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)

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