraps.

We will spend 1.5 hours ashore, then 1.5 hour cruising


Next day we'll Sail down Bransfield strait to ?

We will see "Colessiums of ice"   all around

7:30 dinner - Dinner choices:

Red Snapper

Prime Rib (I got this)

Penne Alfred

Veg Tofu Tempura

Apple tart or almond crà ¨me cake.

At dinner, 3 quark staff, 2 penguins guys and one other guy (Alex?) sat in our seats that we were reserving for other in our group but they choose to sit away from the group at their own small table. We had the opportunity to hear quark and ship stories. This boat was a "Ro-Ro"  . Alex said. Ride on-Ride off Ferry. The ship was "re-purposed"   for paying customers to go to the Antartctic.  There are about 120 staff for 189 guest.

Quark has 3 (or 5?) ships. One is a nuclear ship that stays on the Arctic. Needs really cold water to run the reactor. It requires 45 people just to run the reactor. Cost for passenger $27,000 for a triple.

That ship has more Quark people than passengers.

The other guy at the table was the penguin researcher.

He is working on his dissertation.

They have permanent cameras set up to record the penguin activity. There was another man who was on the ship to learn the dynamics of all the facets of this vessel. His company is supposed to build another ship for Quark. They were expressing needs and desires for this new ship. A mud room, lockers storage etc. Very interesting. Explained how an ice breaker ship works. Drive up on top of the ice and the weight of the bow is what breaks the ice.


9:15 Maritime superstitions talk

9:45 The Blue Planet show


10 pm bed time.

Overall a very nice day today.


 Back to Top

Day 8: Tour Day 5: Friday, December 5 -Cross Drake Passage

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 05

61  º 43' S / 060  º 44' W

507 NM


NNW 4.5

-1   º C

+30.2  º F






Friday 5th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

Barrientos Island,

South Shetland Islands

"I now belong to a higher cult of mortals, for I have seen the albatross."    - Robert Cushman Murphy 1912


 Early morning tea and coffee are available in The Club (Deck 4)


 Zodiac Hip-Openers Yoga with our wellness guide, Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Please sign up at the Expedition Office by 1030pm. Minimum of 4, Maximum of 15 spaces.


 Wake-up call

0800 Voyage Journal says "0800 Humpback Whales sighting"  


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 " Antarctica  The Geological History of a Continent  4.6 Billion Years Part 1' a presentation with our geologist Wolfgang, in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " Shackleton  A Feckless Irishman nearly reaches the South Pole', with our Expertin-Residence, Jonathan Shackleton in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Kayakers: " Orientation to the Kayaks', please meet in The Restaurant (Deck 4), bring sprayskirt, booties, wetpants and be prepared to go outside


 Skiers: please meet in the Observation Lounge (Deck 7) for a briefing


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 14:00)

 We hope to land and zodiac cruise at Barrientos Island, South Shetland Islands Barrientos Island is part of a small group of islands, called the Aitcho Islands, at the northern entrance to the English Strait. The islands were charted and named in 1936 by the Discovery Investigations (1925-39) for the Admiralty Hydrographic Office (the " H.O.'). Gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels are confirmed breeders on these islands and southern elephant seals and fur seals can sometimes be seen at haul outs and wallows.

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 18:45)

 Expedition Recap & Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and The Restaurant (Deck 4)


 Campers & those interested in participating: Mandatory Camping Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5). Please note that available spaces are very limited.


 In-Cabin Film: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure on Channel 26  Click on Adventure Guide     "Read more"   link.


Day 5-8: Visiting South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time Antarctica is visited, people witness something new or unexpected, meaning our expedition will be unlike any other - creating a unique, personal experience.

We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship with our on-board guides to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of the itinerary, we will visit penguin rookeries, scout for Humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the Cunning Leopard Seal.

The majesty of the Peninsula's mountains will enchant as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360 degree views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbor, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here we'll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you're feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!

Amidst the peaceful silence of Antarctica, noisy interruptions become indelible memories such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbor. You can make a bit of noise yourself too by listening to the echo of voices bounce off a giant glacier.

Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by the ship's Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate us on this wonderful part of the world.

Overnight on the ship (and 1 night optional camping on Antarctica!)

Optional Add-Ons

OPTIONAL: Camp 1 Night on Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary. VERY limited availability)                       $250.00

OPTIONAL: Sea-Kayaking in Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary.)                                                                    $950.00

OPTIONAL: Cross Country Skiing on Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary )                                                    $575.00


Suzanna's Notes for Friday December 5:


Before breakfast they announced hump back whales.

BTW, announcements are in English, Chinese, AND Japanese.  The other language person has to run to the microphone place, so the Chinese announcement guy was a little out of breath.

A couple more whale announcements.

At breakfast, a whale appears again on the other side of the dining room . The Chinese group made a LOUD OOOOhhhhhh, AAhhhhh"  ¦."   Quite a commotion of excitement.


9:30 am  I went to the lecture titles "Antarctica - The geological History of a continent: 4.6 billion years Part 1"   by geologist Wolfgang

99% of the Antarctic continent is covered by ice glaciers. Only 1 percent of the rocks are exposed.

That is all that geologist have to do research. Geologist need rocks.

Three parts

1 Eat Antarctic  found rocks 3.8 billion years old "Metamorphic rocks"  

2 Transantarctic Mountains  sedimentary rocks in the mountains.

"Orogeny"   500 million years old.

3 Antarctic Peninsula  granite and basalts: Rocks age 40 years old

What is a rock?

Rocks are naturally occurring aggregate of minerals

Granite rock has 4 minerals

1 Orthoclase feldspar

2 Plagioclase flefspar - white

3 Quartz

4 Biotite  black dots in the granite

Rock "naturally formed form, and coherent mass of minerals"  

He explained that sedimentary rock layers with a slice of cake. Many layers of cake, filling, cake, fruit, cake, icing layers like sedimentary rocks. Upper levels are younger, and lower levels are oldest.

During the lecture, the boat hit something. Everyone was silent looking at each other.

The geologist giving the lecture looked quite surprised.  "What was that?"   he said to the group.

We found out that the Helmsman was driving and we hit / bumped the iceberg !!!!! .

Then there was a  second bump from back end of the ship.

Someone in the bridge said the Helmsman had big wide eyes like he was saying "Oh Shit!"  , but the Captain appeared calm.


I wandered up to the observation deck.  There was lecture for staff to explain emergency procedure.  The "Abandon ship"   sound is one long blast.

If you hear seven short and one long  go to muster station. When everyone is out he explained how to close the fire door to stop fire from spreading, and to keep the fire from expanding.  When the door is shut, it seals the corridor. To open, press the red button.

Odd number cabins in Boat 1

Even number cabins Boat 2


11 am I went to the lecture titled "Shackleton  A Feckless Irishman nearly reaches the South Pole"   by Jonathan Shackleton, our expert in residence.

Click here to see all of the Shackleton Expedition information in this journal. 73



Info that I found out when I had Dinner with Shackleton

Shackleton has done 31 trips to the peninsula. He has done more trips elsewhere on the continent.

He has only"  ¦ever seen an emperor one other time.

In other places in Antarctica he saw 24,000 pairs of emperor penguins!!!

He saw 5,000 penguins in Waddell Sea.


12:30 Lunch buffet

Reserving seats at our big 8-seat tables  Overflow people sat at the adjacent 2-person tables or had to go upstairs.


Barrientos Island, South Shetland Islands.  Click here for more pictures of this place and the penguins.

First Zodiac on Friday 2 pm departure to Barrientos Island,

We were dropped on the black sand beach shore.



Hike up to the penguin colonies.  Walk around the penguins.  Stay on the marked trail.

Don't stop until you get to the next flag because you are crossing the penguin hiway.

Do not stop on the penguin hiway.

Many people were taking many photos.  Everyone got lots of pictures at the top. 

We were standing there in awe of what we were seeing and where we were.


There was a small group of Asians that were so excited, they were a bit loud singing, talking, posing for pix.

On the trip back, stopped for penguin crossing. A group of penguins seemed agitated. A Quark person moved the train further from them so we disturb them less.

Gary pointed out the camera in the large group of penguins.


We went back to the beach. Get on Zodiac in groups of 10-14. Then a Zodiac cruise for about an hour. We saw seals, birds and more penguins. Rock outcroppings.

5:30 dinner

6:45 recap and briefing in the Main Lounge

In the book in the main lobby, mark/verify you "preferred name"  .

Share your pictures in the computer at the back of the Main Lounge.

1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour

25 K miles is the circumference of the earth.

Bottles of wine is an anti-sickness serum



We saw hump back whales. The largest whale.

The underside of whale tails is like a fingerprint.

Every one whale has it's own signature.

We were at Barrientos Island,

We walked on "Dee Island"   I think.

Wilhelmina Bay tomorrow  it is a massive glaciated bay

We will land near Danko Istland. Walk to high point


7:30 Camping briefing

Camp tomorrow nite!

I put all the camping information together. Click here to jump to my notes that I took during the camping briefing


 Back to Top

Day 9: Tour Day 6: Saturday, December 6  Camping tonight

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 06

64  º 31' S / 062  º 12' W

720 NM



+1   º C

+33.8  º F





Saturday 6th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond


Wilhelmina Bay & Danco Island

"Glittering white, shining blue, raven black, in the light of the sun the land looks like a fairy-tale. Pinnacle after pinnacle, peak after peak, crevassed, wild as any land on our globe, it lies, unseen and untrodden."   - Roald Amundsen



 Early morning tea and coffee are available in The Club (Deck 4)


 Wake-up call


 Rise & Shine Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Please sign up at the Expedition Office by 1030pm. Minimum of 4, Maximum of 15.


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)

Kayakers, please meet briefly in The Restaurant at the beginning of breakfast (Deck 4)


TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 08:45)

We hope to zodiac cruise in Wilhelmina Bay


Wilhelmina Bay lies between Reclus Peninsula and Cape Anna, along the west coast of Graham Land. It was discovered by Adrien de Gerlache during the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-99, and named for Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who was 18 years of age at the time and reigned until 1948. It is a large 24-kilometre (15-mile) wide, glaciated bay containing many islands, occasionally visited by whales.


08:45 Voyage Journal says "Climbing on Fleurus island"  

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 11:45)

 Campers, please join Ryan & Staff for Camping Gear Distribution in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 14:30 at Danco Island)

 We hope to land and zodiac cruise at Danco Island


Danco Island lies in the southern end of the Errera Channel. It is relatively small, 1.6 km (1 mi) long and high (180 m or 590 ft). The view from the top of Danco Island is spectacular due to the heavily crevassed glaciers in the surrounding mountains. Beautiful rolled icebergs tend to collect in this area of the channel. Danco Island is home to approximately 1,600 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins which breed quite high up on the slopes. Danco Island was also home to the British Antarctic Survey's Station O. Fieldwork conducted from this hut focused on surveying the region and geological research. It was closed in 1959 when work was completed and the hut was removed in 2004.


TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 18:40)

 Expedition Recap & Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Early Dinner for campers in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and Restaurant (Deck 4)

TBA (Voyage Journal says this happened at 21:15)

 Campers, please prepare to head to shore for a night camped on the ice!

Listen for announcements after dinner.


 Movie Night: Please join us for the screening of " Chef' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Bring a drink from The Club, Popcorn will be served!


 In-Cabin Film: BBC Frozen Planet series, " To the Ends of the Earth', on Channel 26



Suzanna's Notes for Saturday December 6:

Wake up alarm at 7 am. 7:30 Breakfast.

After breakfast, go back to room and put on long underwear, layer 1, layer 2, layer 3, hat, gloves, socks and more socks, boots.

8:45 line up for Zodiacs

We did a 1.5 hour ride. It was truly spectacular.

I wish I brought my writing pad. Shackleton was on our boat. Here is our guide Yukie Hayashi and Jonathan Shackleton, our "Expert in Residence"


This is my way of visualizing a penguin with words:

waddle, waddle, splat, rest, rest, hop up, waddle, waddle, flap, flap, "quaaakkk"  , waddle.

Flap wings and bee bop along.

They lift their wings to cool off.


The Emperer Sighting

So we are zipping around in our zodiac and the driver gets an urgent call. 

She high-gears us over to where the other populace is residing. 

Several other zodiacs are already there. Circling, don't get too close! 

 A VERY RARE sighting: We saw an Emperor today!!  He was standing on a small iceberg.

There were 2 Adele (the smallest Penguins) with him on the iceberg.  Emperor is the largest penguin.

We were  “Very lucky to see emperor  

The zodiac driver said this was the second time she has seen an Emperor in three years.

Shackleton said that he has done 31 trips to the peninsula ( and more trips elsewhere on the continent) .  He has only seen an emperor ONE OTHER TIME!!!    


At the evening briefing, Woody got all excited  “Seeing the emperor today was  “MIND BLOWING ‚ ¬  and everybody screamed in unison    so exciting to have such good luck.

 Ã¢â‚¬Å“You are a very, very lucky group.  

About the Emperor:

The largest penguin.

100-120 meter dives. 300-400 feet dives. Deepest dive is 564 meters, 1864 feet recorded dive

The Emperor never sets foot on land, they only stand on ice/snow.

They are very skiddish. So it was very unusual to get that close Mr. Emperor.

Emperor is the largest penguin.

100-120 meter dives. 300-400 feet dives. Deepest dive is 564 meters, 1864 feet recorded dive.


 Click here for EMPEROR pictures of this amazing sighting


Emperor penguin, off on holiday in Wilhelmina Bay.
This penguin was well out of its normal colony range, a very unusual and exciting find!
Also atop the ice were several Adelie penguins, making a stunning photograph of the two true Antarctic penguin species.


As we were starting out on our zodiac excursion, we saw the climbers starting their trek up.  When we came back, we saw them summit.

Click here for pictures of the CLIMBERS.


We traversed through an "iceberg graveyard"  .

We paused the boat to observe a ROLLING ICEBERG.

It was trying to find its balance point in the water. 

Very cool.

It would pause, then adjust, twist 30 degrees, pause, roll 90 degrees, pause, roll over, pause, roll again.

I could have watched that for hours.

Some boats saw an Antarctic Minke whale.


Back to the ship for Lunch.

After lunch, get dressed out again for an afternoon Zodiac excursion.



2:30 we left. Bright sunshiny day!.

We got dropped on Danco Island. 

1 mile (1.6 km) long and 590 feet (180 m) high

From the program:

"The view from the top of Danco Island is spectacular due to the heavily crevassed glaciers in the surrounding mountains. Beautiful rolled icebergs tend to collect in this area of the channel. Danco Island is home to approximately 1,600 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins which breed quite high up on the slopes. Danco Island was also home to the British Antarctic Survey's Station O. Fieldwork conducted from this hut focused on surveying the region and geological research. It was closed in 1959 when work was completed and the hut was removed in 2004."  


About 30 of us hiked up. I went half way up, then stopped, sat (plopped down on the snow), got out my pad and started writing.  Trying to capture to moment. Some people do it with pictures. But I do it with words, for me.

I see a colony of maybe 200 penguins in front of me right now.

Every so often, there is a loud squawking ruckus.

The penguin beaks are all pointed up into the air.

Noises. I hear squeaky honking noises.

Behind me are bulked up humans tramping further up the mountain.     The sum was out and the humans were extra warm, so they shed layer as they traversed higher on the mount: Hot sweat up the hill

I'm observing:

There is one penguin that is not on the rocks. He is on his belly: he has done a face plant in the snow. He hears us, and lift his head to look.  He doesn't seem to mind us.

I hear cooing and gurgling.

Rustling, and shuffling.

Light taps are the sounds of small pebbles  held Oh so carefully in his mouth, it is presented to the spouse for review, and if the stone is suitable for the nest which shelters their egg, the addition is added to the nest.

Endless additions are required to build an adequate abode for the soon-to-come little one.


Jeff tried to record a sound bite  as soon as he started the recording, there was silence. The penguins went silent  not a peep.

When penguins make sounds, there is sound like "Non stop rolling R's"  

A group of penguins is a "colony"  .

5:45 and we are back at the ship

We had to wash hour shoes in the shower and brush the bottoms and side.  The bottom of my pants got damp, but the blow dryer worked great. Even the neoprene is more dry than wet now.

6:40 recap and debreifing in the Main lounge.

They announced that it is very unusual that we saw all 3 penguins in one day:  Gentu, Chinstrap, Adelie 

Re: Emperor. They said "We will not see one. They are very far South. So it is very unlikely that we will see an Emperor"  

Then Woody got all excited "Seeing the emperor today was "MIND BLOWING"   and everybody screamed in unison  so exciting to have such good luck.

"You are a very, very lucky group."  

7 dinner

Camping tonight  so I ate a very small amount of food at dinner. I got the duck meat entree. Yum. Ate half of the flan dessert.

I also prepared for this night of camping by quit drinking fluids about 2 pm yesterday. I don't care if I get dehydrated. I don't want to need the toilet at 3 am.  I want to be able to stay tucked into my sleeping bag all night"  ¦..

After dinner  prepare for camping - I put on two pair wool long underwear, I silk long underwear, ski pants, water proof pants.

On top was 4 layers: silk, poly blend long sleeve, wool blend turtle neck, wool sweater. Yellow jacket.


Click here for camping pictures of this amazing adventure.


Optional Add-Ons

OPTIONAL: Camp 1 Night on Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary. VERY limited availability)                       $250.00

Camping on Antarctica Treat yourself to an overnight camping adventure in the near 24-hour sunlight! The popular camping option is very limited, subject to availability and on a first booked basis. The ship takes care of all of the equipment (including cold weather tents and sleeping bags) so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy the quietness of Antarctica - away from the ship. For photographers, this is a great opportunity to take time to slow things down and compose some special images. Campers are normally paired up in 2-person tents, however solo travelers may be accommodated for if there is availability. In addition to tents, you may have the option to sleep overnight in a small waterproof shelter known as a bivy sack. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out as no meals are allowed on land. You will need to complete a waiver form before being considered for this adventure option.

Timelapse: Summer Solstice in Antarctica     Published on Jul 28, 2014

Last year, the sky was so captivating several passengers and crew aboard the Ocean Diamond camped out on the 7th continent, to witness the beautiful summer solstice from their tents.

For information on this amazing phenomenon visit:

Summer Solstice in Antarctica  Like Nowhere Else on Earth

Also see:


 Camping information that we got at the breifing from last night:

Camping rule #1: Don't Die

Do not stress. Do not sweat.

It's all about being here.


Campers have an early dinner at 7.

About 9 pm we a Zodiaced to the shore. We camp all night, The wake-up call is at 5:15.

There are 50 Bivy bags

Your parka is your pillow.

Wear a tok (hat).

No sandals. Clean new sox on sweaty feet are bad.

No drinking.

The "bathroom"   will be a barrel with plastic bag.

"Leave no trace"   camping. Leave no garbage, nothing.  Make sure nothing blows away.

We picked up our sleeping bag liner and sleeping bag  all freshly washed.

You have to put the liner in the bag, then somehow get the bag back into the little sack it came out of.  That is not an easy task.  You have to be an expert stuffer to do that.



Getting to the camping island:

8:50 pm and we are at the exit door

Standing, sweating, anticipation building.

9:15 pm deported (or rather "departed"  ) to the ice. Banished for the night.

It was announced that "we will return with Shakelton-esk stories"  

The first Zodiac is loaded. Tish starts down the stairs. An iceberg hits the stairs!

They went into emergency mode.

How shall I say, they handled Tish "aggressively"  . They were concerned about her safety and she was not safe on the steps.  They grabbed her, and forced her back up the stairs and pushed her into the ship.

Another Zodiac tried to push the iceberg away. The Zodiac went up on top of the iceberg.

So the Zodiac was trying to do the job of an icebreaker, but it failed. Alas, as much as that small rubber boat wanted to think it could move mountains, it was just a rubber boat and the ice won that round.

Then we had to change exit doors.

We were on the Deck 3 and we had to haul everything, sleeping bag, bivy rolls, up to Deck 5 to exit the other way. I was so HOT and sweaty wearing all the clothes for outside doing stairs in the ship.

Finally in the Zodiac. It's about a 5 minute ride to the island.


To "Reclus Penninsula"  

Disembark in a water landing.

There is deep snow on the island.  With each step, you sink past your anklesp.  When you lift your foot from the post hole, you see a beautiful light blue color at the bottom of the hole.

I stood there for awhile looking at this amazingly beautiful spot where we were going to spend the night.

It was huge open area of deep snow  and right behind us were MOUNTAINS.

Some campers went as far up as possible (but we were no allowed to cross the crossed flags).

Our group stayed near the water.  Diana had already found a great spot at the end of a row of our group bivy's. We had a long line of our bivy's.

It was very surreal just to stand there and look and gawk.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous. The anticipation about this event had been building for over a year since I booked this trip August 2013. Now here I am.

The last zodiac left and we are stuck for the night.

I still could not believe I was doing that. Here I am on Antarctica for the whole night!

They built a toilet area. They gave us a briefing on the toilets - It was a bucket with a 4' high snow wall around it.  Very private"  ¦

Then everybody was off to prepare their bed down spot or erect their tent.

You have to prepare your sleeping site: stamp down the snow and push it aside so you are in a shallow grave.

Maybe "grave"   is not best word here.

Rewind: Prepare your site: Stamp down the snow and push it aside so you are in a cozy spot with the snow hugging you all round. Yes that sounds better.

Diana helped me stamp out my spot.

When you are doing your stamping, make sure you prepare a smooth surface to lay on. "Smooth"   so you don't have any snow clumps in your back.

Put down pad, unroll bivy sack with sleeping bag inside on top of the pad. Done.

Now the hard part. Sit down, take off these oh-so-warm, very tight, high up-to-the knee boots.  Not an easy task while you're sitting on the ground.

I recommend you practice doing that in your room  it's not good to work up a sweat getting your boots off outside sitting on your bag.

Put one boot inside the other.  You can use the boots as a pillow, or I put them at my feet top of the pad, under your bivy sak.  In the morning they were on the COLD snow.

Next, remove waterproof pants and ski pants. Stuff them into the bag, but not in the liner.  Now wiggle into the liner in the sleeping bag. That was tricky. A lot of adjusting things. 

You have keep your camera and batteries in your bag. My camera was in the liner. Nice and warm.

Sit up and take off my big yellow parka, zip it up, roll into pillow and put if under the head of my bag. Now I wiggle down into the bag.  Finally a moment to realize what was about to happen.

I'm going to stay here all night. The sky was my roof, and the snow was my floor.

Oh the sky. What a sunset we had to put us to bed.  Pink colors splashed across the horizon against a blue sky with scattered clouds.  Snow-capped mountains, light, plus glaciers 100 feet high, and behind us, the mountain on our island. It was almost too much to take in.  Pure perfection above and beyond anything that I ever expected to see or experience. I tried to absorb as much of the experience as possible so I can return to that place in my mind.

Just laying there in my bag, head propped up on my pillow and seeing something that does not exist anywhere else in the world.  And here I was plopped in the middle of glaciated seduction. A small blip on this monstrously large continent. And I had all night to enjoy it.

It was 11 pm when we bedded down.

I opened a Hot hands packet, and hunkered down - sink down into my sleeping bag, trying not to send the liner to the bottom.

Put the hot packet where you need it most.

The bag is like a tight cocoon. I could not get the hot pack to my feet cause the bag was so tight. I kept 3 pairs of sox on. Wiggling my toes kept them warm enough.

I have to sleep on my side, so I try roll side ways. Easier said than done.  I get situated on my side. It's still very light outside.  No darkness at all. Everything in full view. But I needed to get some shut eye.  I pulled my head band over my eyes and my touk (hat) over my forehead. Only my nose and mouth were exposed. Sink down into the sleeping bag. Pull the bag and bivy up over my head. I had opened a hand warmer.  When I felt cool some place I put the warmer in that place. I stayed tucked into the shirts in my back most of the night.

I rolled over to my other side, had to get situated again. The pants that I stuffed in my bag felt like anoher person. I pushed the clothes aside, then sleep.


I did not wear ear plugs. So I could hear everything.

I was dead asleep, then I was awakened by a HUGE LOUD BOOMING noises.  THUNDER!    

My first thought was how I would hunker down and survive and stay comfortable if it started raining.

Rolling thunder noises. It was all around us, the thunder.        It sounded like it was going to rain ?!?!  No way.


I pull my head out of the bag, uncover my eyes and saw a glacier breaking and avalanches on the mountain behind us!

It was not thunder from rain clouds, it was glacier breaking off. Crash and fall in to the water. 


Then I wondered about the wave, would it be high enough splash up on our shore.  No worrries. It didn't .  Three times that night, I heard the "thunder booming noises"  .  Some in the group watched the avalanch come down the mountain behind us. Excuse me!  Avalanches right behind us! Imaging getting covered in snow from that.  No , don't imagine, Just trust that the Ocean Diamond crew is experienced in picking a safe camp site.  It was safe so I did not allow my self to worry.

It really was truly amazing!!    

It stayed light all night so I could have looked up behind me and watch the deadly commotion.  It was very tricky to resituate everything and get all tucked in again until the next glacier calving that you strained to see out in the bay.

When I rolled to my side, I found that I was off the pad and on the snow, I guess it takes practice to learn how to adjust to different positions in that tight little bag. That was my first time winter camping in brutal weather. I think I fared pretty good.

Overall a very amazing experience to be outside all night listening to birds and cracking and volumes of snow and ice calving down.

I looked my watch and it was 4 am.  Still a very bright, light sky.

I pull the headband over my eyes and everything closes off to darkness. Pll the bag over my head and drift off to sleep again. Oops. I had rolled off the pad and I'm laying on the snow.  Thanks goodness for the bivy. From inside my bag I tried to feel where was the pad.  I scooted my cocooned self to the left.  I was hoping that I was on the pad.  I hear snoring somewhere. I did not put in my earplugs. I could ignore the snoring and drift off to sleep again.

I did not hear the 5 am wake up call. I heard commotion around me. Time to wake up. I managed to get my ski pants and water proof pants on.  Then unroll my yellow parka and put it on. My boots were laying on the snow. I guess I kicked them off the pad. Pull them apart, shove my foot in one boot then the other.  Warmth factor was ok for now. 

Rated for negative 10 degrees.  That does not mean that the bag will keep you warm at -10, that means that the bag will keep you alive at that temp.

"  ¦  I was very comfortable the entire night.  I had four layers on top, and three layers on the bottom and wore three pairs of sox (one wicking, two wool. Toes got a little chilly, but I wiggled them an they wored up.


Next challenge, get the bivy, bag and liner back into tiny outer bag.  Roll,squish air out. Roll squish again, roll, squish. Cram it into the bag. Shove , cram, push, squish. I got most of it in. 

People were lining up to get on the first zodiac at 6 am. 

I folded my pad, pick up back pack, and sleeping bag roll, slow walk over to the zodiac line. Thinking what a truly amazing experience I had just been privy to. How many people have been able to do that  all night on Antarctica. That will be one of my great memories. Along with jumping the security barriers at Angor Wat and Machu Pichu to get a specific photo to compare 50 years difference in that location.

This is definitely an amazing place.



Day 10: Tour Day 7: Sunday, December 7

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 07

64  º 42' S / 062  º 58' W

762 NM


NE 6

+2   º C

+35.6  º F





Sunday 7th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

Lemaire Channel, Pleneau &

Petermann Islands, Antarctica

"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in the water"  ¦its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past and prepares the future."   - Lorne Eisley


 Campers return to the ship after a night camped on the ice!


 Early morning tea, coffee and pastries are served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


11:00  Voyage Journal says "Zodiac Cruise at "Cape Renard, Lamaire entrance



 We hope to ship cruise through the Lemaire Channel. The channel can be full of icebergs and sea ice which makes manoeuvring difficult. Join us on the bow deck where hot chocolate will be served as we take in the breathtaking scenery. This may be a good location for seeing crabeater seals, Weddell seals and leopard seals hauled out on ice floes and Minke whales in transit.


 We hope to zodiac cruise in Pleneau Bay, near Pleneau Island


Pleneau Island lies just south of the Lemaire Channel, between Hovgaard Island and Booth Island. The island is home to a gentoo penguin colony and is occasionally used as a haul-out site by elephant seals. It also lies adjacent to an iceberg gallery, where both large tabular icebergs and older, rolled icebergs have run aground. Many of these icebergs have originated from as far south as the Ross Ice Shelf.


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 We hope to land and zodiac cruise at Petermann Island


Petermann Island lies just off Pleneau Island. It is home to Adelie penguins, one of the most southerly colonies of gentoo penguins in Antarctica and blue-eyed shags. There are stunning views from Petermann Island both looking north towards the Lemaire Channel and south, to the mountainous landscape of Graham Land.


14:30 Voyage Journal says "Presentation: A selected Antarctic Peninsuly history 1897  1937) By Victoria at 14:30)


TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 21:45)

 Expedition Recap & Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and Restaurant (Deck 4)


 Bar Talk: Join Jonathan Shackleton for his short talk, " Penguins in the Library' in The Club (Deck 4)


 In-Cabin Film: " March of the Penguins' on Channel 26


 Documentary: BBC Frozen Planet episode, " Spring' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)



 Back to Top


Suzanna's Notes for Sunday December 7:

Early morning 6:30 am, we returned to the warm, inviting, comfortable ship where coffee, tea, cocoa, and sweet delicacies awaited our arrival.  I really didn't feel like I was roughing it that much.

I was sure glad to have had that experience and at the same time, I was sure glad the experience was over.  Lots of "Shackleton-esk"   stories at breakfast.  Who was in a tent, who froze to death, who was the first person in line to get off the island"  ¦.

The schedule said "We hope to ship cruise through the Lemaire Channel"  

Well, we did NOT enter Lemaire due to ice.

They scheduled Zodiac tours around the sea ice!

11 am  we did a Zodiac excursion for an hour. It was Wet. We paused along the shore to see beautiful glaciers.

Then we approached the pass that we were supposed to go through. We were surrounded by ice.

The ship had to turn around. We went 40? Nautical miles around

Now go to Ambor Bay. Arrived around 4:30 ETA

2:30 I attended a lecture titles "A selected Antarctic Peninsuly History 1897-1937"  

DeGerlache (Belgian)

Nordenskjold (Swedish)

Charot (French)

Rymill (british)

They all had expedition, but we don't hear much about those expeditions since generally nothing much went wrong.

They found that it was a peninsula, not an archipelago of islands.


It is Illegal to kill a penguin for food.


For the lectures in the Lounge  they provided a translation radio for the Chinese and another one for theJapanese who don't understand English.

So don't sit on left in the back of the Main Lounge because the Chinese person is talking into the cone for the radios is bit distracting.

Nicholas was collecting passenger email addresses.  As I write thie, it's been 11 months since the cruise, I don't recall getting any emails from Quark.


We did not go to Petermann Island because we had to turn around.     

Went to Nico Harbor/ Bay instead.

I did the zodiac this morning I opted out the afternoon adventure.     I got lots of pictures of the landing where they took the zodiacs. It's a hike up.

I went to the bridge (where the captain steers the ship) I took photos. I was the only observer there. Now I'm the only person in the observation deck. Enjoying the solitude.

I think I hear the two men on the bridge that we are drifting. We floated slowly thru a mine field of ice chunks. It looks like thicker, denser crud stuff ahead. Maybe were going thru that also? 

It is 6:50 now. The Zodiacs went out at 5:15. 

I'm glad I brought my computer on the cruise, so I can (attempt to) capture the essence of these experiences.  Who am I kidding.  I can only write the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much more: the water, so many more words that maybe could adequately describe this voyage.  I do my best to record what I know I will need to read to pull me back to this place.

At breakfast and at lunch, the big tables had no more chairs. I sat at the small 2 person table near the big table.  I think I'll ask for a seat with other travelers if that happens again.


7:45 now. Dinner in 15 minutes. (At 8 pm)

I took my (sea sickness) patch off. I'll put on another patch before we go thru the Drake again.

On the Observation Deck there is huge globe of the WORLD.  The globe is upsidown with Antarctica on top. I'm not accustomed to seeing a globe that way.

The group just got back. They had to move the Zodiac to avoid the waves caused by the falling (calving is such an odd word) glacier.

We were in Nikko Harbor today. The penguin guys top location.

Help them monitor penguins at

Emperor, adelie and chinstrap males take the first incubation shifts.

Emperor's breed in the winter so their chick is ready to be weened in summer

At the evening daily recap in the Main Lounge:

It was "A true expedition day because we didn't do anything we had planned to do."  

An Ice- clogged channel changed our plans.

sunrise time is 2:35 am

There are "Ski and Kayak opportunities during the entire trip"  

Zodiac outing tomorrow (Monday) sail up to S. Shetland Island.

Our last outing is Tuesday morning, than after that we are headed through the Drake. And BTW, there is a storm brewing in the Drake.

10:15 pm recap is over

Bed and sleep.


Back to Top

Day 11: Tour Day 8: Monday, December 8

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 08

64  º 49' S / 063  º 30' W

876 NM


NE 1

+2   º C

+35.6  º F





Monday 8th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

Damoy Point & Port Lockroy

"To dine with a glacier on a sunny day is a glorious thing and makes feasts of meat and wine ridiculous. The glacier eats hills and drinks sunbeams."   - John Muir


 Early morning coffee, tea and pastries are served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Rise & Shine Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Please sign up at the Expedition Office by 1100pm. Minimum of 4, maximum of 15


 Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 08:45)

 We hope to land and cruise at Damoy Point and Dorian Bay

Damoy Point lies at the northern entrance to Port Lockroy, on the west side of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago. There is a repaired British hut, previously used as a transit station for personnel and supplies to be taken from the ship and flown south in early summer when sea ice blocked access to Rothera (Station R). It was used intermittently between 1973 and 1993 and cleaned up in 1996/7. A gentoo penguin colony of approximately 1600 breeding pairs can be found nearby, between Damoy Point and Dorian Bay.

1200  (Voyage Journal says "Polar Plunge! 60 Plungers, Deck 3 Gangway at 12:00



 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 14:30)

 We hope to land at Goudier Island and Jougla Point, Port Lockroy


Goudier Island lies on the western side of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago, and is home to the restored British Antarctic Survey (BAS) hut, museum and gift shop. The BAS hut was occupied between 1944 and 1962, restored in 1996, and is open to visitors during austral summers. The gentoo penguin colony at this site is part of a long-term study monitoring the impact of tourist activities on penguins. Please do not enter control sites (usually marked by signs).

Jougla Point is a rocky peninsula indented with small coves and a raised beach. Gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed shags and skuas breed on the island among rounded cobbles, boulders and pebbles. Weddell seals occasionally haul out along the Alice Creek shoreline, which is strewn with whalebones.


 As Port Lockroy and Jougla Point can only accommodate a small number of people,we will divide the ship into two groups and have half go ashore at a time.


1st Part of Excursion:

GROUP 1 (Guests on Decks 3, 4, Amazing Group & Head Out Adventure Group) are invited to land at Goudier Island & Jougla Point, Port Lockroy


GROUP 2 (Guests on Decks 5, 6, 7 & Cruise Life Group) are invited to join us for Wolfgang's talk " Antarctica  The Geological History of a Continent  4.6 Billion Years in 46 minutes  Part 2' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


2nd Part of Excursion:

GROUP 1 (Guests on Decks 3, 4, Amazing Group & Head Out Adventure Group) will return to the ship and are invited to join us for Wolfgang's talk " Antarctica  The Geological History of a Continent  4.6 Billion Years in 46 minutes  Part 2' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


GROUP 2 (Guests on Decks 5, 6, 7 & Cruise Life Group will be invited to land at Goudier Island & Jougla Point, Port Lockroy


 Expedition Recap & Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5), if time permits.


 Antarctic BBQ Dinner is served outside on Deck 6! Don't forget to wear a crazy and creative hat!


 Bar Talk: Join Jonathan Shackleton, for his short talk " Penguins in the Library' in The Club (Deck 4)


 Documentary: BBC Frozen Planet, episode " Summer' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 In-Cabin Film: BBC Life in the Freezer on Channel 26



Suzanna's Notes for Monday December 8:

Monday Morning at 6:50 AM  BEFORE the Wake up bells - we get a loudspeaker announcement about Orka's at 1:00 position.

7 wake up.

7:30 breakfast


Morning excursion - We landed at Damoy Point and Dorian Bay


Damoy Point lies at the northern entrance to Port Lockroy, on the west side of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago.

Historical hut:  There is a repaired British hut, previously used as a transit station for personnel and supplies to be taken from the ship and flown south in early summer when sea ice blocked access to Rothera (Station R).

It was used intermittently between 1973 and 1993 and cleaned up in 1996/7.

A gentoo penguin colony of approximately 1600 breeding pairs can be found nearby, between Damoy Point and Dorian Bay.


12:30 Lunch


Monday afternoon excursion was divided into two groups and two excursions. Because Port Lockroy and Jougla Point can only accommodate a small number of people. The  ship was divided  into two groups and half went ashore at a time.

I was in GROUP 1 (Guests on Decks 3, 4, Amazing Group & Head Out Adventure Group)

1st Part of Excursion:

Click here for pictures of Port Lockroy

Guests are invited to land at Goudier Island & Jougla Point, Port Lockroy


Port Lockroy  nesting shags

Bring a credit card , no American Express


Penguin studies have found that there is no difference to breeding in are with visitors and area with out vistors


Goudier Island lies on the western side of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago, and is home to the restored British Antarctic Survey (BAS) hut, museum and gift shop. The BAS hut was occupied between 1944 and 1962, restored in 1996, and is open to visitors during austral summers.

The gentoo penguin colony at this site is part of a long-term study monitoring the impact of tourist activities on penguins. Please do not enter control sites (usually marked by signs).

Jougla Point is a rocky peninsula indented with small coves and a raised beach.

Gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed shags and skuas breed on the island among rounded cobbles, boulders and pebbles.

Weddell seals occasionally haul out along the Alice Creek shoreline, which is strewn with whalebones.


2nd Part

Group 1 Part 2

Wolfgang presentation


GROUP 1 (Guests on Decks 3, 4, Amazing Group & Head Out Adventure Group) will return to the ship and are invited to join us for Wolfgang's talk " Antarctica  The Geological History of a Continent  4.6 Billion Years in 46 minutes  Part 2' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


Saw buildings. One had solar panels, windmill. Z to other side of the same island. Lots and lots of peng. A nesting cormorant.

A group us, about 10 people watching the penguin by the whale bones. We start to walk toward the Zodiac and mister penguin waddles toward our path. We all stop dead in our tracks. Silence. Waddle, waddle. In front of us, across our path. Oh no!  The pengy fell into a deep footprint (a "post hole"  ) that was in fresh snow on the other side of the path. Somebody did not walk on the packed snow, they veered off the path, made a post-hole, and not this penguin had to maneuver to get out of that hole.  We were all so quiet (there were no Chinese around) we could hear fresh squish squish sound of each little penguin foot sinking into the snow to make a perfect little print in the snow as he waddled along. Very cool.. His tail made a swoosh, swoosh sound and his a delicate squish squish. That is the best I can do to describe it for now.  You really had to be there"  ¦


Calm water misty rain / snow.

Wear xtra layers.

I came up to observation deck

I love it that the staff is out there with their big cameras also.

Our last day on the peninsula

Tomorrow we head to South Shetland


Polar plunge before lunch

Click here for Polar plunge pictures.


One last morning excustion tomorrow.

Drake-proof your gear

Silver Explorer ship leaving early also. Could be 2 to three days.

We are lucky  we will get to experience both extremes of the Drake passage.


 Back to Top

Day 12: Tour Day 9: Tuesday, December 9 Deception, Cross Drake Passage

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 09

63  º 05' S / 060  º 31' W

1021 NM



-1   º C

+30.2  º F





Tuesday 9th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond


Whalers Bay, Deception Island

"I felt as though I had been plumped upon another planet or into another geologic horizon of which man had no knowledge or memory."    - Antarctic aviator Admiral Richard E. Byrd in " Alone'


 Early morning tea, coffee and pastries are available in The Club (Deck 4)


 Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 08:30)

 We hope to sail through Neptune's Bellows, the entrance through the caldera wall of Deception Island. Be out on deck to watch the Captain's masterful navigation of this narrow entrance.

TBA  (Voyage Journal says this happened at 09:30)

 We hope to land and zodiac cruise at Whalers Bay, South Shetland Islands


Whalers Bay is the first bay encountered inside Port Foster as one passes through Neptune's Bellows at Deception Island. It was given its name by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot due to the whaling activities undertaken in this bay in the 1900's. The buildings include the remains of the Norwegian Aktieselskabet Hektor whaling station and a British Antarctic Survey base which was evacuated in 1967 during an eruption. The BAS base, Station B had been a centre for aircraft operations in 1955-57 and 1959-69. Meteorological and geological research had also been conducted at this site. The beach is covered in ash and cinder, under which can be seen barrels, whalebones and other artefacts from the whaling and research groups that once operated here.


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 " Penguin Lifelines' a presentation with our Experts-in-Residence, Tom Hart & Mike Polito in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Film: " Sharkwater' with an introduction by our marine biologist Chris in the Observation Lounge (Deck 7)


 Restorative Practice (Neck & Shoulders, Lower Back) Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge Sign up at the Expedition Office by noon. Minimum of 4 and maximum of 15 spaces.


 Afternoon Tea is served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Expedition Recap & Briefing in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Toast to Antarctica & Antarctic Charity Auction in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and Restaurant (Deck 4)


 Jeopardy  Antarctic Edition, with your hosts, Nick & Dave Trebec, in The Club (Deck 4)


 Film: BBC Frozen Planet, episode Autumn in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 In-Cabin Film: " March of the Penguins' on Channel 26



The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time with your fellow GEC group members, go out on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by the ship's Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.


Suzanna's Notes for Tuesday December 9:


Our last excursion

On Deception Island

Deception Island is an island in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, with one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. This island is the caldera of an active volcano, which seriously damaged local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969. The island previously held a whaling station; it is now a tourist destination and scientific outpost, with Argentine and Spanish research bases. While various countries have asserted sovereignty, it is still administered under the Antarctic Treaty System.

The island is approximately circular with a diameter of about 12 km (7.5 mi). A peak on the east side of the island, Mount Pond, has an elevation of 542 m (1,778 ft), and over half the island is covered by glaciers. The centre of the island is a caldera formed in a huge (VEI-6) eruption which has been flooded by the sea to form a large bay, now called Port Foster, about 9 km (5.6 mi) long and 6 km (3.7 mi) wide. The bay has a narrow entrance, just 230 m (755 ft) wide, called Neptune's Bellows. Adding to the hazard is Ravn Rock, which lies 2.5 m (8.2 ft) below the water in the middle of the channel. Just inside Neptune's Bellows lies the cove Whalers Bay, which is bordered by a large black sand beach.

Deception remained uninhabited for a decade.

Then it was revisited in 1941 by the British warship, which destroyed the oil tanks and some remaining supplies in order to ensure it could not be used as a German supply base.


The big tanks we saw were the Fuel Tanks.

The long line of barrels were the whale oil containers

Graveyard  most graves are washed away. There were only 3 crosses showing.

They sis Whaling and base building

There is an Airplane hangar  the plane was taken away

Nov 1928 was the first survey flight.

Port Foster is 4 miles across

The water was warm ?!?  in the culdera


Last eruption was in the 1970's.

About 40 years an eruption.


2 pm Tuesday. Were on the Drake shake. Not too bad so far. But we are rocking and rollin.

Black sand beach was amazing our last Zodiac. I got penguin tracks picture.

I did not have my writing pad with me.

Saw 3? Grave sites.

One man killed himself.

They told us a story of a doctor who was supposed to be relieved (replaced), but no doctor came to replace him, so they told him he had to stay another year. The boat pulled away. Then the building caught fire so the boat had to some back and pick him up.



before lunch - Polar plunge!


2:30 pm  " Penguin Lifelines' a presentation with our Experts-in-Residence, Tom Hart & Mike Polito in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)

The Penguinologist's talk by Dr. Tom Hart and Dr. Mike Polito

When this lecture was starting ,the doctors were just leaving, they were handing out drugs and I took a packet.

2:30 I took a raspberry pill.


Go to and

There are 58 cameras and you can help by counting the penguins so we can help them with their research.

They are working on recognition software to count the penguins.

Now what I would like to see is recognition software to recognize individual penguins. Wouldn't that be a coding sensation.

There are 1.2 million chinstrap penguins.

Very efficient fisheries are catching the krill now so the colony size decreases.

Need species and specific studies.

They analyze feathers and you can tell what they are eating.

Avg life span

Large penguins live the longest

Emperor lives about 50 years.

Adelie, Chinstrap 10-15 years.

Now they implant RFID chips instead of putting a band on.

Yes, they interbreed but offspring have not been able to reproduce, or no one finds them attractive.

No change in phynotype, the way they look.

Amount of krill they eat determines the color of their bill. And that determines their attractiveness for a mate.

There are no predators for penguins on land. There are many predators in the water. Leopard seals, killer whales

Emperor can be under water up to 20 minutes.

Penguins can have the flu.

Very little disease observed now. But that may change.

Scientific vessels are much less tidy than the passenger voyages.


2:45 Chris.  Shark Water movie. Go to


5 pm recap.

Photo journal  you can access it online up to two years from now.

Go to the website, enter your reservation number

If you want DVD, sign up for it at the desk

Submit your photos by 2:30 tomorrow

The Hats contest winner is the "origami hat"  

Chris gave lecture on convergence and divergence.

Nick  Orka killer whales

Historian -  Victoria recapped Deception Island


Woody - Special gala dinner and buffet desserts

We will experience more "motion"   tomorrow

9:30 pm Jeopardy game

Alex -  polar plunge.

6:30 pm  The charity auction



Ceasar salad

King crab soup

Sirloin steak

Eggplant parm

Seafood pasta


50,000 pairs of peng on blank sand island.

2 peng guys change batteries

They did a 4-hours hike in 2 hours. To get their work done today.


Drake-proof your gear!

Silver Explorer ship leaving early also. Could be 2 to three days.

We are lucky  we will get to experience both extremes of the Drake passage.


Back to Top 


Day 13: Tour Day 10: Wednesday, December 10  Cross Drake Passage



Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 10

59  º 52' S / 063  º 47' W

1263 NM


NW 8

+1   º C

+35.6  º F





Wednesday 10th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

Drake Passage

"There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting and enslaving than the life at sea."    - Lord Jim Joseph Conrad


 Early morning tea and coffee is served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Rise & Shine Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Sign up at the Expedition Office by noon. Minimum of 4 and maximum of 15.


 Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


Reminder: Please include your selected photos in the voyage photo journal. The photojournal computers are located in the Main Lounge (Deck 5).


All photo submissions close at 1430. Assistance will be provided throughout the day.


 Kayakers: Please return your washed gear to the kayak room


 " An Undersea World of Sounds', a presentation with Chris in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " By Endurance we Conquer  Extreme Survival Against the Odds', with our Expert-in-Residence Jonathan Shackleton in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Antarctic Post office closes today at 1230. Leave your postcards at the Expedition Office!


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 Final chance to upload your photos! Photography Guide Dave and expedition staff are available to assist in the Main Lounge. All photo submissions close at 1430.


 Rubber Boot Return: Please listen for announcements, as you will be called by deck to return your rubber boots to the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " From the Bottom Up  The Southern Ocean Food Web' with Nick in the Main Lounge


 " A Geological Excursion through the Ocean Diamond' with Wolfgang. Meet in the lobby  no rubber boots required! (Deck 4)


Afternoon tea is served in The Club (Deck 4)


Please see Nick in The Club to share your email address in the address exchange!


 " Amundsen the Sportsman, Scott the Hero?', a presentation with Victoria in the Main Lounge


 Cocktail Hour in The Club with our Expedition Team!

Try Sixto's special cocktail  " Glacier Melt'  just $5!


 Dinner is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3) and Restaurant (Deck 5)


 Film: " Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 In-Cabin Film: BBC Frozen Planet, episode " Winter' on Channel 26



Laundry service closes today at 12pm.

Antarctic Post office closes today at 1230pm

All photo submissions for contribution to the voyage DVD are due 1430 today

Please pre-authorize your credit card at Reception (8am-11pm)



Suzanna's Notes for Wednesday December 10:

Last day on the boat.

8 am Wednesday morning - Breakfast. The dining room was full.

Yesterday we had 5 foot waves. Today (Wednesday morning) the waves are 10 feet.

15 foot is 4-5 meters

We saw an albatross!                    Albatross wandering vs. Royal albatross


The ship is really moving now. It seems like more of an up and down motion than forward motion.  Are we moving forward? To our destination, or just rocking up and down?  We are going over HUGE swells of waves. There are white caps on every wave in the distance. The boat bow floats up and up. Over bow goes down. Stern raises up  up up. So you can't see the horizon, then it sinks back down and settles in the valley of the wave then start the process all over over.

It is really entertaining to watch people walking around. Short quick steps, pause, more steps, grab something to steady yourself.

The rocking motion makes it difficult to keep your balance when walking around the ship.  People are walking like penguins!


11: 30  I went the lecture titled  " By Endurance we Conquer  Extreme Survival Against the Odds', with our Expert-in-Residence Jonathan Shackleton in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)

by Jonathan Shackleton, our expert in residence.


Click here to see all of the Shackleton Expedition information in this journal

Castleberg  is a huge glacier .

Endurance was Shakleton's boat that was crushed in the ice.     "What the ice wants, the ice keeps."  

They had very rough conditions to sleep.  "Crawling into the sleeping bag was like crawling in to the carcass of a dead animal."    Ewwww.

They did 1500 miles of "sledging"   with four dogs. 10 March 1916



Lunch I had Spaghetti Bolognaise


A zodiac outing at Deception Island. John sure was glad that we got to go there. The Penguinologists were not as happy.  The Quark guy said that penguins are a four-hour round trip hike and the penguin guys did it in two hours. They replaced some batteries in cameras.

And then we set out on the high seas to the Drake.  It was OK the rest of the day. The waves were picking up a bit, but they were still tolerable.  We had such an easy time of it coming down to Antarctica thru thee Drake, I think some of us were curious to experience the other extreme.     Well, we go it.  Poor Diana.  I got doctor Greg and Doctor Adrien to visit our room.  They talked "doctor talk"   listing off medications.  She said Diana should take that patch off.  It was causing her some dizziness and blurred vision.     They found other drugs with a schedule of when to take them.  The waves got worse.

High swells and deep, deep valleys that our boat rose and dipped into. The horizon at the back of the boat disappears when we dive into a valley, then reappears when we were climbing up a mountain of a wave. 

We were getting 7-8 meter waves, 20 foot, occasional 30 foot. They said on a 1 to ten scale with 10 being worst, this is "3"  .

MaxSea software

Now wind 60-70 knots. 

The afternoon was quite a ride, but that still was not the worst.  The worst was expected to come around midnight to 2 am.     They said at 2 am, we should expect 90 knot winds and #8 on the scale (of excitement).


5:30 Dinner

We were rockin' and rollin', so I had to hold on to everything a couple times so it wouldn't go sliding away. I did not want to see how it looked smashing onto the floor. Several other things went smashing to the floor.

That was "fun"  .

I remember John at the end of the table.  It was all in slow motion. The ship rocks and his chair would start drifting away from the table like he was floating away from us. He had such an odd look on his face really enjoying the "feet left the ground"   feeling that he was experiencing. 

A full glass of wine tipped over on the table next to us. During the entire dinner we were holding onto everything  glass, bread plate.  It was a delicious dinner. Tenderloin with potatoes.  I ate everything and had desserts on top of that. I was very lucky that the patch was working for me. 


I went to bed around 11 pm.  And I slept right through it all. 

The afternoon was 4 to 5 meter waves with an occasional 20 foot wave.  At night, it was up to 20 foot waves with an occasional 30 to 40 foot wave. One huge surge sent everything flying to the floor. Cher's bed slid across the floor.  All the clothes in the closet were pushed against the right side of the closet. The bathroom shelves were OK. They had clear plexiglass covers to close to keep the stuff in on the shelf.

On a one to ten scale, Quark staff agreed that it was about an 8.


I also got some pills for Motion Sickness: Meclizine HCL Chewable tablets 25 mg. antiemetic.  One to two tablets one daily.

 The Doctor was walking around the ship with a box of pills, handing them out to everyone who wanted them.  I was in the theater before the lecture and I took some of the pills.  They offered a sea sickness lecture where she was passing out medication.  It was a melt on your tongue rasberry flavered pill that you take every 8 to ten hours.  I took one that afternoon, and another pill the next morning.

The captain knew about the storms. There were two storms converging toward each other.  They did a good job to sail through the quickest path to get to settled water. The next morning we were in the protection of the Beagle Channel.  I quite writing those last couple of days because I ran out of paper so some of this is out of sync.

Anyway. We were fortunate to be able to experience both extremes of the drake: the lake, and the violent "shake"  .  I' m not going back.  Once is enough for me.

Back to Top 


Day 14: Tour Day 11: Thursday, December 11 - Arrive Ushuaia 9 am, fly to JFK

Daily Bridge Briefing Report, 8 am


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 11

55  º 11' S / 066  º 22' W

1551 NM


W 5

+5  º C

+41  º F





Thursday 11th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond

Drake Passage

"A sense of the future is that the present generation is morally responsible to future generations." - Andrei Sakharov and C. P. Snow


 Early morning tea, coffee and pastries are served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Wake-up call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 Polar Boutique is open this morning from 0930-1200 and this afternoon from 1300-1400  The Polar Boutique will close for the voyage at 1400pm today.


 " Our Voyages in the North', a short presentation with Woody in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " The Challenge of Living with Environmental Change', a presentation with Chris in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 " The Last Journey  Shackleton's final trip to Antarctica on the Quest  A review of his character and legacy', a short presentation with Jonathan Shackleton in the Main Lounge


 Lunch is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 " The Antarctic Treaty System' a presentation with Victoria in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Climbers & Skiers: Photosharing and final debrief in the Observation Lounge (Deck 7)


 Afternoon Tea is served in The Club


 Kayakers: Final Kayak Debrief & Slideshow, in the Observation Lounge (Deck 7)


 Yin Yoga with Ross in the Main Lounge (Deck 5) Weather permitting Minimum of 4, maximum of 15 spaces. Sign up at the Expedition Office by noon.


 Final Voyage Recap & Slideshow in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Please join us for the Captain's Farewell Cocktail Party in the Main Lounge (Deck 5)


 Captain's Farewell Dinner in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


 Celebration! Please join your friends, shipmates and expedition team to celebrate a fantastic voyage, in The Club



- A Wellness Program Satisfaction survey is available at the Expedition Office (Deck 4).

- Gratuities & Guest surveys can be deposited at Reception (Deck 4)

- Spa services will be available today until 1930

- The Polar Boutique closes for the voyage at 1400

- Please indicate on the sheet at the Expedition Office if you would prefer to receive your photojournal in the form of a DVD



Suzanna's Notes for Thursday December 11:

6:30-7:14 luggage outside cabin

7 wake up

7:30 breakfast

I did not want to deal with walking around town some more, so I opted to go directly to the airport.

9 am arrive airport. I found a great spot to rest. 


Ushuaia flight to Buenos Aires went OK. But then we had a long wait before the next flight.  They would not let us in the international terminal until it was closer to our flight time. We went thru security, then to passport control and they would not let us through.  We had to go backwards through security in the opposite direction.  That was a first.  So wait a couple hours. 

8:30 pm we went through security again and made it to the International terminal. 

10:45 pm and they announced "we regret to inform you of a delay"  .  A true test of our travel endurance and attitudes.  10:55 and one pilot walks on board to a big applause by everyone waiting.  A couple minutes later, another pilot and a loud thunderous applause.  Now they need to let us on the plane.

What a wicked test this is.  Oh, yeah, travel is an adventure.

Now I'm on the plane to Buenos Aires.

Arrive , deplane, find the next gate. 


Finally I'm on the last leg of the journey.  I am so very, very tired. I've been on-the-go for 36 hours so far.  Now on the plane to Atlanta. 

Things to do different 

Do the direct flight from ATL to Buenos Aires.

Shoes for the boat  if you go out on deck you need some sturdy shoes.  But otherwise just one pair of shoes to wear around the boat. Ballet slippers will do, they said no slippers and no thongs because you need good support when walking sideways down the corridors. We did walk sideways.  The boat was at a constant list Starboard the last two days. From the constant wind.  We were in the bar at the back of the boat and the horizon disappeared and reappeared in more dramatic motions as the evening wore on.  They said we were expected to hit the worst of it f\around midnight to 2 am.  Yup.

About the extra activities. 

Skiing. It was not a one-time deal  it was every day possible that they could go out to ski, they skied.  Every morning and afternoon they announced if skiing was possible for the skier to meet to prepare.  Same with the climbers.  They had several opportunities to climb throughout the trip. 

Kayaking was $950.00 because that was the most difficult to prepare for the people doing that activity.     They had to lower the boats from the deck of the ship into the water. Tie them up and zodiac tem them to a calm place.  The kayakers took Zodiac to their boats and they had to climb from the Zodiac into the kayak. There were one-person and two-person kayaks. Not sure how many times they went out, but it seems like more than three. Karin and I think Nami kayaked. Is that right? How many time did ya'll go out?     Their outer wear was hanging on the rails in the hallway.

The rails also had if-u-get-sick bags.  A paper bag with a plastic liner. Bags were conveniently placed one every stair case and down every corridor of the ship.  So if you felt the need, you could grab a bag and not make a mess on the carpet.  We also had two bags in our room.

My roommate did not need it, but she did keep the bag and the plastic lined trash can near the bed. She was dizzy and blurred vision.  Things got better for her when she took off the patch.  Make sure you read the side effects BEFORE you use the patch because the side effects can really mess you up.



Quark Logs

Quark Daily Bridge Briefing Report for the Entire Voyage

Voyage Name: Antarctic Explorer  Discovering the 7th Continent

Voyage Dates: December 3rd  12th, 2014   Vessel Name: m/v Ocean Diamond

&*Data taken every morning approximately 8amLongiudeMiles


Latitude & Longitude

Miles Since Departure

Barometric Pressure


Air Temp



Dec. 03

54  º 48' S / 068  º 18' W







Dec. 04

56  º 54' S / 064  º 53' W

182 NM



+6  º C  +42.8  º F



Dec. 05

61  º 43' S / 060  º 44' W

507 NM


NNW 4.5

-1   º C  +30.2  º F



Dec. 06

64  º 31' S / 062  º 12' W

720 NM



+1   º C  +33.8  º F



Dec. 07

64  º 42' S / 062  º 58' W

762 NM


NE 6

+2   º C  +35.6  º F



Dec. 08

64  º 49' S / 063  º 30' W

876 NM


NE 1

+2   º C  +35.6  º F



Dec. 09

63  º 05' S / 060  º 31' W

1021 NM



-1   º C  +30.2  º F



Dec. 10

59  º 52' S / 063  º 47' W

1263 NM


NW 8

+1   º C  +35.6  º F



Dec. 11

55  º 11' S / 066  º 22' W

1551 NM


W 5

+5  º C  +41  º F



Dec. 12

54  º 48' S / 068  º 18' W











Expedition Log for the Entire Voyage

Voyage Name: Antarctic Explorer  Discovering the 7th Continent

Voyage Dates: December 3  12, 2014

Vessel Name: m/v Ocean Diamond

Date Destination                                                                  Latitiude/Longitude           Time                  Activity

Dec. 3 Ushuaia                                                                   54  º 48' S / 068  º 18' W     1600             Embarkation

Dec. 4 At Sea                                                                    57  º 35' S / 064  º 19' W     1200

Dec. 5 Humpback Whales                                                           61  º 41' S / 060  º 34' W     0755  0830           SC

Dec. 5 At Sea                                                                    62  º 18' S / 059  º 54' W     1200

Dec. 5 Barrientos Island                                                         62  º 24' S / 059  º 47' W     1400  1700           ZL, ZC, KAY, SKI

Dec. 6 Wilhelmina Bay                                                            64  º 38' S / 062  º 00' W     0830  1145           ZC, KAY, CLI

Dec. 6 Danco Island                                                              64  º 44' S / 062  º 37' W     1415  1745           ZL, ZC, KAY, SKI

Dec. 6 Ronge Island                                                              64  º 43' S / 062  º 41' W                              CAM

Dec. 7 Lemaire Channel                                                           65  º 04' S / 063  º 57' W     1030  1200           ZC

Dec. 7 Neko Harbour                                                              64  º 50' S / 062  º 33' W     1745  1900           ZC, ZL, KAY, CLI

Dec. 8 Damoy Point / Dorian Bay                                                  64  º 49' S / 063  º 32' W     0830  1130           ZL, ZC, KAY, SKI, PP

Dec. 8 Jougla Point / Port Lockroy                                               64  º 50' S / 063  º 30' W     1415 - 1830         ZL, ZC, KAY

Dec. 9 Whaler's Bay,Deception Island                                             62  º 59' S / 060  º 34' W     0830  1230           ZL, ZC, CLI

Dec. 10 At Sea                                                                   58  º 53' S / 064  º 08' W     1200

Dec. 11 At Sea                                                                   55  º 01' S / 066  º 43' W     1200

Dec. 12 Ushuaia                                                                  54  º 48' S / 068  º 18' W     0800                   Disembarkation






(1NM = 1,852m)

(10 Cables = 1NM, 1 cable = 185.2m, 1  °= 60NM)










Kayak Log for the Entire Voyage


Antarctic Explorer

Discovering the 7th Continent

Kayak Log aboard the m/v Ocean Diamond

December 3-12, 2014

Guides:  Shelli Ogilvy  Ryan Munro  Scott Caspell  Michelle Reid 


Julie D, Marissa G, Orr R, Georg S,,Ute S, Chip J, Courtney L, Ben B, Robin S, Leslie S, Liam S, Deborah C, Hans P, Inge P, David S, Jonathan R, Kim A, Danielle A, Nami W, Karin V, Helen A,


Paddle #1

Location: Barrientos Island

Coordinates: 54  °47'S, 35  °48'WDate: December 5, 2014

Guides: Shelli, Michelle, Ryan

Driver: Scott, Cam

Paddlers: Julie, Marissa, Orr, Georg, Ute, Chip, Courtney, Ben, Robin, Leslie, Liam,

Deborah, Hans, Inge, David, Jonathan, Kim, Danielle, Nami, Karin, Helen


Weather: 2 Degree, wind 7-10 knot, chop and swell, overcast, some precipitation


Species sighted from the kayaks: Chinstrap penguin, Gentoo penguin, Kelp gull, Elephant seal,  Weddell seal, Antarctic tern, Snowy sheathbill, Blue-eyed shag, Cape petrel, Southern Giant petrel,



Narrative: Our first excursion of the voyage, everyone was excited and maybe a little nervous as we loaded into the Zodiacs and kayaks for the first time. Conditions were truly Antarctic, snowy with a light wind coming from the north. Chinstrap penguins greeted us on the water, and smells of the colony mixed with ocean and ice were noticed as well. Once we all launched and were steady to head out as a group, we paddled north along the coastline. Everyone was doing quite well, so we decided to circumnavigate the island.

Skirting the many reefs, we safely transited to the northern beaches where many Elephant seals and a few Weddell seals were hauled out on the beach. Great views were had by everyone. Continuing our paddle, we reached another section of nesting chinstraps. The wind, however, was increasing and the chop combined with swell made paddling a little challenging. We found calm waters in a small cove and re-entered the zodiacs to be zipped around for a landing at shore and a visit to the main chinstrap colony. An exciting first day!



Paddle #2

Location: Wilhelmina Bay AM

Coordinates: 65  °06'S, 64  °04'WDate: December 6, 2014

Guides: Scott, Shelli

Driver: Ryan, Michelle

Paddlers: Marissa, Georg, Ute, Chip, Courtney, Ben, Hans, Inge, David, Jonathan, Kim,

Danielle, Nami, Karin, Helen

Weather: Overcast, calm with light wind, minimal chop. 2 degrees.

Species sighted from the kayaks: Emperor penguin! Gentoo penguin, Adelie penguin, Kelp gull,

Antarctic tern,

Narrative: The morning was overcast and calm in Wilhelmina Bay. We entered the waters near the southern end of Nansen Island. As we loaded we watched the progress of the climbers making their assent of a small steep island. The bay was bedazzled with blue icebergs large and small. After a mini circumnavigation of the "climbers island"   we began a crossing to Nansen, however an iceberg with several penguins perched atop distracted us. One of those penguins seemed different from the others. As we came closer, we realized it was an Emperor penguin, off on holiday in Wilhelmina Bay. This penguin was well out of its normal colony range, a very unusual and exciting find! Also atop the ice were several Adelie penguins, making a stunning photograph of the two true Antarctic penguin species. We headed out to explore more ice before a throng of zodiacs in pursuit of the same views of the Emperor arrived. A very lucky morning.


Paddle #3

Location: Danco Island, Errera Channel PM

Coordinates: 64  °44'S, 62  °37'WDate: December 6, 2014

Guides: Ryan

Driver: Scott

Paddlers: Marissa, Courtney, Ben, Hans, Inge, David, Daniell, Nami, Helen

Weather: Little cloud cover, steadily cleared into sunshine, very light wind.

Species sighted from the kayaks: Gentoo penguins, Skua

Narrative: Conditions soon became ideal for kayaking as the morning developed. The sky continued to clear and the wind was non-existent; setting the stage for a peaceful and silent paddle. Calm waters and warmth from the sun made for a delightful morning excursion. We did not see much for wildlife, however the scenery more than made up for that. We wove around several small growlers and bergy bits, and there was much brash ice creating a unique and enjoyable experience. We took some time to float in silence as we took in the sounds of Antarctica. What an amazing day

of kayaking in Antarctica!


Paddle #4

Location: Neko Harbour

Coordinates: 65  °50'S, 62  °33'W

Date: December 7, 2014

Guides: Shelli, Scott

Driver: Michelle

Paddlers: Julie, Marissa, Georg, Ute, Hans, Inge, David, Kim, Danielle, Nami, Karin, Helen

Weather: Very calm, no wind. Open water, icebergs, bergy bits and brash ice.

Species sighted from the kayaks: Gentoo penguins, Antarctic tern, Minke whale.

Narrative: We loaded into the kayaks and paddled into the middle of Andvord Bay. Paddling conditions were idyllic, with no wind and glassy calm water. Our group paddled in silence through ice chunks of various sizes, enjoying still waters and spectacular reflections of the mountains and glaciated scenery. Towards the end of our paddle two minke whales surfaced very close to our kayaks! We had spectacular views as the whales for several minutes, then unloaded and headed to shore for a continental landing. What an amazing paddle! J


Paddle #5

Location: Damoy Pt, Weinke Island AM

Coordinates: 64  °49'S, 63  °32'WDate: December 8, 2014

Guides: Ryan, Michelle

Driver: Scott, Shelli

Paddlers: Julie, Marissa, Orr, Georg, Ute, Courtney, Ben, Robin, Leslie, Liam, Deborah,

Hans, Inge, David, Kim, Danielle, Nami, Karin, Helen

Weather: Light wind and snow

Species sighted from kayaks: Gentoo penguin, Chinstrap penguin, Blue-eyed shag, Skua, Kelp

gull, Snowy sheathbill.

Narrative: The falling snow provided a nice atmospheric touch as we commenced our paddle at Damoy Point in Dorian Bay. We paddled around vibrantly blue icebergs of all different sizes and were accompanied by small groups of Gentoo penguins, many of whom were porpoising in front and behind our kayaks. A slow paddle past the penguin colony was made in order to view the penguins jumping out of the water onto shore. The paddlers were delighted when a few individual Chinstraps were spotted mingling with the Gentoos. After exploring the coastline a little farther, our group spun around and wove through more icebergs to return to the Bay and load up on the Zodiacs to prepare for a shore landing. A smooth and snowy paddle!


Paddle #6

Location: Port Lockroy PM

Coordinates: 64  °49'S, 63  °30'W

December 8, 2014

Guides: Shelli, Scott

Driver: Ryan, Michelle

Paddlers: Marissa, Georg, Ute, Chip, Courtney, Ben, Hans, Inge, David, Jonathan, Kim,

Danielle, Helen

Weather: Moderate winds, overcast skies.

Species sighted from the kayaks: Gentoo penguin, Weddell seal, Adelie

penguin, Blue eyed shag, Skua, Kelp gull.


Narrative: We entered the kayaks in the shelter of one of the small islands near Port Lockroy. We paddled towards the fast ice in the sheltered bay behind Port Lockroy, where we saw a Weddell seal in the distance on the fast ice. We continued around to the back of Port Lockroy towards Jougla Point where we saw gentoo penguins, shags, kelp gulls, and terns. Along the rocky shoreline we were fortunate to see a few Adelie penguins amongst the gentoo. We continued paddling around Wiencke Island into the larger channel where there was a massive iceberg, lots of brash ice along the shore, and good views of mountain scenery.


Wildlife List



December 3-12, 2014


Beagle Channel, Drake Passage, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula


                                                                         3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11



Emperor Penguin                           Aptenodytes forsteri                             X

Gentoo Penguin                            Pygoscelis papua                          X X X X

Adelie Penguin                            Pygoscelis adeliae                         X X X

Chinstrap Penguin                         Pygoscelis Antarctica                       X X X X

Magellanic Penguin                        Spheniscus magellanicus                 X


Wandering Albatross                       Diomedea exulans                                   X X

Southern Royal Albatross                  Diomedea (e.) epomorpha                 X

Gray-headed Albatross                     Thalassarche chrysostoma              X X

Black-browed Albatross                    Thalassarche melanophris              X X X

Light-mantled Sooty Albatross             Phoebetria palpebrata         X X

Petrels & Shearwaters

Southern Giant Petrel                     Macronectes giganteus       X X X X X X

Northern (Hall  ´s) Giant Petrel          Macronectes halli                 X X

Southern Fulmar                           Fulmarus glacialoides                      X X X

Antarctic Petrel                          Thalassoica Antarctica                    x x

Cape (Pintado) Petrel                     Daption capense                   X X X X X X

Snow Petrel                               Pagodroma nivea                                         X

White-chinned Petrel                      Procellaria aequinoctialis        X

Blue Petrel                               Halobaena caerulea                                X

Antarctic Prion                           Pachyptila desolata                             X X

Sooty Shearwater                          Puffinus griseus                                      X

Wilson's Storm-Petrel                     Oceanites oceanicus                 X X X X

Black-bellied Storm-Petrel                Fregetta tropica                                      X X


Imperial cormorant                        Phalacrocorax atriceps                    X X

Antarctic cormorant                       Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis      X X X X


Snowy Sheathbill                          Chionis alba                                                  X X X

South Polar Skua                          Catharacta maccormicki                    X X X X X


Brown Skua                                Catharacta Antarctica                       X X

Gulls and Terns

Kelp Gull                                 Larus dominicanus                                   X X X X X

Dolphin Gull                              Larus scoresbii                                         X

South American Tern                       Sterna hirundinacea                             X X

Antarctic Tern                            Sterna vittata                                            X X X X X




Fin Whale                                 Balaenoptera physalus                       X

Antarctic Minke Whale                     Balaenoptera bonaerensis              X X X

Humpback Whale                            Megaptera novaeangliae                 X X

Killer Whale                              Orcinus orca                                                  X



Southern Elephant Seal                    Mirounga leonine                                      X

Weddell Seal                              Leptonychotes weddelli                    X X X X

Crabeater Seal                            Lobodon carcinophagus                       X



Day 15: Friday, December 12  Travel Day  Argentina to Atlanta


Friday 12th December, 2014

Antarctic Explorer

Ocean Diamond


Strange. There is always sadness on departure. It is as if one cannot after all bear to leave this bleak waste of ice, glaciers, cold and toil"  ¦  - Fridjof Nansen 1912


 Early morning tea and coffee is served in The Club (Deck 4)


 Please leave your check-in luggage outside your door for luggage collection by the crew. Please keep all carry-on luggage with you or in your cabin.


 Wake-Up Call


 Breakfast is served in the Dining Room (Deck 3)


After Breakfast Our shore agent will come aboard to deliver flight details and boarding passes


General Disembarkation  Please standby until called


Final farewells to our shipmates and friends as buses depart

0800 Disembarkation

On behalf of Quark Expeditions, Captain Oleg and Crew of the Ocean Diamond, we wish you a safe journey home.


We hope you will return one day for another polar voyage with Quark Expeditions.



The ship is scheduled to arrive back in Ushuaia in the morning around 9:00 AM. Disembarkation can take up to 1 hour or more. The cruise ends with disembarkation.

Transfer to Airport.     Fly Ushuaia to JFK (via Buenos Aries layover) Booked by tour company

Aerolineas Argentinas Airline           AR1853 12DEC USH-EZE    2:05P 5:33P

Aerolineas Argentinas Airline           AR1300 12DEC EZE-JFK   11:00P 8:05A +1day


Fair Winds and Following Seas

VOYAGE JOURNAL  what actually happened as recorded by Quark

Day 10

December 12th









Suzanna's Notes for Friday December 12:

Now I'm on the plane from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires.  It's already been a tough day. Not sure how I'm going to make it through what I need to endure to get home.  Travel seems more taxing on my body than before.  I've got to slow down.  This flight is so uncomfortable and I'm going to have to endure a ten hour flight after this.  I can't do it, but I have to. That's just enough whining to get it out of my system.  Travel is fun. I love traveling!


This morning Diana got up at 6:10 am. I was up shortly after.  Pack, get suitcase out of room and into the hall at 6:35.  Pay final bill, get passport, get Quark DVD.

Go to breakfast.  More yummy oatmeal.  They had a huge pot of porridge every morning.  I liked that.  I also ate a cheese sandwich. 

I opted for the bus straight to the airport.  I did not want to expend more energy walking around in tow town, getting a cab to the airport.

In the airport, I found a spot on the carpet where I could lay down and try to prepare for the endurance leg of the journey home.  How many airports have I been through?


Flight is 11:00 pm to 8:05 am. nonstop.

Overnight, arrive into JFK Sun Dec 14.

Airbus A330.

No fee for carry on, no fee for 1 checked bag, no fee for 2nd checked bag.



Day 16: Saturday, December 13 Arrive 8 am in JFK, Arrive ATL 3:33 pm

I booked these JFK to Atlanta flights

Return flight home:  Sat, 13 Dec 2014     JFK  to ATL     DL 2023 depart 3:30     arrive  6:18 pm


Other JFK to ATL on December 13:     DL 2201 depart 5:15PM to 8:02PM ,DL 2044                    7:29PM to 10:14PM

I Cancelled this flight Sun, 14 Dec 2014 JFK  to ATL               DL 2201  Depart: 5:00 PM     Arrive: 7:45 PM



Other Information

About the trip

This is a Global Expeditions Club Group Trip to Antarctica aboard an excellent ice-rated expedition ship:

Join other like-minded club members on this Global Expeditions Travel Club group exploration of Antarctica aboard an excellent ice-rated expedition ship. Cross the Drake Passage and visit the 7th continent! View penguins, watch for whales, take the 'Polar Plunge' in the icy waters, even spend an optional night camping on Antarctica!

Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 25,000+ members across the US and Canada, The Global Expeditions Club is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free. Please see The Global Expeditions Club website for more details about the club.

Places Visited:        Antarctica Group Trip, Ushuaia, Argentina, Drake Passage, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Penguin Colony of Orne Harbor, Giant Glaciers of Neko Harbor

Important Information

This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club group trip that is open to anyone.

This tour requires a total minimum group size to run. It is also subject to VERY limited availability. Therefore, please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation from the Global Expeditions Club guaranteeing departure and confirming the booking of your space with the ship.

A high quality water/wind proof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece lining is provided the evening before departing for the ship and is yours to keep after the expedition! Rubber boots will be loaned to you for the duration of the cruise. All cold weather camping gear (including sleeping bags and tents) are provided if you choose the optional "1 night camping on Antarctica" option on checkout (subject to availability). Other than that, we will provide you with a full and comprehensive packing list prior to departure (along with a very detailed dossier with all important information).

Prices are based on Twin occupancy cabin and hotels. Single cabins/rooms may be available (contact us for details), however if you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then we will match you up at no additional charge.

All prices are land/ship only. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and the start/end locations and for arriving at the designated departure location as per the itinerary (Note: please allow ample time to arrive before and depart after the trip to allow for possible travel delays... we highly recommend coming in a day early - optional extra night hotel available for purchase during the checkout process). However, your international flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee from Global Expeditions Club that the trip is guaranteed to go and that your space is booked and confirmed by the ship company. If you would like to discuss international flight options, please contact the Global Expeditions Club at or 617.645.7689

Costs are based on current group prices, permit fees and transportation costs and will be revised in case of any enhancements by the Govt, ship company and/or transportation authorities. Once you book your trip and we confirm your space with the ship, specific cancellation policies apply. See terms and conditions, which can be viewed during checkout, for details.

We can help get the best flights and prices. Please email or call the Global Expeditions Club for more details (1.617.645.7689 OR It is recommended that you arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina (airport code USH) one day early to avoid conflicts due to potential travel delays and so you can join the optional Full day Trekking and Canoeing in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Optional extra night hotel available during checkout.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 month following the last day of the tour.

Visas are not currently required for Argentina for US and Canadian citizens, however the Argentinian government does charge a "reciprocity tax" which you must pay in USD cash at the airport upon arrival. The cost is US$140 for US Citizens and US$75 for Canadian citizens (it is basically the equivalent to an entry Visa cost)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is a huge part of visiting Antarctica. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned may be changed to others equally as interesting.                 Trip ID: AN1170


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Price starts at 5995 for a triple. For a Double, you pay 10,995.  our double was on deck 4.  If you have more money to spend, you can pay more for a cabin on an upper deck, but I don't think that is necessary.


Price Includes in this adventure:
Ship Based Expedition Leaders
GEC Club Leader for Group social activities
All shore landings per the daily program
All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
Formal and informal presentations by the ship's Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
A waterproof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece liner - yours to keep after the expedition!
A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
9 nights in 2 bed/twin share room on ship with exterior window
1 pre-night in excellent mid-range hotel in Ushuaia, Argentina
All meals on ship and breakfast at hotel
Free coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock on the ship
Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages.
Headsets available on loan for listening to staff presentations and commentary.
Access the world's largest floating collection of polar books and DVD's in many languages.
Yoga classes and onboard wellness program.
A comprehensive photography program that includes the services of a resident photography instructor, a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation, photography focused excursions at landing sites
Comprehensive pre-departure materials (including example packing list)
Group transfers from hotel to the ship on embarkation day
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
All luggage handling aboard ship
Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person

Price Does Not Include

International airfare between your home country and Ushuaia, Argentina per itinerary

Hotel transfers (except to the boat on day 2)

Lunch and dinner at the hotel

Airport departure taxes and fees (US$6)

Argentina government "reciprocity tax" US Citizens: US$140 Canadian citizens: US$75 - paid on arrival in USD at airport (i.e. - equivalent to an entry Visa)

Beverages other than water, coffee, tea, coco on ship

Travel insurance (recommended)

Personal expenses

Tips for GEC Trip Leader and ship staff

Onboard wifi and phone calls

Optional tours

Excess baggage charges

Group Leader Ship Based Expedition Leaders , GEC Club Leader for Group social activities

Number of Days     11 days, 10 nights

Transportation Included Private transfer bus, Expedition Ship, Zodiac for shore excursions

Meals Included     All meals on ship and breakfast at hotels


Seasonal Info  Season is November through February. It's Antarctica, therefore pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for rapid weather changes (and don't forget, you will receive a free water/wind proof winter parka with a zip out fleece lining from the ship that is yours to keep after!). Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 20 and 35 Fahrenheit (-4 and +2 Celsius), however wind conditions can make it seem colder. It is common that you will experience daytime temperatures below freezing and definitely at night. That said, the ship is nice and toasty and has great views from inside as well as on deck.

December 2 - 12, 2014 - Join Global Expeditions Club members from all over the US and Canada and visit the 7th Continent with a group of fun, like-minded people on this Ship Based Exploration of Antarctica

Places Visited: Antarctica Group Trip, Ushuaia, Argentina, Drake Passage, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Penguin Colony of Orne Harbor, Giant Glaciers of Neko Harbor



Travel insurance

Contact Alan at the Travel Insurance Center at 1.866.979.6753 

I got Travelex: Travel Select.  Cost was $529.


Confirmation of Coverage

Travel Select  Program offered by Travelex Insurance Services


Departure Date: 29-Nov02014        Return Date: 13-Dec-2014


Plan Details Benefits Per Traveler

Trip Cancellation 100% of Trip Cost

Trip Interruption 150% of Trip Cost

Trip Delay / Missed Cruise Connection $750

Emergency Medical Benefits

     Accident/Sickness Medical Expense $50,000

  Medical Evacuation/Repatriation $500,000

Baggage/Personal Effects $1,000

Baggage Delay $250

24 Hour AD&D $25,000

Travel Assistance Included

Optional Transportation Pak None

Optional Lifestyle Paks None


Purchased 24-Aug-2013

Total Policy Cost :  (includes $8.00 Processing Fee)     $529.00

Traveler Trip Cost           $11,000.00

FULL POLICY DETAILS: Review the enclosed Description of Coverage for the terms and conditions of the protection plan. For full policy benefits and details, specific to your state of residence, please visit to review.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITION COVERAGE: The pre-existing condition exclusion is waived if the plan was purchased within 21 days of initial trip deposit. To maintain waiver on any subsequent purchase of Trip Cancellation coverage, you must increase your Trip Cost within 21 days of the new purchase.


 Optional Transportation Pak: If purchased, reference the schedule of coverage within the Description of Coverage for full benefits and amounts of coverage. This upgrade may be added any time prior to departure.

 Optional Lifestyle Paks: If purchased, reference the schedule of coverage within the Description of Coverage for full benefits and amounts of coverage. Upgrades must have been purchased on the date of plan purchase and within 21 days of initial trip deposit. This upgrade may not be added following plan purchase.

EFFECTIVE DATES: See above. Subsequent increases in Trip Cost will be given a new effective date for each portion, which may vary from the Effective Date provided above and may impact your claim eligibility.


 All policy benefits are determined at time of claim and any reason for cancellation must occur after the Effective Date of the policy.

 Benefits are not payable during travel to a country subject to OFAC sanctions or when the policyholder/beneficiary is subject to OFAC



 Plan changes and coverage questions: visit and select "Request Plan Documents" or call 1-800-819-9004; M

 F, 8 am to 5 pm CST.

 Claim initiation and assistance: visit and select "File a Claim" or call 1-866-968-2061; M  F, 7:30 am to 7 pm


 Future purchases: contact your travel supplier or call 1-800-228-9792; M  F, 8 am to 7 pm CST.


24/7 Emergency Travel Assistance & Concierge Services

1-855-892-6495 (toll-free) | 603-328-1373 (collect)

For a full list of international access numbers and collect calling instructions by country go to: 

Services provided by On Call International; benefit reimbursement to the Assistance Company may be your responsibility.

Insurance benefits are underwritten by Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company an AEGON company, Columbus, OH; NAIC #10952

8/23/2013 Page 1 of 1



Optional Lifestyle Paks

Transportation Pak                                                                                                                                                                                    No

Adventurer Pak                                                                                                                                                                                            No

Professional Pak                                                                                                                                                                                            No

Family Pak                                                                                                                                                                                                      No

Protector Pak                                                                                                                                                                                                   No

Traveler Information

Underwriter                                            Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company - AM Best Rating A- (Excellent, 4th of 16 categories)

Medical Expenses                                $50,000 per person

Pre-existing Conditions           Pre-existing medical conditions exclusion "Waiver" applies if purchased within 21 days of first trip payment/deposit.

Emergency Evacuation           $500,000 per person

Repatriation of Remains        Included in Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Reunion                 If traveling alone and hospitalized 7 days or more. Provides transportation for friend or relative to be with you

Accidental Death & Dismemberment           $25,000 per person

Flight Accident                                               Upgrade available in Optional "Transportation Pak" - $200,000 per person ($1 Million maximum plan limit)  as confirmed on your confirmation of coverage letter

Common Carrier AD&D           $25,000 - included in Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Trip Cancellation                        100% of Trip Cost

Trip Interruption                                               150% of Trip Cost
$1,000 Per Person for $0.00 Trip Cost Insured / Post Departure Coverage

Trip Delay                                                                       $750 Per Person - if delayed 5 hours or more

Sports & Hazardous Activities  Available in Optional "Active Family Pak"   or "Adventurer Plus Pak"  .

Lost Baggage                                                     $1,000 per person / up to $300 per article

Baggage Delay                                               $250 - 12 hour minimum delay for lost or misdirected baggage

Supplier Bankruptcy/Default           Waiting period applies - coverage begins 14 days after policy effective date.

Labor Strike                                                              Unforeseen strike that causes complete cessation of travel supplier services for 24 consecutive hours

Terrorism                                                                          Terrorist Incident that occurs in a city listed on the itinerary of Your Trip and within 30 days prior to Your Scheduled Departure Date. Applies only if policy is purchased within 21 days of first trip payment. See plan details.

Rental Car Insurance                       Available in Optional "Transportation Pak" - up to $35,000 damage protection.

Travel Assistance                                      Included

Special Features                                         Children under age 21 can be protected at no additional cost when accompanied by a covered adult family member. Maximum trip cost $10,000.

Trip Information

Effective date                                                                                               August 23, 2013

Departure date                                                                                            November 29, 2014

Return date                                                                                                           December 13, 2014

Order date                                                                                                              August 23, 2013 (Eastern Time Zone, USA)

Total cost of order                                                                          US$529.00 Information

If you have any questions regarding your purchase, please contact Client Services at 1 866-979-6753 or 1 402-343-3699 (M-Th 7:30AM - 5PM Fri 7:30AM-3:30PM CST) or via email at

You can access your policy history and information online in "My Policies" at Select "Review My Policies" and sign in if you have not already done so. Here you will find your Certificate Number, policy information, and claim forms.


Emergency Assistance - Travel Select

When contacting plan administrator, please have the following information: 1. Your Travelex Travel Select Confirmation Number. 2. Caller's name and telephone number where we can call you back. 3. Member's name. 4. Location (city, country) 5. Brief description of problem or situation.

Address  Travelex Travel Assistance Services provided by On Call International.

Phone        For emergency assistance while traveling call:
Toll Free: 1-855-892-6495 (U.S. or Canada)
Collect: 1-603-328-1373 (all other countries)

Filing a Claim - Travel Select

Address  US Fire Claims Administration Travelex Travel Claims P.O. Box 6866 Shawanee Mission, KS 66206

Phone        1-866-968-2061 Hours: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm CST Monday - Friday

When contacting plan administrator, please have the following information:

  1. Your Travel Select Confirmation Number: STS198660
  2. Caller's name and telephone number where we can call you back
  3. Member's name
  4. Location (city, country)

5.     Brief description of problem or situation.

For problems with access to the web site, contact Client Services at:

Order ID: 159511


Quark Expeditions emailed us final documents with important information



December 2  December 12, 2014 Monday to Thursday, between 7:30 am and 9 pm, and Friday between 7:30 am and 6 pm, Eastern Standard Time call 001 416 504 5900 Ushuaia, Argentina or (Cell) 54 9 2901 60 6616 Or dial our 24 hour emergency phone 001 647 449 5303

IF YOU BOOKED AIRFARE VIA QUARK AND RUN INTO AN AFTERHOURS EMERGENCY : Travelers Emergency Hotline (TEH) Call Collect: 416-929-5964               Toll Free: 1-866-905-4343



Before you leave home please remember to:

. Have a passport valid until at least six (6) months after your expected date of return.

 Reconfirm that air arrangements from your home to Ushuaia and back home have been made, as flights to Ushuaia are not included in the expedition package

. Ensure that you bring an adequate supply of any prescription medicines that you require. Prescription medications cannot be refilled during the expedition.

 Bring waterproof over-pants which are essential when you travel by Zodiac or when you participate in onshore activities.





U.S., Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee prior to arriving in Argentina.

Fees for USA passport holders are USD$160, Australians USD$100 and Canadians USD$92. The fee can be paid online by credit card. Please note that this fee is subject to change.

The US state department offers these instructions for how to pay the reciprocity fee online:

1) Enter the web site or of Provincia Pagos and register to start the process.


2) Complete the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information.

3) Print the payment receipt.

4) On arrival in Argentina, this printed receipt must be presented at Immigration Control. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and the traveler's entry to the country registered.


ANTARCTIC EXPLORER Aboard the Ocean Diamond


December 12  Ushuaia, Argentina

Upon disembarkation our ground agent will provide a group transfer from the ship to the luggage storage facility which is located near the entrance to the pier. You may leave your luggage here until 6:00 pm after which time the facility will be closed.

Passengers departing on flights before 1200 noon will be transferred directly to the airport at this time. If you are departing on later flights, or plan to overnight in Ushuaia, transfers are on your own. Taxis are available at the luggage facility.



If you have already booked this adventure option, a waiver will be sent to you by your booking agent. Please ensure you have a signed copy of this waiver with you at time of boarding.

If you have booked any adventure options and do not have a waiver or if you wish to book adventure options for your voyage, please contact your booking agent prior to departure.



Aboard the Ocean Diamond


Contact our Ushuaia Argentine staff  Cell 54 9 2901 60 6616           
Or dial our 24 hour emergency phone 001 647 449 5303




Goleta Florencia 1722

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

TEL: (54-2901) 423-366

TEL: (in Ushuaia) 423-366




Del Tolkeyen

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

TEL: (54 2901) 445-315

TEL: (in Ushuaia) 445-315




Av. Maipu, 505

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

TEL: (54-2901) 437-300

TEL: (in Ushuaia) 437-300




Av. Maipu

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

TEL: (54 2901) 421- 120

TEL: (in Ushuaia) 421-120




Av de Los Nires 3040

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

TEL: (54-2901) 446-173

TEL: (in Ushuaia) 445-173




55 Onas Street, 1st Floor

9410 Ushuaia, Argentina

Contact: Marcelo Vanecek

TEL: (54 2901) 433- 572 (office)

TEL: (54 9 2901) 60- 6616 (cell)




Please note that due to weather conditions and satellite positions it may be necessary to attempt your call several times before the connection is successful.

SHIP IRIDIUM TELEPHONE: + 88 163 257 7435

Direct Dial      From other countries: Your country's international access code + ship number

From non-direct dial phones      Call your local International Operator and ask to place a satellite call. Give the vessel number.



This service is not equipped to accept images or attachments. Please specify the passenger's name in the subject line to assure prompt delivery.


This is available for US $30 per voyage and your own email account will be assigned to you. This is limited to 200 Kilobytes per day. Extra charge of $0.15 will be added if you exceed the daily limit.

Pre-Paid Calling Cards can be purchased on the ship:

Pre-Paid Calling Cards (60 minutes*) - $ 30

*Calls to the USA. Other destination countries may be charged at higher rates.


Guidelines for Visitors to the Antarctic IAATO Guidelines. pdf

All visits to Antarctica should be conducted in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, its Protocol on Environmental Protection, and relevant Measures and Resolutions adopted at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM). Visits may only occur after prior approval by the relevant national authority. These Guidelines provide general advice for visiting any location, with the aim of ensuring visits do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values. ATCM Site Guidelines for Visitors provide additional site--specific advice for some locations. Read these Guidelines before you visit Antarctica and plan how to minimise your impact. If you are part of a guided visitor group, pay attention to your guides, and follow their instructions. If you have organised your own visit, you are responsible for abiding by these guidelines. You are also responsible for identifying the features of the sites you visit that may be vulnerable to visitor impacts, and for complying with any site specific requirements, including Site Guidelines, Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) and Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) management plans, or station visit guidelines. Guidelines for particular activities or risks (such as aircraft use, or avoiding the introduction of non--native species) may also apply. Management plans, a list of historic sites and monuments, and other relevant information can be found at Site Guidelines can be found at



The taking of, or harmful interference with, Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit.    





On my Antarctic cruise, I attended all the Shakleton lectures by Jonathan Shackleton, our "Expert in Residence"


Jonathan Shackleton lives in Mullagh, County Cavan, IRELAND.
Cousin of the Irish Kildare born Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin in Natural Sciences and was awarded his Masters Degree from Ohio State University for work in Arctic Alaska.

As a historian, lecturer and guide, Jonathan has accompanied 31 groups on trips to the Antarctic in the past 15 years as historian, guide, photographer and Zodiac driver.
Highlights of his visits have been landing on the godforsaken Elephant Island at Point Wild, visiting Ernest Shackleton's grave on South Georgia, travelling to the Ross Sea, landing at Cape Adare, visiting two of the largest Emperor penguin colonies in the world, and a member of the first group to visit the Emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill in the Weddell Sea. Many of these visits have been made whilst working with Quark expeditions. He continues to visit Antarctica regularly.

He has been involved in many Shackleton and Antarctic activities including films, TV documentaries, television and radio interviews, exhibitions and has given many talks and lectures.

Jonathan owns one of the sledges that Ernest Shackleton took on his "Nimrod" furthest South expedition in 1907-1909.
Jonathan is author of a book with John MacKenna "Shackleton - An Irishman in Antarctica" about Ernest Shackleton with emphasis on the Shackleton family and the explorer's Irish background. (2003) Lilliput Press and Wisconsin U.P.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Recently elected member of BAS (British Antarctic Survey) Club.
Member of the James Caird Society. Commemorates life of Ernest Shackleton.


Dec 5 100 years go TODAY, Shackleton ventured out

"A traveler has the right to embellish his writings and photos as he pleases"  



Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton's        15 February, 1874  5 January, 1922


Born in County Kildare, Ireland. Moved to London when he was ten.

He was a voracious reader, a pursuit which sparked a passion for adventure.

He Started as a "ship's boy"   and promoted to higher ranks to an officer. 

Polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic.


First experience: The Discovery Expedition, 1901-03

Shackleton was 3rd officer on Captain Scott's Discovery Expedition. Objectives included scientific and geographical discovery.

The Discovery Ship was "purpose built" for this voyage.

52 meters long

Shackleton's duties: "In charge of seawater analysis. Ward-room caterer. In charge of holds, stores and provisions ["  ¦] He also arranges the entertainments."

They used the ship as a base for the hike. The ship temperature was only two degrees warmer than the outside temp.

Scott chose Shackleton to accompany Wilson and himself on the expedition's southern journey, a march southwards to achieve the highest possible latitude in the direction of the South Pole.

This march was not a serious attempt on the Pole, although the attainment of a high latitude was of great importance to Scott, and the inclusion of Shackleton indicated a high degree of personal trust.

They set a new southern record going to latitude 82  °S.

680 or 480? Miles from the South pole. Dec 3, 1902

The journey was marred by the poor performance of the dogs, whose food had become tainted, and who rapidly fell sick. All 22 dogs died during the march.

The three men all suffered at times from snow blindness, frostbite and, ultimately, scurvy. On the return journey, Shackleton had by his own admission "broken down" and could no longer carry out his share of the work.

14 January He was in a seriously weakened condition; Wilson's diary entry reads: "Shackleton has been anything but up to the mark, and today he is decidedly worse, very short winded and coughing constantly, with more serious symptoms that need not be detailed here but which are of no small consequence one hundred and sixty miles from the ship".

Scott, Wilson and Shackleton marched 9-10 miles a day.

4 February 1903, the party finally reached the ship.

They used dynamite to blast the ice to try to dislodge the Discovery out of the ice.

After a medical exam, Scott decided to send Shackleton home. Scott's motives for removing him may bes resentment of Shackleton's popularity, and ill-health was used as an excuse to get rid of him.

There were claims there was a falling-out on the southern journey

Shackleton and Scott stayed on friendly terms, until Scott published his account of the southern journey and Shackleton's attitude to Scott turned to "smouldering scorn and dislike"; salvage of wounded pride required "a return to the Antarctic and an attempt to outdo Scott".



Between the Discovery and Nimrod expeditions, 190307

Shackleton recovered in New Zealand then returned to England via San Francisco and New York.

As the first significant person to return from the Antarctic, he was in demand as a consultant for other ventures to Antarctic.

Instead, he became a journalist, working for the Royal Magazine, but he found this unsatisfactory.

11 January 1904 he accepted, the post of secretary of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS),

9 April 1904 he married Emily Dorman, with whom he would have three children: Raymond, Cecily, and Edward.

In 1905, Shackleton became a shareholder in a speculative company that aimed to make a fortune transporting Russian troops home from the Far East.  Despite his assurances to Emily that "we are practically sure of the contract", nothing came of this scheme.

He also ventured into politics, unsuccessfully standing in the 1906 General Election as the Liberal Unionist Party's candidate for Dundee in opposition to Irish Home Rule.

Shackleton by this time, however, was making no secret of his ambition to return to Antarctica at the head of his own expedition.


Second expedition: Nimrod Expedition (1907-09)

February 1907, Shackleton presented his plans for an Antarctic expedition to go to both the geographical South Pole and the South Magnetic Pole.

Shackleton got friends to contribute.

Nimrod was smaller than Discovery

1 January 1908, Nimrod sailed from New Zealand. To conserve coal, the ship was towed 1,650 miles (2,655 km) by a steamer to the Antarctic ice.

He had 10 Manturian ponies on the ship. They  were transported on top so all their excrement leaked down to the lower level.  Yuck!

Shackleton originally planned to use the base in McMurdo Sound to launch his attempts on the poles. However, before leaving England, he had been pressured to give an undertaking to Scott that he would not base himself in the McMurdo area, which Scott was claiming as his own field of work.

Shackleton reluctantly agreed to look for winter quarters at either the Barrier Inlet (which Discovery had briefly visited in 1902) or King Edward VII Land.

21 January 1908 the ship arrived on the eastern sector of the Great Ice Barrier.

The Barrier Inlet had expanded to form a large bay, in which were hundreds of whales, which led to the immediate christening of the area as the Bay of Whales.

Ice conditions were unstable, so it was unsafe to establish a base at Barrier Inlet, and the other location was equally unstable, so Shackleton was forced to break his undertaking to Scott and set sail for McMurdo Sound, a decision which, according to second officer Arthur Harbord, was "dictated by common sense" in view of the difficulties of ice pressure, coal shortage and the lack of any nearer known base.

29 January Nimrod arrived at McMurdo Sound, but was stopped by ice 16 miles (26 km) north of Discovery's old base at Hut Point. After considerable weather delays, Shackleton's base was eventually established at Cape Royds, about 24 miles (39 km) north of Hut Point.

The party was in high spirits, despite the difficult conditions; Shackleton's ability to communicate with each man kept the party happy and focused.

29 October 1908 The "Great Southern Journey", as Frank Wild called it.

They brought ponies, and  dogs, but they hadn't learned how to handle the dogs that they brought so ponies did the work.

He brought a car to pull supplies, but men ended up pulling the car.

A pony kicked Shackleton in the knee. They ended up killing the ponies for food. When they killed the last pony they knew the expedition was ending. Dec 27 at 97 miles from the South pole, the had to turn around back to the Nimrod.


9 January 1909, Shackleton and three companions (Wild, Marshall and Adams) reached a new Farthest South latitude of 88  ° S, a point only 97 miles (180 km) from the Pole.

En route the South Pole party discovered the Beardmore Glacier (named after Shackleton's patron) and became the first persons to see and travel on the South Polar Plateau.

Their return journey to McMurdo Sound was a race against starvation, on half-rations for much of the way. At one point, Shackleton gave his one biscuit allotted for the day to the ailing Frank Wild, who wrote in his diary: "All the money that was ever minted would not have bought that biscuit and the remembrance of that sacrifice will never leave me".

Very tough journey back they went 1613 miles in 120 days.

They arrived at Hut Point just in time to catch the ship.

Other main accomplishments on this expedition: 

the first ascent of Mount Erebus , the most active Antarctic volcano.

16 January 1909 they discovered the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole

Shackleton returned to the United Kingdom as a hero, and soon afterwards published his expedition account, Heart of the Antarctic.

Emily Shackleton later recorded: "The only comment he made to me about not reaching the Pole was 'a live donkey is better than a dead lion, isn't it?' and I said 'Yes darling, as far as I am concerned'".

Several mostly intact cases of whisky and brandy left behind in 1909 were recovered in 2010, for analysis by a distilling company. A revival of the vintage (and since lost) formula for the particular brands found has been offered for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust which discovered the lost spirits.


Between expeditions 1909-14

Public appearances, lecture tour where he talked about his own polar journeys and also those of Scott and Amundsen.

He was made a knight, becoming Sir Ernest Shackleton.

His heroism was claimed by Ireland in the Dublin headline "South Pole Almost Reached By An Irishman" and it spoke of the "qualities that were his heritage as an Irishman".

The expedition left Shackleton deeply in debt, unable to meet the financial guarantees he had given to backers. Government action in the form of a grant of   £20,000 (2008:   £1.5 million) was granted to clear the most pressing obligations. It is likely that many debts were not pressed and were written off.

Away from his expeditions, Shackleton's life was generally restless and unfulfilled.  He searched for rapid pathways to wealth and security, he launched business ventures which failed to prosper, (he died heavily in debt.)

He then sought to cash in on his celebrity by making a fortune in the business world.

Tobacco company,

A scheme for selling to postage stamps overprinted "King Edward VII Land" (based on Shackleton's appointment as Antarctic postmaster by the New Zealand authorities)

The development of a Hungarian mining concession he had acquired in Romania.

None of these enterprises prospered, and his main source of income was his earnings from lecture tours.

He still harboured thoughts of returning south, even though in September 1910, having recently moved with his family to Sheringham in Norfolk, he wrote to Emily: "I am never again going South and I have thought it all out and my place is at home now". He had been in discussions with Douglas Mawson about a scientific expedition to the Antarctic coast between Cape Adare and Gaussberg, and had written to the RGS about this in February 1910.


July 1910 Scott's Terra Nova Expedition headed for South Pole.

December 1911 Norwegian Amundsen won the race to the South Pole so Shackleton turned his attention to a continental  crossing of Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole. (Weddell Sea to South Pole to McMurdo Sound.)

The fate of Scott's expedition was not then known.


Third Expedition: Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17

Two ships were used;

Endurance - Carried the main party into the Weddell Sea, aiming for Vahsel Bay from where a team of six, led by Shackleton, would begin the crossing of the continent.

Aurora - Transport supporting party under Captain Mackintosh to McMurdo Sound on the opposite side of the continent. They would then lay supply depots of food and fuel that would enable Shackleton's party to complete their journey of 1,800 miles (2,900 km) across the continent.

Shackleton used his considerable fund-raising skills, and the expedition was financed largely by private donations, although the British government gave   £10,000 (about   £680,000 in 2008 terms).

There was a lot of public interest, and Shackleton received more than 5,000 applications to join the expedition

He had eccentric interviewing, unconventional questions and selection methods, believing that character and temperament were as important as technical ability. A physicist was asked if he could sing; others were accepted because Shackleton liked the look of them

Shackleton expected all men, including the scientists, to do their share of ship's chores. He selected a crew of 56, twenty-eight on each ship.


3 August 1914 First World War outbreak but Endurance was directed by Winston Churchill, to "proceed" so 8 August it left British waters.

27 September Shackleton met the ship in Buenos Aires.

5 December Endurance departed from South Georgia for the Weddell Sea, heading for Vahsel Bay. Weddell Sea ice slowed progress.

19 January 1915, Disaster struck this expedition when the Endurance became frozen fast in an ice floe.

24 February, realising they were trapped, Shackleton ordered the abandonment of ship's routine and her conversion to a winter station. She drifted slowly northward with the ice through the following months.

September, when spring arrived, the breaking ice and ice movements put extreme pressures on the ship's hull. It was being slowly crushed.     Until this point, Shackleton had hoped that the ship, when released from the ice, could work her way back towards Vahsel Bay.

24 October, however, water began pouring in. After a few days, with the position at 69  ° 5' S, 51  ° 30' W, Shackleton gave the order to abandon ship, saying, "She's going down!" and men, provisions and equipment were transferred to camps on the ice.

21 November 1915, the wreck finally slipped beneath the surface.

"What the ice wants, the ice keeps."  

They had very rough conditions to sleep.  "Crawling into the sleeping bag was like crawling in to the carcass of a dead animal."    Ewwww. 


Map of the sea routes of Endurance, the James Caird, and Aurora,

the overland supply depot route of the Ross Sea Party,

and the planned overland route of the Weddell Sea Party

led by Ernest Shackleton on his trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-15: 



December, January 1916 - They camped on a large, flat floe, hoping that it would drift towards Paulet Island, approximately 250 miles (402 km) away, where it was known that stores were cached.

There were failed attempts to march across the ice to this island, so theyset up another more permanent camp (Patience Camp) on another floe, and trust to the drift of the ice to take them towards a safe landing.

They did 1500 miles of "sledging"   with four dogs. 10 March 1916

17 March, their ice camp was within 60 miles (97 km) of Paulet Island but, separated by impassable ice, they were unable to reach it.

9 April, their ice floe broke into two, and Shackleton ordered the crew into the lifeboats, to head for the nearest land.

5 harrowing days at sea, the exhausted men landed their three lifeboats at the inhospitable Elephant Island, 346 miles (557 km) from where the Endurance sank. This was the first time they had stood on solid ground for 497 days.

Shackleton's concern for his men was such that he gave his mittens to photographer Frank Hurley, who had lost his during the boat journey. Shackleton suffered frostbitten fingers as a result.

Elephant Island was far from any shipping routes so Shackleton decided to risk an open-boat journey to the 720-nautical-mile-distant South Georgia whaling stations, where he knew help was available.

On the James Caird, the strongest of the tiny 20-foot lifeboats, they raised the sides, strengthened the keel, built a  deck of wood and canvas, and sealed the work with oil paint and seal blood.

Shackleton refused to pack supplies for more than four weeks, knowing that if they did not reach South Georgia within that time, the boat and its crew would be lost.

24 April 1916 the open boat James Caird was launched with Shackleton and 5 others from the shore of Elephant Island

15 days it sailed through the waters of the southern ocean, at the mercy of the stormy seas, in constant peril of capsizing.

8 May, thanks to Worsley's navigational skills, the cliffs of South Georgia came into sight, but hurricane-force winds prevented the possibility of landing.

They rode out the storm offshore, in constant danger of being dashed against the rocks. They would later learn that the same hurricane had sunk a 500-ton steamer bound for South Georgia from Buenos Aires.

On the following day, they landed on the unoccupied southern shore. After some rest and recuperation, rather than risk putting to sea again to reach the whaling stations on the northern coast, Shackleton decided to attempt a land crossing of the island. Although it is likely that Norwegian whalers had previously crossed at other points on ski, no one had attempted this particular route before.

Leaving McNish, Vincent and McCarthy at the landing point on South Georgia,

Shackleton travelled 32 miles (51 km) with 2 others over mountainous terrain for 36 hours to reach the whaling station at Stromness

20 May arrived at the whaling stations.

The next successful crossing of South Georgia was in October 1955, by the British explorer Duncan Carse, who travelled much of the same route as Shackleton's party. In tribute to their achievement, he wrote: "I do not know how they did it, except that they had to "   three men of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration with 50 feet of rope between them "   and a carpenter's adze"

Shackleton immediately sent a boat to pick up the three men from the other side of South Georgia while he set to work to organise the rescue of the Elephant Island men. His first three attempts were foiled by sea ice, which blocked the approaches to the island.

He appealed to the Chilean government, which offered the use of Yelcho, a small seagoing tug from its navy.

30 August 1916 Yelcho and the British whaler SS Southern Sky reached Elephant Island, at which point the men had been isolated there for four and a half months, and Shackleton quickly evacuated all 22 men.

The Yelcho took the crew first to Punta Arenas and after some days to Valparaiso in Chile where crowds warmly welcomed them back to civilisation.

August 1916 "All Safe, All Well", allegedly depicting Shackleton's return to Elephant Island

There remained the men of the Ross Sea Party, who were stranded at Cape Evans in McMurdo Sound, after Aurora had been blown from its anchorage and driven out to sea, unable to return.

The ship, after a drift of many months, had returned to New Zealand.

Shackleton travelled there to join Aurora, and sailed with her to the rescue of the Ross Sea party.

This group, despite many hardships, had carried out its depot-laying mission to the full, but three lives had been lost, including that of its commander, Aeneas Mackintosh.


 Jonathan Shackleton said "He changed the purpose of the mission. Always remaining an optimist. Men trusted that Shak would get them back safely."

Final expedition on the Quest and death 1920-21


Shackleton returned to the lecture circuit and published his own account of the Endurance expedition, South, in December 1919.

In 1920, tired of the lecture circuit, Shackleton began to consider the possibility of a last expedition. He thought seriously of going to the Beaufort Sea area of the Arctic, a largely unexplored region, and raised some interest in this idea from the Canadian government.

With funds supplied by former schoolfriend John Quiller Rowett, he acquired a 125-ton Norwegian sealer, named Foca I which he renamed Quest.

The plan changed; the destination became the Antarctic, and the project was defined by Shackleton as an "oceanographic and sub-antarctic expedition".

The goals of the venture were imprecise, but a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and investigation of some "lost" sub-Antarctic islands, were mentioned as objectives.

16 September 1921, Shackleton recorded a farewell address on a sound-on-film system created by Harry Grindell Matthews, who claimed it was the first "talking picture" ever made.

24 September 1921 the Quest left England.

Some of his former crew members had not received all their pay from the Endurance expedition, but many of them signed on with their former "Boss".

When the party arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Shackleton suffered a suspected heart attack. He refused a proper medical examination, so Quest continued south.

4 January 1922, they arrived at South Georgia.

The next morning Shackleton summoned the physician to his cabin, complaining of back pains and other discomfort. According to Macklin's own account, Macklin told him he had been overdoing things and should try to "lead a more regular life", to which Shackleton answered: "You are always wanting me to give up things, what is it I ought to give up?" "Chiefly alcohol, Boss," replied Macklin. A few moments later, at 2:50 a.m. on 5 January 1922, Shackleton suffered a fatal heart attack.

5 March 1922, Sir Ernest Shackleton was buried in the Grytviken cemetery, South Georgia

Macklin wrote in his diary: "I think this is as 'the Boss' would have had it himself, standing lonely in an island far from civilisation, surrounded by stormy tempestuous seas, & in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits."

He was mostly forgotten, while the heroic reputation of his rival Scott was sustained for many decades.

Later in the 20th century, he was "rediscovered", and rapidly became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by polar historian Stephanie Barczewski as "incredible".




What are Penguins?

Penguins are BIRDS so they have their body covered with feathers, they regulate their own body temperature and they reproduce by means of eggs. Penguins have reached a high level of adaptation to sea life, and htey only visit firm earth in order to reproduce , molt or when they are ill. But the sea is always their actual home.


Why are they called Penguins?

This name might refer to the fat (pinguis from Latin) present in penguins. On hte other hand, it is thought that it derives from two Welsh words meaning "white head".  The most accepted version is htat "penguin" was used as a name for the extinct "great auk" (Pinguinus impernnis), a flightless sea bird of the northern hemisphere similar to enguins. Therefore, this last species might have received this name by mistake.

Do Penguins live only in Antarctica?

Most people believe that penguins are Antarctic animals living on ice. However, out of hte twenty species and subspecies known nowadays, only the Adelie and Emperor penguis are peculiar to the Antartic continent. Some other species, like the Magellanic Penguin, inhabit more septentrional strips of land, lik ethe arid patagonic coasts. The Rockhopper Penguin is distributed in the sub-Antartic area and inhabits the southern tip of South America and the Malvinas Islands. Others are distributed on the sub-Antarctic islanda


How many penguins species are there in Antarctica?

Eight species nest along the continent and unsular shore of Argentina. Including the Malvinas Islands and th Argentine Antarctic sector:

Emperor, King, Adelie, Gentoo, Chinstrap,

 Rockhopper, Macaroni, Magellanic


* indicates we saw these.

Aptenodytes    great penguins
  King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus
  *Emperor penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri

Pygoscelis    brush-tailed penguins
  *Adelie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae
  *Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica
  *Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua

Eudyptula    little penguins
  Little blue penguin, Eudyptula minor
  White-flippered penguin, Eudyptula albosignata (provisional)

Spheniscus    banded penguins
  *Magellanic penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus
  Humboldt penguin, Spheniscus humboldti
  Galapagos penguin, Spheniscus mendiculus
  African penguin, Spheniscus demersus

  Yellow-eyed penguin, Megadyptes antipodes
  Waitaha penguin, Megadyptes waitaha (extinct)

Eudyptes    crested penguins
  Fiordland penguin, Eudyptes pachyrynchus
  Snares penguin, Eudyptes robustus
  Erect-crested penguin, Eudyptes sclateri
  Western rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome
  Eastern rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes filholi
  Northern rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes moseleyi
  Royal penguin, Eudyptes schlegeli (disputed)
  Macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus


How is the Rockhopper (or Yellow-Crested) Penguins


The Rockhopper penguin derives its name in Spanish from a tuft of long yellow feathers arranged over their eyes, as a sort of eyebrow.

Another distinctive feature is their strong nails, what makes it possible for it to climb steep slopes, so they leave marks on the hard rocks of the island.

Their sex can be determined through the size and shape of their bill.

They have wings turned into fins, and a hydrodynamic body and its modified feathers and intricate

like the scales of a fish, it's fins are black on top and white with a characteristic black pattern , which changes accordingly to age.

Molting is a traumatic process becuase all these new feathers that replace the old are generated from the transformation of the penguin's tissues into feathers. During molting, these animals may loose up to 50% of their weight.



They have a thick layer of blubber, and web feet and claws.

100 feathers per square inch.

They have solid bones  they are not hollow  that helps keep them buoyant in the water.

They eat stones.

1 emperor penguin had 10 pounds of stones

They go from 90 pounds down to 40 pounds after incubation.

A female walks about 50 miles to relieve the male.

Penguins World of madagascar


Seasickness  remedies

      stay hydrated, less alcohol, less caffeine

      Dramamine, Transderm Scop patch, Promethazine

      Ginger 250 milligram 3 times a day, Acupressure on location 3 finger below the wrist on the inner forearm inbetween the two tendons

      Aromatherapy, Music - the distraction can reduce the number of pain signals traveling from the spinal cord to the brain

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