Voyage to Antarctica

Photos of an expedition to Antarctica in December 2000 



December 19, 2000

Ushuaia and Beagle Channel  


                                   Mariya Yermolova                                           Ushuaia, Argentina           

As we departed the city of Ushuaia, Argentina on board the Mariya Yermolova, we had the same thoughts that the great Antarctic explorers Shackleton, Scott, Byrd, and Amundsen had - how would we get food?  How would we stay warm?  How would we survive the dangerous crossing of the Drake Passage?  Then we remembered, we would eat three hot meals a day prepared by the kitchen staff, we would stay warm by wearing layers of gore-tex and fleece, and we would cross the Drake Passage using the latest in GPS receivers and radar.  We would have it a little bit easier than the early Antarctic explorers. All this because we were taking a 10 day cruise to Antarctica through Marine Expeditions (which since has gone out of business).   We departed Ushuaia, Argentina in the evening and went through the Beagle Channel before entering the notorious Drake Passage.  



December 20, 2000 

At Sea, Drake Passage


            "Drake Lake"  -  a very quite Drake Passage                            Dining Room        

The day was spent at sea, crossing the 600 mile Drake Passage which lies between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula.  During the day we passed over the Antarctic Convergence where the cold waters of the Antarctic meet the warmer seas of the Atlantic.  It is not uncommon for seas to reach 30 feet in the Drake, but we did not have any over 8 feet, so only a few people got seasick.  Most passengers brought some form of sea sickness preventative, including Dramamine, Bonine, transderm scop patches, ginger, and elastic acupressure wrist bands.  There were several lectures and slide shows by the staff each day about the Antarctic continent, history of exploration, and wildlife we would see on the journey.  



December 21, 2000 

At Sea, Drake Passage & Penguin Island

The first iceberg was spotted in the afternoon, so Antarctica was not that far away.  We arrived in the Shetland islands and made a zodiac landing at Penguin Island, just off King George Island.   Since it was summer, it was light 24 hours a day.



Loading the zodiacs.  Usually 5 or 6 zodiacs were used to ferry passengers to the shore for each landing.


Chinstrap Penguins


Elephant seals



December 22, 2000 

Brown Bluff and Hope Bay

Penguins at Brown Bluff



Year-round residents at Argentina's Esperanza Base



December 23, 2000 

Hannah Point and Whalers Bay


Deception island is an active volcano which last erupted in 1970, destroying several scientific bases. Several passengers decided to enjoy the hot waters even though it was well below freezing.


A Macaroni penguin at Livingston island.


Elephant seals posing for a photo.



December 24, 2000 

Port Lockroy and Pleneau Island


Port Lockroy was formerly the British Antarctic Survey station. Now it serves as a gift shop for tourists during the summer months.


We took the zodiac boats on a tour of the icebergs that had piled up near Pleneau island. We saw dozens of spectacular huge icebergs


December 25, 2000

Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour


The whales put on a show in Neko Harbour. Whales were spotted throughout the trip, mostly humpback and minke.



The skies cleared this day revealing spectacular mountains. It was cloudy for most of the journey.



December 26, 2000 

Paradise Bay and Dallman Bay

Cruising in Paradise Bay.


Approaching the unoccupied Almirante Brown Argentinian station. Tracks in the snow are visible where some of the passengers slid down the mountains on life jackets.



December 27, 2000 

At Sea, Drake Passage


Returning back to South America.



December 28, 2000

Drake Passage, Cape Horn, and Beagle Channel


Cape Horn - The first sight of South America means that we will soon be back. We arrive at the dock in Ushuaia early on the morning of December 29 and head to the airport for the long journey back. It is a voyage that no one will ever forget. Thanks to staff member Adam Rheborg who took many great photos with a digital camera. Most of the photos on this page were his. He copied the photos and the ships expedition diary to CD for the passengers, so everyone had a record of the journey.



Larry the leopard seal says: "Thanks for visiting us here in Antarctica".


More Antarctica photos


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