Antarctic Expendition Explorer ll
Named after a famous Sir, Drakes Passage can cause mal-de-mer. Southbound we rolled and swayed, no pitch and toss to cause disarray. Antarctica isolated on all sides, cools the currents converging a divide. Explorer 11 crosses this variable line, settled weather, an encouraging sign. Passing Neptunes Bellows to Whaler's Bay, Deception Island, first zodiacs away. We walk the beach to Neptunes way, this place where whaling fleets held sway. Landing next on Moon Bay sands, chinstrap penguins in command. Strutting proud in formal jackets, leaving guano in large packets. Next Neko Harbour with elation, viewing a dodgy Argentine station. Then a voyage around Paradise Bay, Stunning ice-scapes; a perfect day. Below Lemaire Channel, a great surprise, just after a subdued sunrise. Perermann Island now in sight, Adelie penguins parading the blight. Prospect Island in a icy blow, our encounter with heavy snow. 66 degrees south, Explorer 11 sails, Champagne to ferment expedition tales. Pleneau Island our next cruise, widlife or icebergs? difficult to choose. Racing back to our steady ship, Trusting zodiacs will not flip. Landing on historic Lockroy Station, amidst the penguins, more elation. Headquarters to Operation Tabarin, now a tourist snare drawing us in. Culverville, our final beach, hearing Gentoo's screech. Blue icebergs strutting the flows, all that's left, is home to go. Images etched in mind's eyes, of wildlife, glaciers and wonderous skies. Captain Giovanni Biasutri's wry wit, and his team; enhanced our lifetime's trip. PETER JAMES Feb 2008

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