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Antarctica: A Quick Recap

64° 50'S, 062° 32'W
Our very first landing on December 15, 2017 in Neko Harbour, Antarctica: 64° 50'S, 062° 32'W

Made it back from Antarctica-#DidntDie

I'm behind on life as usual, but I wanted to try and throw up a quick Antarctica recap because I've gotten quite a few questions. My goal, over the next two weeks, is to get several posts up. When I was prepping for this trip, I had a hard time finding really good, detailed information all in one place, so this is what I want to be able to provide to all of you. But because of the MASSIVE amount of information that I want to share, it just has to be broken down into several posts.

 I'm planning on covering several topics, including:
  • The entire booking process-what you need to know, and all of the little extra expenses that you need that no one really talks about. I'll also delve into costs-and ways to save some money if this is something that's on your bucket list.
  • Everything boat related, from living quarters to meals and everything in between.
  • Getting there and back-what to expect, and what we learned from the entire process.
  • Packing! What you can't live without, and what you can.
  • The actual experience itself-landings, life onboard, things to do, what a typical day consists of, and what you can and can't do.

And on that note, if there's something that you want to know about that I didn't cover above, leave me a comment below or email me at larissa@thetravelingmortician.com and I'll be happy to add it in there. I know I'm definitely forgetting a few. At the end of the trip, G Adventures actually supplied us with EVERYTHING that we did. And I mean everything. They sent us the menu's from every night on board, every landing sight, all of the maps, charts, locations, and weather forecasts / conditions. They even gave us the wildlife we saw, and when we saw them-along with a ton of extra photos, videos, and info from the staff onboard.

I don't even know how to sum up this trip. It was insane-a million times better than I imagined it would be. It was extra special because all three of us were knocking out continents six and seven together. I can't believe it's been four months already. We were gone for almost four full weeks, but chose to head down to Argentina early (because hello bad luck trifecta), so we had extra time in Argentina before and Chile after.

As far as Antarctica trips go, ours was just about as good as you can hope for. I say almost because we got the Drake Shake on the way home, and I spent a lot of time in bed both going down and coming up. But going down, we actually made such good time that we got an extra landing in a day earlier than anticipated. That picture above is from that very first landing in Neko Harbour on December 15, 2017.

The weather-while we were down there-was amazing. We made two landings every day, with the exception of the very first day (since that was technically a bonus) and one other day while we had to reroute while in the Lemaire Channel when we weren't able to get through due to the ice.

The entire crew was amazing. The entire staff took on several different roles. So your bartender may pour you drinks, and then head out to the landings with us and assist with the zodiacs. We had scientists, we had researchers, and we had just about every kind of marine biologist out there. Our expedition leader Susan Adie was recently honored with a cove named after her (Adie's Cove) on the continent's western coast in recognition for her conservation work.

 We got everything from three gourmet meals a day-including a BBQ (and no, that's not a typo), to room stewards, and daily lectures on different topics. We had a resident photographer on board who was there to help us take better pictures and offered special zodiac cruises with her, where she'd do nothing but help the ten people on the zodiac. We even had the chance to participate in actual research, which we did. We spent a night camping on land on Danco Island. We did a polar plunge on Deception Island. It's one of things that you have to experience for yourself, but I'm going to do the best that I can. I'm not an overly sentimental person (I'm probably about as far from one as you can get), but it was hands down the most incredible, humbling experience of my life.

So for now, I'll leave you with some pictures of the trip to check out while I get to work breaking everything down for you. Check back soon because there's just SO much more.

Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

That isn't land that we're getting a jump shot on-that's actually sea ice. It's apparently a rare thing that the sea ice is thick enough to allow walking on it, and we happened to get lucky. Just outside Port Lockroy.

Brash ice-shot from a zodiac.


The morning after camping-and the most Larissa AF photo of the entire trip. That's me, all the way on the right, hands in my pockets, supervising everyone packing my stuff up because I'm utterly useless with my horrifically bad back. I love my friends.


A chinstrap penguin shot at Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

Hanging out on top of sea ice-just outside Port Lockroy, Antarctica.
 
Whale watching!



Zodiac selfie for the win!

A foggy morning on Deception Island, Antarctica. I didn't realize it until later, but Janine and Brian are actually in that group starting their insane hike of the day.


When they say "the tip of the iceberg", this is what they mean. And this is just a tiny one.

Polar plunge time. Yes, it was cold. And still far from the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life....LOL.

A shot of the M.S. Expedition on the way back to the boat, shot from a zodiac.

Went camping, #DIDNTDIE. Bonus points for Janine because that was actually her very first time camping. EVER. I don't call her my craziest friend for nothing...


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