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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 66914 times)

Offline how

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #525 on: March 12, 2020, 12:15:38 AM »
Seems to be the only Coronavirus unaffected place. who’s coming?
Take a cruise there...

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #526 on: March 12, 2020, 01:06:15 PM »
Take a cruise there...
The season is pretty much over.  If you go, you'll have to stay for 6 months of winter.  If the coronavirus somehow made its way over on one of the last cruises, there'd be no way back. 
AK,AZ,CA,CT,(DE),FL,HI,(IL),ME,MD,(MA),MI,MN,MT,NV,NH,NJ,NY,OR,PA,(RI),TX,UT,VT,VA,WA,WI,WY

Online Something Fishy

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Offline ltttc

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #528 on: March 24, 2020, 07:48:38 PM »
Kinda wish we were there now

Offline Boruch Parnes

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #529 on: March 24, 2020, 07:57:11 PM »
Kinda wish we were there now
being locked up on a cruise now  wldnt be great  like we have seen ..

Offline Traveler718

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #530 on: March 24, 2020, 10:05:59 PM »
Today's daf discusses not setting sail within 3 days of Shabbos, which was one of the primary reasons that Dan and Something Fishy rushed and put together our trip a year ago instead of this winter, which ended up benefiting us in ways we could never have imagined!

Offline good sam

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #531 on: March 24, 2020, 10:55:23 PM »
Today's daf discusses not setting sail within 3 days of Shabbos, which was one of the primary reasons that Dan and Something Fishy rushed and put together our trip a year ago instead of this winter, which ended up benefiting us in ways we could never have imagined!
Are you a day ahead?
If you don't care why would you comment?
HT: DMYD

Offline mlomni

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #532 on: March 25, 2020, 12:05:16 PM »
BTW, PDF of the article if anyone wants: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wu036x2ox21zjbd/Inyan%20Magazine.pdf?dl=0

Nice Article,

How many people do you have signed up for your Kilimanjaro trip?

Offline Traveler718

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #533 on: March 25, 2020, 12:36:28 PM »
Are you a day ahead?

I don't think so. Today's daf is Shabbos 19, which discusses not sailing 3 days before Shabbos and which I began learning last night, so when I posted at 10 PM EST, I referred to it as today's daf. Sorry if I wasn't clear and you thought I was referring to the daf from yesterday day.

Offline good sam

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #534 on: March 25, 2020, 12:38:05 PM »
I don't think so. Today's daf is Shabbos 19, which discusses not sailing 3 days before Shabbos and which I began learning last night, so when I posted at 10 PM EST, I referred to it as today's daf. Sorry if I wasn't clear and you thought I was referring to the daf from yesterday day.
So you were a day ahead!
If you don't care why would you comment?
HT: DMYD

Offline yungermanchik

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #535 on: March 25, 2020, 01:42:43 PM »
So you were a day ahead!
No, the Jewish Day begins at night.
If you chapped hana'ah from a post, LIKE it.

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #536 on: March 30, 2020, 12:38:00 AM »
Let's take a short mental break from all the Corona talk...
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #537 on: March 30, 2020, 12:39:56 AM »
Sunday, December 16

After going to sleep after 2am on Motzei Shabbos, you'd think we'd have wanted to sleep in on Sunday. Except that we didn't - when the wake up call came at zero-dark-thirty, we jumped out of bed and ran to shachris. Today, we were finally - finally! - getting off the ship in Antarctica.

Right after breakfast we ran back to our cabins to gear up - layers of thermals, waterproof jackets and pants, hats, and gloves, and prepared to disembark.

The disembarkation process is a gantza procedure, but it all worked like a well-oiled machine. Per Antarctic regulations, no more than 100 passengers are allowed on land at any one time, so the entire process was staggered so that some passengers were always headed to or from land at any given time.

The shifts were divided by deck - first the deck 6 passengers were called, then deck 5, and so on. Since our group was spread across multiple decks, we had arranged to be considered as our own "deck" with a middle of the line departure. Our passengers were able to go with their actual deck if they so chose, but typically most of us went together. Officially, it was first out first back, but in practice people hung around on land and returned on whichever zodiac they wanted.

Getting on the zodiac:



First stop on the way out was one of the ship's two mudrooms, where we changed into our boots and donned life vests. Once ready, we headed to the gangway, scanned our ID cards, and, holding on to both guardrails for dear life, went down the stairs to the waiting zodiac. As soon as a zodiac was full (typically 10 people or so, even though the official capacity is 16), off it went and another one appeared right away.

On each excursion, I wore my dual camera harness - a camera with a long lens hanging on one side, and a camera with a wide lens on the other. This would allow me to instantly shoot pretty much anything, without worrying about changing lenses in bad conditions. One jacket pocket was stuffed with a 360° camera, spare batteries, cleaning gear, my satellite messenger and GPS, and various other accessories. My other pocket held glove liners, a balaclava, a GoPro with a dome attachment, and my cellphone (for those keeping count at home, that's five cameras). I also carried a giant tripod.

On this first excursion, I also wore the provided waterproof backpack with some spare lenses, extra layers, and a water bottle (no food is allowed on land). Back on board later, I would realize that I didn't end up using a single one of those things, so afterwards I didn't bother with them anymore.

Ready for anything:


Photo credit @chff

Finally our group was called, and off we went. Our destination today was Cuverville Island and its giant Gentoo penguin (third species of the trip) colony - there are some many penguins here that the colony size can be tracked by satellite.

On the way:



Cuverville Island was covered in at least 10 feet of snow, so the crew hacked out a stairway in the snow so we can climb up:



The crew also stamped down a path so we can walk around without sinking down to our thighs - which is what happened whenever you ventured off too far. The idea was to walk from the landing site to the massive penguin colony, a couple of hundred feet away. We headed off single file towards the penguins, but quickly got distracted - a juvenile elephant seal was napping right next to the path, within arm's reach:



After a bit he woke up,



yawned,



gave himself a good scratch,



and decided that the path we made looked way more comfortable:



He slowly meandered over, made himself comfortable, and went right back to sleep.

Check out them whiskers:



Anyway, this is Antarctica - it's his house, and we gotta play by his rules. We very nicely stomped out a new path around him and continued on to the penguins.

All this time there was a low hill between us and the penguins, so other than the view we saw from the zodiac and the seal we couldn't really see much. But then we crested that hill, and the most spectacular sight met our eyes. Immense mountains rising straight out of the sea, massive glaciers spread out over everything, and icebergs in all shapes and sizes floating about. Among all this were thousands upon thousands of penguins - masses of them standing in giant groups, couples going off to their nests, and penguins marching, tobogganing, and quarreling with each other.

A scene I will never forget:













To get around in the deep snow, many penguins follow so called "penguin highways", which have been formed by thousands of tiny feet:



Others get down on their bellies and toboggan down the slope:





Penguin preening:



All set up:



But not all is rosy for the penguins here, for from the cliffs above comes a threat: the Antarctic Skua. These predatory birds are after the penguin's eggs, and are constantly trying to steal them. Being that the skua can fly but the penguin cannot, it doesn't usually end too well for the penguin, who has to wait an entire year to lay another egg.

Picking a target:



Attack:



The skuas come from all sides, harassing and disorienting the penguins, whose only defense is flapping their little wings and screaming at the top of their lungs:





Got it!



Flying off to the safely of the cliffs to have lunch:



Screaming to the heavens:



The skuas, like all wildlife in Antarctica, have absolutely no fear of humans. This picture was taken with a wide angle lens, mere inches from his face:



@chff caught it on camera:



At one point @Moishebatchy took a dive and couldn't get enough leverage in the snow to get up. We debated leaving him there, but then I remembered that we still need his services aboard the ship. Oh well.





More penguins:









Heading back towards shore:



The penguins are constantly in and out of the water, both to fish and to clean themselves. This guy was taking a bath:





Don't forget to wash behind your ears!



Nice and clean, time to get out and dry off:





Couple of swimmers:



This one was just hanging out on a bit of ice surveying the scene:



Heading back:



You can;t go two feet in Antarctica without being distracted by yet another amazing sight - this time it was a humpback whale right next to our zodiac:



Ridiculously stunning scenes on the way back to the ship:









Approaching the ship:







The zodiacs being lifted to the top deck of the ship, where they are stored:



GPS track of the morning's excursion - note the many detours to check out penguins, whales, interesting icebergs, and whatnot:



Once back on board we went back to the mudrooms to get out of our boots and life jackets. We also stepped into a chemical bath and mechanical boot scrubber, to avoid tracking diseases or bacteria from one part of Antarctica to the next. After a quick stop in our cabin do shed some more layers, we reconvened in the dining room for a gigantic lunch.

And by "lunch", I obviously mean more gazing in wonder at our surroundings:



As soon as we sat down, a building-sized iceberg came floating quietly by, cut into the most intricate of shapes and colors by the waves:



One of the ends looked like an old man:



And if there's an iceberg, you can be sure there are a couple of enterprising penguins hitching a free ride on it. In this case, three adorable chubby Adélie penguins - our fourth type:



Check out the color of that ice:





After lunch and a short break, it was time for the second excursion of the day. This was supposed to be a zodiac cruise - meaning we'd be going around in the zodiacs without actually landing anywhere. In all honesty, some people were a bit disappointed when they heard that. In the end however, everyone agreed that this excursion was as good - if not better - than the first one. We were able to see an amazing variety of sights and get up close and personal to everything.

Personally, I slightly preferred exploring in a zodiac to being in one spot on the ground. Could be it had something to do with the group in my zodiac though - we had an absolute blast. Clockwise from the zodiac driver we have Dick Filby (the ship's ornithologist - bird scientist basically), @Moishebatchy, myself, @CheskyGold, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, @moish, Mr. and Mrs. @Traveler718, and Mr. and Mrs. @LFR:



We were now off to explore Wilhelmina Bay. While often dubbed "Whale-mina Bay", we didn't have much luck with whales today. Instead we saw amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife.





A flock of Antarctic Shag:





We entered a tiny sheltered cove to check out the wreck of the D/S Guvernøren, a Norwegian whaling ship that caught fire and ran aground in 1916:





The rusting decks were now home to Arctic and Antarctic terns:





Caught a tiny fish:







Napping weddell seal:





Look at the texture of that ice - caused by the beating of waves:



Antarctic shag taking off from the water:







Having Stephen Harper in our zodiac was a ton of fun. He was personable and funny and we all had a great time together:





Playing with scale... how big to you think this iceberg is?



Antarctic Shag showing off his breeding colors:



Stopping in another tiny cove:







Spot the crabeater seal:




Another self portrait of our zodiac:



More crazy landscapes:











After an exhausting couple of hours, back to the ship we went:





Our zodiac cruise:



After dinner and maariv, most passengers on the ship went settled down for an early night. Me and a couple other guys decided to instead head up to the top deck and watch the sunset - and boy were we rewarded. Probably the most spectacular sunset I have ever witnessed.

We were cruising slowly through the Gerlache Strait, one of the most scenic in all of Antarctica. The sunset lasted for hours - the show started around 9:30 and I shot until nearly midnight, when I pretty much collapsed into bed. The colors went from red to orange to pink to deep blue and everything in between, as the sun passed in and out of clouds and reflected off the mountains, glaciers, ice, and ocean. Save for the howling of the wind, it was perfectly silent - nothing but us and the sunset.









You'd think that @Dan would be used to some cold from Cleveland, while @bgfbgfbhgf from LA would be wearing fourteen layers, but I guess it was a weird night:



@chff taking some shelter from the wind:













At around midnight the colors began fading, and so did I. It had been an insane day, and tomorrow was going to be more of the same. I finally called it quits and headed back inside - and to bed.
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Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #538 on: March 30, 2020, 12:55:37 AM »
 should be included in list of free resources during covid-19! incredible as usual!
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline ah giten

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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
« Reply #539 on: March 30, 2020, 01:11:02 AM »
These images are spectacular.