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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 54544 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #480 on: December 15, 2019, 01:37:45 PM »
I get the feeling that @Dan may have possibly mentioned the story to @Something Fishy at some point...
My memory is fuzzy, but it's certainly possible that it came up.
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.

Offline whYME

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #481 on: December 15, 2019, 01:39:19 PM »
My memory is fuzzy, but it's certainly possible that it came up.
Well in that case I think you should tell it to him again just to be sure

Offline Dan

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #482 on: December 15, 2019, 02:17:52 PM »
Well in that case I think you should tell it to him again just to be sure

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.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #483 on: December 15, 2019, 02:34:55 PM »
Only one way to find out, @somethingfishy, can you tell us the story?

Something something something boat
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Offline Yehuda57

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #484 on: December 15, 2019, 02:36:20 PM »
Something something something boat
That's like me describing your photography as duck duck goose whatever
Quote from: ExGingi
Yehuda57 needs to spew a certain amount of sarcasm in order to survive through the day.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #485 on: December 15, 2019, 02:38:18 PM »
That's like me describing your photography as duck duck goose whatever

Sounds about right to me
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #486 on: December 16, 2019, 02:16:14 AM »
Friday, December 14

BING BONG!

Our morning wake up chime today was accompanied by the announcement of a giant tabular iceberg, our first in Antarctica. These behemoths break off from the ice shelves on the edge of the continent and then float for years, before being broken off into smaller chunks, drifting northward, and ultimately melting away.

At over 5 miles wide, you can say this big guy was an epic welcome to Antarctica:





Our first stop today was Penguin Island, a tiny island off the gigantic King George Island in the South Shetlands. For some context, here's my GPS trace of the entire voyage, zooming in all the way to Penguin Island.

You could see our departure from Ushuaia in Argentina, our northeast track to the Falklands, straight down to the South Shetlands Islands, then we run along them for a bit before dipping down to the Antarctic continent itself, before heading due north across the Drake and Ushuaia:



The South Shetlands (the islands in the center top), and the Antarctic Peninsula:



The little island poking in on the upper right is Elephant Island, where Shackleton launched his tiny boat and headed towards South Georgia. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go and buy this book. You will not regret it.)

King George Island - Penguin Island is so small you can't even see it here, but not for the little blip in the track:



Penguin Island:



Anyways... back to Antarctica. There is nowhere for the ship to dock (obviously), so what we do is head to shore on zodiacs - little rigid-hull inflatable boats, each holding around 10 people. These are stored on the top deck of the ship and are lowered by crane, and then are driven to the stairs on the side of the ship where the passengers embark.

However, The use of zodiacs - especially the craning operations - can only happen within a certain weather window - and our streak of fine weather had finally run out. The captain announced that due to high winds the zodiacs will not be able to be launched, and so we will only see Penguin Island from the ship.

Disappointing as that was, such is Antarctica - proper medical care is a few days away, and safety must always take precedence. And the wind were indeed vicious - it was difficult at time to hold my camera steady, as the wind caught my long lens and whipped it all around.

And so we saw - but didn't land on - Penguin Island. The island itself was not tremendously beautiful, to be honest, consisting mainly of barren lava, a bit of snow here and there, and a giant volcanic cone over it all:



But man, was that little island packed with life! Thousands of chinstrap penguins (species #2 on the trip), countless seals, around a zillion seabirds, and whales in the water:





Two 1000-pound elephant seals fighting:



Penguins and Antarctic shags:



The mountains and glaciers of King George Island poking through the mist made for a dramatic background:







Chinstrap penguin purposing in front of the ship - you can clearly see how they got their name:



This photo illustrates the immense biologic diversity of the area: there are about 25 birds shown here of various species, from the tiny Wilson's storm-petrel to the gigantic wandering albatross, which has the largest wingspan of any bird on Earth - nearly twelve feet across (that's the white bird in the center):



Eventually it was time to leave, and we all headed back in to warm up and lunch.

After lunch I went to visit the bridge:





Ice patrol:





What the various flags and signals mean:



Chabad of Antarctica:



We gave Stephen Harper a Kosher Antarctica yarmulka and he wore it for most of the voyage:



...and then it was time to prepare for the most unique Shabbos of our lives.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #487 on: December 16, 2019, 07:01:39 PM »
Shabbos, December 15

For Shabbos, we had arranged for the exclusive use of the Bistro Lounge upstairs. The Bistro had a kitchen prep area, comfortable and varied seating, and a large outdoor deck. Most importantly, it was out of the way and would allow us to spend an uplifting Shabbos without worrying about annoying the rest of the ship with our singing and davening.

Due to our southerly position, the Shabbos schedule was, shall we say, not your usual stuff:



After a "light" toamehu late Friday and final Shabbos preparations, we met back at the Bistro for Mincha and candle lighting. While Shabbos won;t officially begin until local midnight at 12:28am, we brought in Shabbos at the Plag Hamincha, or 9:20. As the ship has a strict no-flame policy, we followed the psak of the STAR-K to light incandescent light bulbs.

On the deck right before Mincha:



The following pictures were taken by the ship's non-Jewish photographer, Jason Ransom:

Preparing for Shabbos:



Mincha - note the seasickness patch under his ear:



One of the lesser-known shtreimel uses: mirrored ceiling polishing:



Throughout the day the weather had been quite horrible, but as we brought in Shabbos the winds died down, the seas became calm, and a peaceful silence hung all around our ship. A light snow began to fall, obscuring everything but a small circle of ocean surrounding the ship. A peaceful bliss enveloped the ship as we took in Shabbos - truly בא שבת בא מנוחה:



Candle lighting:



Kabolas Shabbos:



We had an incredibly diverse crowd, from Chassidim to Litvacks to Chabad to Modern Orthodox and everything in between - but all differences were forgotten when we burst into dance as we sang Boee Bashalom:



After Maariv we settled down for a long and wonderful Shabbos meal. Our caterer Shua pulled out all the stops, and we found ourselves at the end of the world without a single thing lacking. From a tremendous selection of wines and grape juice (even light grape juice for the one passenger who asked for it), to delicious challah, dips, salads, Moroccan salmon, gefilte fish, chicken soup, keneidlach, chicken, brisket, potatoes, and vegetables, through a variety of desserts.

Dan told the story of some Rebbe and some boat for the hundred and twelfth time (at least), various other people delivered dvar Torahs, and we ate, sang, and talked till late into the night.

It was past 1am when we bentched, and then it was time for... Shachris!

Shabbos morning we were awakened to a sumptuous breakfast by Cheskie's of Montreal, and we all ate way too much of their incredible cakes and pastries.

By now we were in Antarctica proper, and the first excursions were taking place. While the rest of the ship disembarked in Mikkelson Harbour (and later in Cierva Cove), we had a second minyan Shachris, a spectacular kiddush, a shuir on hilchos Bein Hasmashos, and another wonderful Shabbos meal. Once more Shua outdid himself, and the chulent, kugel, kishka were amazing.

The weather today was bright and mostly sunny, and we ate our meal and sang zemiros while drifting calmly past massive mountains, glaciers, and icebergs. Many people had a pair of binoculars sitting on the table near them, and the seuda was frequently interrupted by a call of “whale!” and a general rush towards the windows or out to the patio to observe our latest Shabbos guest.

Our Shabbos could only be described as מעין עולם הבא - we didn't even feel a sense of loss that we weren't able to disembark. The non-Jews looked on in wonder, how after spending so much time and money, getting delayed in the Falklands, and finally arriving in Antarctica, we just remained on the ship because our religion says so.

This picture was taken by a passenger named Keenan Thompson, who, upon her return to the ship from their excursion in Mikkelson Harbour, looked up and saw us on the deck during the Shabbos meal just standing there peacefully:



Mincha was at 5:30, followed by Shalosh Seudas and a talk on travel by Dan. Most people went to lie down for a while, as Maariv was scheduled for 1:01am.

Again, we experienced something not many others ever have: Maariv on Motzei Shabbos, followed by Havdala, then Shachris immediately after, and finally Melava Malka.

1am Shachris:







I made Havdala without besamim and a candle, since it was technically Sunday at this point (photo credit @chff):



For Melava Malka we had pita, falafel, and pizza, which Batchy ate like some sort of Neanderthal. Like I posted on my Whatsapp status at the time...:





Finally, at around 2:20, we went to bed.

Tomorrow: Antarctica - for real!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 07:35:36 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #488 on: December 16, 2019, 07:52:50 PM »
Wiki cleaned up and updated.
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Offline how

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #489 on: December 18, 2019, 07:33:23 PM »
Do we have to activate PenguinBot for more updates!

Offline Ellen

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #490 on: December 24, 2019, 02:21:51 PM »
No continuation?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #491 on: December 24, 2019, 02:24:17 PM »
Got busy, and giant posts take longer.

It'll be up before long.
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Online ExGingi

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #492 on: December 24, 2019, 04:40:14 PM »
Got busy, and giant posts take longer.

It'll be up before long.
That's what nittel nacht is good for.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #493 on: December 24, 2019, 04:43:53 PM »
That's what nittel nacht is good for.

we have the different nittel

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #494 on: December 24, 2019, 05:05:44 PM »
we have the different nittel

Correct. We chassidim hold nittel any day that you don't say tachnun.
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