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Live trip report begins in the beginning of this thread and continues (amid a fair amount of banter) until post #321 here.

Regular trip report begins here.



Other people's trip reports:

@chff: https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=101296.0

@Dan:
Original Post for the trip: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/join-lifetime-kosher-catered-trip-antarctica/
Intro to trip: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/follow-me-to-antarctica/
Part 1: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/trip-notes-antarctica-part-1-buenos-airesplanning-positioning-adventure-lifetime/
Part 2: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/antarctica-trip-notes-part-2-flying-end-world-southernmost-chanukah-party-ushuaia/
Part 3: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/shabbat-shalom-southernmost-shabbos-earth/



Related DDF Threads:

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Kosher Catered Trip To Antarctica!
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Kosher Catered Trip To Antarctica! FOMO support group

Antarctica Cruise Raffle
Antarctica Raffle #2, Fill Out This Form If You Would Like To Join A DDF Raffle!
New Antarctica Cruise Raffle! Win A Superior Cabin
Another Antarctica Raffle!

"First" in Antarctica?
Polar Zmanim On The Antarctic Cruise
Antarctica TR: the trip after Dan

Author Topic: Live Antarctica Trip Report  (Read 58351 times)

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #465 on: December 10, 2019, 09:14:00 PM »
Monday, December 10

After shachris and breakfast at the hotel, most people headed to Tierra del Fuego National Park for a few hours before boarding the ship. The park is pretty enough, but kinda underwhelming overall:



This is apparently one of the highlights of the park, some flooded forest or other:



Plenty of cool birds around though, so I was happy. Upland goose:





Gray-hooded sierra-finch:



Great grebe:



Kelp goose:



Rufous-collared sparrow with a moth for lunch:



Black-chinned siskin:



"The Post Office at the End of the World" - tourist trap central, but got a weird passport stamp so yay:



Lake between Argentina and Chile:





Moss:



Shrooms:





Time to head back:





Checking out of the hotel, with our bags taken directly to the ship by truck:



Our ship seen from town:



And before we knew it, we were off!



First stop was the ship's lounge where staff was introduced, emergency musters were... mustered?... and lots of wine was drunk.

Stephen Harper at the bar:



Once everyone got settle in it was time for the first of many long and delicious dinners:



Today's menu: English Louisiana Ribs with mashed potatoes, fried onions, green beans, and red peppers:



L'chaim!

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #466 on: December 12, 2019, 03:37:17 PM »
Wow, time flies! Lots of great memories, but what happened to the next day? Looks like One Ocean took over this TR. :)

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #467 on: December 12, 2019, 09:36:57 PM »
Wow, time flies! Lots of great memories, but what happened to the next day? Looks like One Ocean took over this TR. :)

Was feeling under the weather the last few days. Will catch up soon.
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Online Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #468 on: December 12, 2019, 10:12:49 PM »
Tuesday, December 11

Today was an at sea day, so not much happening. Spent the day having long meals, a credit card seminar from Dan and a bird photography seminar from me, and a whole lot of relaxing on the deck watching the seabirds circling the ship.

Today's schedule:



Breakfast:





Today we had French toast and croissants in addition to the daily selection of Montreal bagels, breads, various spreads, salad bar, hot and cold cereals, juices, and a made-to-order omelette station:



Late morning shuir on polar zmanim:



Lunch was Fettuccine Alfredo and Baked Ziti:



Countless seabirds were constantly following the ship, circling all around or looking for fish in the ship's wake.

Black-browed albatross:



The albatross has one of the longest wingspans in the world, at nearly 8 feet:





Cape petrel:



Southern giant-petrel:







Dinner tonight was amazing Montreal smoked meats:



Dan and I made up a platter and, together with our Canadian chefs, went over to introduce ourselves to Stephen Harper. We had a great conversation and he was only too happy to pose with us:





As you can see in the picture, we're wearing name tags. The ship encouraged us all to wear it so we can learn each others names. It was definitely a good idea, as it was extremely nice to interact with the staff on a first-name basis. Here's mine:



Dan:



Batchy:



Apparently Aussie shared some of his tequila with the front desk, because one night he showed up with only half a bottle remaining and rocking a new name tag:



Maariv was early-ish tonight - we were still relatively north, and tomorrow was going to be an early morning: we're off to the Falklands!
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Offline ual902

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #469 on: December 13, 2019, 02:52:29 PM »
Wow amazing pictures and thanks for sharing, what lens did you use to photo shoot the birds?

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #470 on: December 13, 2019, 03:24:08 PM »
Wow amazing pictures and thanks for sharing, what lens did you use to photo shoot the birds?

Thanks!

I used a Sigma 60-600. But unless you need that wide end, I really suggest their 150-600 instead.
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #471 on: December 13, 2019, 03:24:56 PM »
Wednesday, December 12

Today we awoke... in the Falklands!

I have been dying to visit the Falkands for years, but getting there is nearly impossible - for years the only flights have been on Shabbos, and were eye-wateringly expensive. So when we found out that we were being diverted to the Falklands for fuel (see Dan's TR for the entire saga), a small part of me was pretty excited. Of course we all knew this would cost us a day or more of Antarctica, but at least we're going to a place that even experienced travelers rarely get to.

Today's schedule:



After a very early Shachris and breakfast, we disembarked the ship onto waiting buses:



First stop - Gypsy Cove.See those black specks on the beach? First penguin sighting of the trip!





(And yes, those two pictures were taken from the same exact spot. The power of a good zoom lens!)

The weather was absolutely lovely, and between the beautiful vegetation and the color of that water, we may as well have been on a tropical island.

MOAR PENGUINS:





This guy has built a burrow right along the pathway:



Throughout the trip we'd end up seeing four different species of penguins - Chinstrap, Gentoo, Adélie, and the ones here, Magellanic:



Unfortunately we couldn't get any closer to the beach, because, you know, land mines. There are still thousands of them left over from the 1982 Falklands War, and while the British have been at work clearing them for years, more keep on getting washed ashore by the surf:



Some pretty cool rock formations, looking inland:



Lovely vegetation:



This little stretch of rocky shoreline held an incredible variety of bird life, so I was in bird watching heaven. All of those pictures were taken from maybe a 50-food stretch.

Dark-faced ground-tyrant:



One of my favorite pictures of the trip, a singing grass wren:



This long-tailed meadowlark refused to peek out from behind that tuft of grass:



Courting rock shags (AKA Magellanic cormorant):



Nestling black-capped night heron:



Another dark-faced ground-tyrant:



Black-capped night heron collecting nesting material:



Nesting rock shags:



Dan:



DAN!



Batchy doing... something:



Some more cool formations:



Batchy shooting some birds:



Black-chinned siskin:



After a couple of hours at Gypsy Cove, we had a short drive to Walebone Cove and its many wrecks:





See the machinery, tent, and dude in red and orange on the top of the hill? That's a mine-clearing operation:



After a quick visit we headed back into town, where most people headed off to shop or explore the museum. @bgfbgfbhgf, on the other hand, went around looking for a print shop so he can print a Tanya in the Falklands for the very first time. It took over a year, but the project was finally finished last week:









While the group went to town (literally, not euphemistically), Dick Filby and I decided to go to the fields behind the town to look for rare birds. Dick was the ship's ornithologist - AKA bird scientist - so this was gonna be an adventure.

If you look at a map of Stanley you'll see that town is basically a long, narrow strip on a hillside. We climbed that hill, and after two or three streets we had passed through the entire place.

Official government vehicle:



Fascinating display about the island's whaling past that really puts the size of whales into perspective. That's an actual whale backbone in the background:



Killer whale (orca) skull:



Dick Filby and a sperm whale skull. Ridiculous how gigantic this is:



Found some birds! First one we saw was the rare ruddy-headed goose:



This rufous-chested dotterel was displaying for his mate:



Dick and his spotting scope:



An austral thrush on the way back to town:



The view from the top of the hill - the entire place is basically a sleepy British village:



We got back to the main road before most of the crowd, and were soon joined by the owner of our expedition company and Stephen Harper. We had a great conversation, Harper telling me how he's long been fascinated by Yiddish but only knew a few phrases. He asked me how to say certain things and then practiced with me.

In all honesty it was somewhat surreal. If you had asked me a year earlier what I'd be doing in a year from now. "standing on a street corner in the Falklands teaching a former Canadian Prime Minister Yiddish" would not have been my answer. Life is weird sometimes.

Photo credit @chff :


 
I had some time afterwards to run into a store for souvenirs, and then it was back on the ship.

Not a passport stamp I ever expected to get:



Lunch today was pan-seared halibut, tomato provencal, and basmati rice:



Goodbye Falklands:



Couple of orcas:



Land drifting beneath the horizon. Next time we'll see land will be in Antarctica!



After lunch Dan gave his first CC seminar:



Dinner:



Don't mess with the Guardian of the Wine:



We were now in the Drake Passage, and luckily for us, so far it wast the Drake Lake and not the Drake Shake:



Southern giant-petrel diving for some fish:



Kiddush Levana:



Participant Avrumi S. broke out a box of cigars, and the group spent hours on the deck, schmoozing deep into the night.

Batchy and our caterer Shua:



Eventually, in twos and threes, we all drifted back inside and to bed.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 03:35:41 PM by Something Fishy »
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #472 on: December 14, 2019, 10:17:12 PM »
Love these! Keep em coming

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #473 on: December 15, 2019, 12:26:05 AM »
Wednesday, December 12

Kiddush Levana:


Wait, have you ever heard the story of the Alter Rebbe and Kiddush Levana?
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #474 on: December 15, 2019, 12:28:28 AM »
Wait, have you ever heard the story of the Alter Rebbe and Kiddush Levana?
Clearly not, these snags wouldn't even wait for 7 days from the molad ;D
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #475 on: December 15, 2019, 01:30:20 AM »
Thursday, December 13

Quiet day, our second one spent entirely at sea. The Drake became a bit more shaky, but was not really bad.

Listening to some presentation on the weather:





Sometime in the middle of the day the captain announced that we had crossed the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold waters of Antarctica meet the warmer waters of the South Atlantic. Biologically, we were now in Antarctica. We did indeed begin seeing a wider variety of birds around then, particularly other kinds of albatross and petrels.

Light-mantled sooty albatross:



Gray-headed albatross:



Northern giant-petrel:



Anther amazing dinner:



Spent a while after dinner shooting more birds and helping out the group get great pictures.

Another light-mantled sooty albatross:



It's out of focus, but this black-browed albatross was being... weird:



Sunset silhouettes:









After dark someone remembered that it was some Chabad yom tov or other, so we broke out the lekach and mashka. According to my GPS, we were minutes away from the 60th parallel south - AKA the Antarctic proper. We all gathered around the GPS waiting for the moment, and then made a lively L'chaim. From the sound of the video, some people had apparently made some L'chaims in preparation for Antarctica as well:





I don't drink, so as you can see in the video I made a L'chaim on a pickle. Let's just say that Dan's reaction to that horrible fact has been carefully trimmed out of those videos, and more importantly, so has @CheskyGold's ;D ;D ;D.

Tomorrow: we land on Antarctica.......... or do we???
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 01:33:41 AM by Something Fishy »
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #476 on: December 15, 2019, 01:31:46 AM »
This cliffhanger would be a lot better if Dan hadn't already posted his TR with the spoiler :P
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #477 on: December 15, 2019, 09:37:36 AM »
Amazing as always!

Talking about dinner and shooting birds at the same time...
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #478 on: December 15, 2019, 01:35:16 PM »
Wait, have you ever heard the story of the Alter Rebbe and Kiddush Levana?
I get the feeling that @Dan may have possibly mentioned the story to @Something Fishy at some point...

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #479 on: December 15, 2019, 01:35:44 PM »
I get the feeling that @Dan may have possibly mentioned the story to @Something Fishy at some point...
Only one way to find out, @somethingfishy, can you tell us the story?
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