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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → 2017: my year in review – February and March: the Antarctic Odyssey

2017: my year in review – February and March: the Antarctic Odyssey

After finishing the big project with my new Norwegian guidebook Svalbard – Norge nærmest Nordpolen, it was time to get some fresh air. And I got lots of it during a trip around the world in February in March. The heart of this huge voyage was a semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica, which I refer to as the “Antarctic Odyssey”. Starting in New Zealand, we went to Campbell Island, into the Ross Sea and then via Peter I Island to the Antarctic Peninsula before we finished in Ushuaia. Truly an Odyssey!

The highlight of this great journey? Hard to say. There was not only one highlight. Just the dimensions of this trip are epic, many thousand nautical miles in more than 30 days. Being Expedition Leader on such a trip on the Ortelius was certainly a contribution towards making it interesting for me. Normally, “my” ships are much smaller these days, and they do not carry 3 helicopters!

Thinking about which impression still means a lot to me and will stay for a long time, then Campbell Island is quickly coming to my mind. This island, which belongs to the New Zealand subantarctic islands, was very high on my personal wishlist – simply as I had not been there before. Well, I had been very close 2 years earlier, but then, there was no chance of making a landing because of very strong winds. This time, we had just the portion of luck that you need in a place like that.

Albatrosses, Campbell Island

Albatrosses on Campbell Island.

Of course, flying into Taylor Valley, one of the famous McMurdo Dry Valleys, and to McMurdo Base, where we almost stayed quite a bit longer than we actually wanted to, are experiences never to be forgotten. And that is generally true for all impressions of Antarctica from a bird’s perspective.

Waterboat Point, Antarctica

Waterboat Point (Antarctic Peninsula) from the air.

But in the end, it is the direct encounters with the wildlife and the scenery that is always getting very close to my heart and soul. That is what stays! The Albatrosses on Campbell Island, the Emperor penguins in the Ross Sea, the Humpback whales and penguins in the Antarctic peninsula, to mention a few of these encounters. Memories that will stay forever!

Emperor and Adelie penguin at Cape Hallet, Ross Sea, Antarctica

Emperor and Adelie penguin at Cape Hallet in the Ross Sea.

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last modification: 2017-12-29 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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