Antarctica travel blog: Expedition with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions

    You My mom joined me in Buenos Aires last night. Here we are at the Cesar Park Hotel about to set off on a trip to Antarctica with National Geographic. About to conquer my last of the seven continents! :) Onward ho!

Blog posts from this trip are tagged “antarctica” and you can find them by clicking here or browsing the keywords in the right-hand menu on the home page.

This morning my mother and I left from Buenos Aires, Argentina for our cruise to Antarctica aboard the National Geographic Explorer. The cruise, operated by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, will run for ten days from 29 November to 9 December 2012 and take us by air and sea to several destinations. We will be accompanied by naturalists, historians, scientists, undersea specialists and photo/videographers. We are also lucky to have on board Don Walsh, a world-renowned oceanographer and deep-sea diver.

During the course of our trip, I will be blogging and posting photos about our experiences. Activities will include on-shore excursions and educational sessions on birding, local wildlife and photography. Some of the items on my personal to-do list include a swim in the frigid waters around the Antarctic Peninsula, a sea-kayaking trip, and getting a whiff of some stinky penguin poop. Friends and family have asked me to share with them my thoughts about the tour and its operator, more about the part of Antarctica which I am visiting and a photo of the Weddell seal. Someone has even asked me about how I am getting access to the web.  (The answer is that it is a satellite connection and we pay by the minute on board the boat. All my blog posts are written offline and quickly uploaded when I connect once or twice daily.) Is there something you’d like to see or learn about? Please let me know by commenting on this blog post and I will do the best I can! You can also follow the ship’s Daily Expedition Report.

One of my passions is traveling and I have a dream of seeing as much of the world as possible. With this trip I will have visited each of the planet’s seven continents. I was born in North America, and first visited South America in 2001, Europe and Australia in 2006, Asia in 2007 and then Africa in 2008. So far I’ve traveled to 45 countries and four “places” – those not technically countries (which include Hong Kong, Macau, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and soon: Antarctica). You can see my travel map here.

I inherited the travel bug from my mom. Long before I was even a twinkle in her and my father’s eyes, my mother was traveling around the world frequently for work and pleasure. As I grew up, she often showed me photos of her visits to Ecuador, Hawaii and Thailand. My father, who came from a poor family and held a life-long fear of flying, preferred economising but never let that stop us from traveling. So, as I grew up, our family went on frequent road trips across Canada and into the USA, seeing lots for very little. In so many ways, this trip would not have been possible without my mom and dad; they have always encouraged me to explore, both at home and abroad.


2 thoughts on “Antarctica travel blog: Expedition with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions”

  1. Your mention of the stinky penguin poo brings back memories of our own Antarctica trip 5 years ago (Jan 2008). One of our stops was the Falkland Islands which have an enormous supply of penguins.

    We went via 4WD jeeps to a rookery near Stanley. We walked in at the last stages. The rookery proper is all black and is really fishy smelly. There was lots of excrement, which we expected. However, surrounding the rookery proper was a large grassy field (it was summer). The penguins wandered on and off the grass (we were asked to avoid the rookery proper). Everywhere were long straight white lines, about 10 feet long. We were puzzled.

    Then it happened. A nearby penguin defecated. You’ve heard of “projectile vomiting”; well this was “projectile defecation”. A shot straight out the back, landing 10 feet away or more. Once we saw this, we immediately knew what all the white lines were.

    I surmised that this manner of bodily function was a necessity for a penguin. When you’re sitting on an egg for weeks on end, and you have to relieve yourself, you don’t want it to accumulate by the nest. So you send it as far away as possible. Of course, I’m sure that many of the passing birds must experience poop strikes, but they seem to take it in stride.

    From that point forward, however, we took the time to observe the orientation of nearby penguins.


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