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South Pole Cruise - Part II

January 11th – 22nd 2004

The "details" mentioned earlier make this environment probably the least populated place of this planet. Inhabitants mainly, consist of marine mammals and birds. Penguins are the actual icon of South Pole and are said to represent about 90% of the actual bio load … We saw a few different species, among them:

    1. Adelia Penguins, with black head and eyes surrounded by a white area
    2. Chinstrap Penguins, with half black-half white head and a linear close to eyes

They’re "funny" animals that walk (in a row) along paths marked on the ice, balancing themselves with their tails.

As a final present (a really unexpected one) our Antarctic stay rewarded us with twenty hours of blue sky, warm weather and a shinning sun in a row (something not very common for this part of the world). This was complemented by a nice, intriguing, barbecue on the ship’s deck. Try to imagine the scenery: the ship is lying under a crisp blue sky lined with a few white clouds in a calm bay with crystal clear water … lots of floating icebergs, every now and then a lone seal or whale moves around. Clear sky and crisp air, a nice environment … what a feeling!!!

Grilled food smell took us back – suddenly – to reality … we immediately realized that we have been "starving to death"!!! It’s been a truly unforgettable day, believe me!

On our way back now, regrettably ! Three long days of sailing to return and cross the "Drake Channel" once more! On January 21st, after 10 days of cruising (3600 km/1943 nautical miles), we returned to "the last city of the world" (commonly nicknamed Ushuaia). Every member of the group had understood that, for us, the world was not ending there anymore …

I’ve been finally rewarded by the Captain – to my joy and pride – with a certificate stating that the beholder (myself) survived the "Drake Channel" crossing … Be assured, it’s extremely rewarding!

Finally, here are some photos that will – hopefully – show you all the unbelievable, magnificent, shining, glittering beautiful places we 've been to …

 

Sailing away …

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