2 Ushuaia, Argentina. This is a view of the airport. We will be getting on the National Geographic Explorer a little later in the day.
3 For the time being, we are going to do a little exploring on this catamaran.
4 Penguin rookery near Ushuaia, Argentina. A rookery is simply a colony of breeding animals - usually birds.
6 Ushuaia is off in the distance
7 Seals and Cormorants
8 Still cruising around Ushuaia.
9 Ushuaia, Argentina.
10 Our first view of the ship that is going to be our home for the next ten days. This ship is said to be "ice rated". It is not an icebreaker but is specially reinforced to cruise in ice-filled waters.
11 Off for Antarctica.
12 Every afternoon one of the ship's officers would mark how far we have gotten.
13 Exploring through the ship. This is the library.
14 Walking in the ship was quite a challenge after it entered the Drake Passage.
15 With holding bars everywhere, the ship looked like a sea-going assisted living facility. The ropes made it look like it was attacked by a giant spider.
16 Dining room chairs are tethered to the floor
17 Bar stools are bolted down.
18 Glenda took this as I was going around the ship photographing the bars, ropes, etc.
19 This little fellow was following me around.
20 The ship's bridge is open any time, so Glenda and I visited. Here the captain is showing me the different instruments and how they work. The visit was very fascinating.
21 Getting close to Antarctica.
23 This is a Chinstrap Penguin. Note the black line under the eyes and beak.
24 Chinstrap Penguin. Notice that under his beak he has something that looks like a chin strap.
25 Chinstrap with egg. Notice, it is hatching. There is no way for us humans to tell who are the males and who are the females. They both take an equal part in hatching the egg(s), and feeding the chicks. Presumably the penguins know the difference.
26 Chinstrap with chick.
27 Chinstrap Penguin rookery.
29 Chinstrap feeding it's young. Penguins are monogamous . It is very difficult to tell the male from the female. They both participate in hatching the egg and feeding the young. We don't know if this particular chinstrap is a male or female.
30 The penguins always have the right-away.
31 Our ship.
32 Intrepid explorer.
33 We are in a volcanic area. The "chimney" that you see is formed by lava coming up and solidifying almost instantly.
34 Chinstrap Penguins in typical spring weather.
35 Springtime in Antarctica, January in the southern hemisphere is equivalent to July in the northern hemisphere.
36 Chinstrap Penguin.
37 Spring is here, where are the flowers?
38 Beautiful Antarctica.
42 Glenda and Ron
44 Antarctic scenery
46 Gentoo Penguin. The gentoo has a red beak. It is quite easy to identify them.
48 Gentoo rookery
49 Notice the yellow kayaks to the right and the Zodiacs to the left.
51 Our clothing was so good that no one ever felt wet or cold even when sitting on the snow for long periods of time.
52 Gentoo. Notice the nest. It is made of only rock.
53 Gentoo with plans to sing at ball games.
56 The blue coloring in the snow tells us that the ice has been compressed under a glacier by hundreds of tons of snow. This causes the molecular structure to change. This change gives the compressed ice a blue tint when it reflects light.
57 Kayaking in Antarctic waters.
58 Gentoo rookery.
59 Gentoos going for a walk.
61 The Gentoo Penguins were clearly not afraid of us. Notice all of the blue ice.
68 Kayaking in Antarctic waters.
69 Seals, doing what they do best - take a nap.
72 Skua - will break penguin eggs and eat the contents. Can also eat small penguin chicks.
73 Skua looking for prey.
75 Skua in flight.
76 Skua made himself right at home next to a roosting penguin. If the penguin gets up, the skua will grab the egg (or small chick).
78 Glenda performing the annual blessing of the penguins.
79 Seal having pleasant dreams.
82 Glenda and Ron
87 Who is that masked woman?
88 Two Gentoos and an Adelaide Penguin. .
89 This Adelaide Penguin is actually in mid-air.
90 Birds refused to look at the camera while a picture was being taken.
96 We know that this iceberg is frozen to the ground. We know this by the indentation at the bottom. At high tide the water rises and melts some of the ice because the iceberg is moored to the ground and won't rise with the change in the level.
100 Ron in spring attire.
101 Gentoo rookery
102 Rescue shed. If a ship crew needs to take refuge from the weather, this shed has all the necessities for life. You are expected to replenish it when you are rescued.
103 Gentoo and egg.
109 Who ever heard of an explorer drinking red wine while exploring?
110 ham sandwich.
111 Mom and two kids.
114 Seal sleeping.
115 I think that I will explore Antarctica on my own.
116 checking to be sure that the ice is strong enough. If he doesn't come back, it wasn't strong enough.
118 The red parka was given to everyone on the cruise.
119 Here the captain used the enormous strength of the engines and simply pushed on to the ice.
120 Taking advantage of the extreme physical strength that I have built up by walking my dog 3-miles per day for two years, the captain asked me to pull the ship through the ice. Nooo problem!
125 Photographing an antarctic bird. This picture was taken from the pointy end of our ship.
128 Walking around on the ice.
129 Scenery taken from the ship.
130 We couldn't get enough of Antarctic scenery.
131 Picture taken at 10:50 in the evening. While we were there, it was getting dark at about midnight and the sun would rise at about 2am. Scenery taken from the ship.
132 Photographing Antarctica through the ship's dining room windows.
134 Ross Seal.
135 Antarctica scenery.
136 Sea ice.
138 Rescue hut built by the British. Take what you need and replenish when you can.
139 Rescue hut built by the British. Take what you need and replenish when you can.
140 Rescue hut built by the British. Take what you need and replenish when you can.
142 Rescue hut built by the British. Take what you need and replenish when you can.
144 One of our fellow passengers examines a penguin rookery while one of the penguins examines him.
145 Red-bodied penguin. Very rare.
147 Three killer whales.
151 6-Killer Whales hunting for food.
156 Killer Whale
158 Killer Whales
160 Humpback Whale.
161 Humpback Whale.
163 These whales were clearly not afraid of our ship..
166 face of the whale
173 Whale watching.
180 Feeding the kid.
181 Notice the Gentoo Chick.
183 Feeding. The parents take turns sitting on the egg. The one that is not sitting goes to the water and searches for krill (a little water animal about the size of a shrimp). The krill is digested by the parent and then they regurgitate up a little at a time for the chick.
184 Seal taking beauty nap.
185 Photographing whale bones. The area that we are now in used to be a whaling station. The whale would be killed and then taken to shore. All the parts would be taken and the bones left in Antarctica.
187 Fearless Gentoo Penguin
188 Leaving shore to return to our ship.
191 Interior of rescue station. Use what you need and then replace it when rescued.
192 Interior of rescue station. Use what you need and then replace it when rescued.
193 Interior of rescue station. Use what you need and then replace it when rescued. Notice the picture of a young Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.
194 Rescue station.
195 Rescue station.
196 Rescue station.
197 This crew member, Stephan, pursues his own hobby as time permits. He takes panorama pictures and sells them to large offices, etc.
199 This is Stephan with his panorama camera.
200 Man on the left is the ship's captain. He is not only the captain, but is the bar tender and barber. Doesn't have a license but in his younger years used to play with a rubber ducky in the tub.
Center is the ship's doctor. No license but used to hang around a pharmacy counter as a youth.
Right is the ship's radio operator. He only speaks Swahili, so if we needed rescuing his job would be to contact any ship with a Swahili-speaking operator.
201 Our cabin. Quite comfortable.
202 When we left on our great adventure, this parking lot at BWI was quite full. It took us a while to find a space. Look at it now. The white SUV is ours.