Antarctic Waters

Gerlache Strait

Day 13: Wednesday, January 16, 2002

We cruised Paradise Harbor. Actually, it did clear enough to see some beautiful sights. Among them, were some orcas (a.k.a. killer whales) that followed us into the harbor. They were just too far away and too fast to get any pictures of them. During dinner the cruise ship Endeavour crossed our stern. Later, we went back out to the Gerlach Strait for its relatively open waters to anchor for the night.

Gerlache Strait — 8:29 PM

Just think folks, it could have been like this all day!

8:33 PM

A break in the clouds bodes well of clearer skies tomorrow.

9:58 PM: The Endeavour Approaches

Their lecturers are no doubt telling the passengers that people need to take a small ship if they want to see Antarctica up close. And it's true. It depends how you want to travel.
The smaller ships can get into the small coves and harbors. They usually have ice-breaker armor plating to protect them from the ice. They carry zodiacs for landings. Some, like the Orient Lines' Marco Polo even carry a helicopter!
You must bring arctic clothing and boots. In the Santiago Airport, we overheard some men, that had been on a similar cruise, saying that the only passenger who didn't get his feet wet and nearly frozen was one who had some special French-made boots that cost about $200.
On the other hand, the bigger ships make crossing Drake Passage much more smoothly, if any crossing can be considered smooth. You can run out on deck to see and take pictures then back inside in a moment if you get cold. Out on a zodiac and on shore, you're there until it's time to go back to the ship. But the rewards are tremendous either way you go.

This could be one of the rewards of a small ship.

This postcard pictures the Papua Penguins of Chilean Antarctica.
They can dive to depths of 300 feet.

End Day 2 Of Our Antarctic Experience

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Page last updated February 26, 2002.