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Travel and Leisure

Spending Christmas Away From Home

January 7, 2011 by drewloupsen · Leave a Comment 

Penguins and elephant seals, icebergs and albatrosses are the symbols of Antarctica. Considering how high, dry, and windy the continent is, it still remains to be one of the most spectacular sights with 10 pound tiny baby fur seals to 3 million tons in ice mounds that hold frozen water in massive amounts amounting to 3.3 billion gallons.

Choosing to go to Antarctica for the Christmas holidays were two well traveled teachers despite its reputation as a land of frozen wastes and uneventful expeditions. For most people Antarctica may not be the likely vacation destination but it was for the teachers who haven’t seen the continent yet. Not only have they devoted much time for such a trip but they also read about the explorer early on in a travel magazine. Get in touch with this resource if you have a desire to find out about Antarctic Cruising.

Preparedness is something the women found out to be crucial. Three pairs of socks one of them wool worn under 15 pound rubber boots, insulated underwear worn under a regular set of clothes, a parka, and seamless and waterproof rubberized pants and slicker comprises the ensemble needed for a day in Antarctica. With two pairs of gloves, one waterproof, the ensemble is complete.

Everyone is susceptible to frostbite other than having some cold feet.The summer in the Southern Hemisphere is this way. As the ice warms up above the freezing point travel is made possible through the ice pack that was breaking but water was still only at 32 degrees. It was in one Antarctic research station where air temperature was measured by a thermometer to be at 47 degrees. Of course, the sun had been shining directly on it all day and that said evening, the Explorer was confronted with snowstorms and sleet storms.

It’s the most unpredictable weather in the world, the women were told, and the itinerary varied from day to day according to the winds. Throughout their 24 days spent in the southern ice cap not once did they experience the 84 below wind chill that blasted through their hometown last Christmas.To get a closer look on antarctica trip visit this site.

Feared but passed was the Drake Passage. The wind wracked trip through the passage, between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula, has claimed many ships throughout history. For the Explorer the passage took 48 hours and this is when the women strapped themselves in for sleep using the bunk seat belts. Resulting to bruises after being bounced around was one lady.

The penguins were countless. It was said that interaction with these was even possible. Most of the penguins did nothing but talk. One could spend the day observing penguins. Plenty of seals were also there. Open mouthed scooting around was their game. Seals actually bite if you get close to them not to mention their babies.

It was a trip that was well worth taking. You could say that the sky not to mention the clean water were so blue.When it comes to the icebergs they were rather magnificent as they towered over three stories high floating along with some penguins. It was also part of their journey to see the old whaling stations closed for 20 years. No matter how it took them to see the South Pole the old huts left by the early explorers were really something, and some of them still had the canned foods left by these travelers.

The voyage took them from Punta Arenas on the south end of Chile to the Shetland Islands to Antarctica to the South Orkneys to South Georgia to the Falklands and back to their starting point. Such a trip was truly extraordinary as both of them agree.

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