Thursday, February 20, 2020

Antarctica and sub-antarctic islands - January and February, 2020

This was a big adventure for us!  We departed Bluff harbor (south tip of New Zealand's south island) and spent 29 nights about the motor vessel Spirit of Enderby.  There were 48 guests on-board along with a expedition staff of lecturers, guides and chefs of about 8; plus, 22 ships crew from Russia.  The vessel was chartered by Heritage Expedition, an operation our of Christchurch, NZ.  The southern most destination was the Ross Ice Shelf near the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station.

Full details of this expedition can be found HERE.
Handbook of the Southern Ocean related to this trip is HERE.
Expedition Log of this trip is HERE.
A collection of our photos are found HERE.

It is a long way to the part of Antarctica south of New Zealand, but the travel was conveniently broken up with stops at the sub-antarctic islands, The Snares, Auckland Island, Macquarie Island and Campbell Island.  These were each unique in terms of geography, fauna and flora.  Expecially noticeable was that each had its own unique colonies of penguins and albatrosses.

Our first stop on the Antarctic continent was at Cape Adare where Cartsten Borchgrevink's hut from 1899 remains.  Several days later, on Ross Island, we were able to visit the huts left by explorers who were seeking the south pole.  Two (Cape Hut and Cape Evans) were used on separate occasions by Robert Falcon Scott.  Our last vist was to Sir Ernest Shackelton's Cape Royds hut.

Spirit of Enderby/Professor Kromov

Emperor Penguin & Spirit of Enderby
Royal Penguins on Macquarie Island (Australia)

Campbell Island (New Zealand) Albatross
Susan, Shackleton's Hut in background

Mt. Erebus (second highest volcano in Antartica)

Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand - January 2020

We spent a delightful week in an original small Lyttelton Harbor house (Airbnb).  It is a great option for seeing the local sights.  We had an opportunity to visit with and dine with David and Jackie Peers (SV Brigadoon) in Lyttleton as well as Steve (fibrinogen) and Jane Brennan in Christchurch.  The weathe was a bit cool, but great for walking. 

In addition to some walking with Steve and Jane we had a Sunday sail with Dave on-board SV Brigadoon. 

All our south island photos can be found HERE.

Lyttelton, New Zealand 
Jane, Susan and Steve

View of harbor from Airbnb bedroom

Dave and Susan

Kerikeri New Zealand - December 2019

We traveled to north island New Zealand for Christmas and New Year's Eve joining Meillia and Peter Kee (of SV Per Ardua) family in the hometown of Meillia's parents (Vivienne and Malcolm Sexton) and brother John.  We had a small, comfortable Airbnb cottage about 8 minutes from the Sextons.

Besides Christmas dinner and New Year's Eve celebrations one highlight of our visit was to sail in the Bay of Islands on-board Malcolm's Davidson 34.  It was a beautiful day with nice wind.  There were other day trips touring important sights around Kerikeri as such as the memorial to the Rainbow Warrior.

All our north island photos can be found HERE.

Christmas dinner 

Susan and Meillia

Preparing to sail in the Bay of Islands

Orange orchard where our Airbnb was located

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Greece - October 2019

We had our first visit to Greece.  October was a very good month to be there.  The weather was superb and the number of tourists was manageable.  The Greek people were delightful and excellent hosts.  Athens is a clean, functional city with excellent restaurants and easy for walking tourists.

We were joined in Greece by Claes and Karin Hojenberg from Uppsala, Sweden and John "Bull" Manfredi and Christine Klein.  We had a huge Airbnb apartment in Athens that overlooked the Olympic Stadium, a small two apartment house in Delphi and a huge, modern villa in Crete.  Needless to say, a good time was had by all. 

All of our photos from Greece can be seen HERE




Stockholm - September 2019

We had a great two weeks in Stockholm while staying in a very nice Airbnb apartment on Swedenborgsgatan near the south station.  We had lived for 14 years nearby on Bellmansgatan.  The weather was not very cooperative.  It was very cool and wet.  Just the opposite of last year. 

We walked as much as weather permitted and even had a lot of experience with our new rain gear which worked amazingly well.  We did a fair amount of museum visiting too.  For the first time, we viewed the areas open to the public in Drottingholm Slottet.  Quite impressive.  Photography is now permitted and was a real plus.  However, more impressive is the newly remodeled National Museum in Stockholm.  The renovation was done very tastefully and brought the artwork close to the visitors.  Photography was allowed there too.  There was so much to see that we visited twice. 

All our photos from Sweden can be seen HERE.

View from our apartment on Swedenborggatan, Stockholm

Library, Drottingholm Slottet outside of Stockholm

View from the National Museum

Uppsala, Sweden - September 2019

We traveled from Leiden to Uppsala, Sweden where we were house guests of Claes and Karin Hojenberg.  It was a bit cool, but as we needed to buy some winter clothes that was not a problem.
As usual, we had a good time seeing Uppsala and the environs.  Claes continues to excel in the kitchen and prove that a day job is highly over-rated.

All photos of our trip to Sweden can be found HERE.

Tegelgatan neighborhood, Uppsala, Sweden


Karin and Susan

Susan and Uppsala Slottet

Leiden, Holland - September 2019

We spend over a week in Holland staying in an Airbnb apartment in Leiden.  Susan had a scientific review of Fibriant NV, a therapeutic recombinant fibrinogen company found by Jaap Koopman.

The main purpose of our visit was for Susan to meet "cousins".  She has connected with family members from both her mother's father and her mother's mother families. We had a great time meeting people and learning more about the old Holland.

All photos can be found HERE

Leiden, Holland

Van Dykes

Van Meers