Feb. 18 – Half Moon Island & Heading Home

My last post about Antarctica is coming almost exactly a year after my trip. It seems like yesterday that I was shopping for winter clothing, dealing with the angst of leaving my students behind, and practically vibrating inside with excitement about crossing the “hardest” continent off my to bucket list. Looking back, my wife’s kind and lavish 50th birthday present changed me in ways I did not expect. I am so grateful for the experience.

I am grateful to:

Feb. 16 – Grass and Oil Spills in Antarctica – Torgersen Island & More

Besides the Polar Plunge, February 16th was a very eventful day. There was so much to see near Torgersen Island, just off shore from the much larger Anvers Island.

A few highlights:

  • Adélie Penguins! (Definitely my favorite penguin species!) Sadly, we learned that, while Gentoo penguin populations are on the rise, Adélie and Chinstrap populations seem to be on the decline. Research is being done to try and determine the cause; with special care being made to evaluate the effects of eco-tourism.
  • We got to see the Palmer Station, a United States research facility, in the distance. I’m pretty sure the resupply vessel RV Laurence M. Gould was visiting the station; very impressive. If you are planning to visit the peninsula,

Feb. 14 – Pleneau Island & Petermann Island

2014 can’t be any better, can it?

I recently got a promo e-mail  from one of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt, about his new online course called “5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.” It looks great, but to be honest, when I read that title, my first response was not possible. It is very hard for me to imagine a year better than 2013 was for me; at least not for things I can control. If 2014 is even 80% as awesome as 2013, I will be terribly content. My wife’s gift to me – my trip to Antarctica was a huge part of my amazing year.

Over the next few days, I hope to post the last of my collection and talk about the end of my trip. In my last post I talked about the Lemaire Channel. I have to admit my memory is getting a little sketchy regarding the precise chronology of the trip (I was too gobsmacked and distracted to even write decent notes) but some memories that stuck with me include:

  • My first sighting of “Killer Whales” in the wild. It is rather ironic that I have lived  on the west coast of Canada for over 30 years now and have even paid to go whale watching, yet I had never seen an Orca in the wild