Wednesday, March 22, 2006

back in buenos aires for another week after the 10 day antarctica trip.

i have been to rock bottom.
well actually ice bottom. just got back from antarctica which was a surreal experience. it's funny to check off the 7th continent as one that i've visited....well it's actually the 5th. anyway, whatever that's trivial crap.
anyway, antarctica was one of the most spectacular places i've ever been. some of the landscape is like a liquid lunar landscape with icebergs floating all over the place. then you have incredible mountains, all filled completely with 200' high glaciers rising from the sea. pretty spectacular. neat wildlife, whales, penguins, seals, and the nasty leopard seal, whose head looks like a tyrannasaurus rex, is a total predator and can kill you with one bite. at one point, this one leopard seal was stalking our zodiac boat, popping it's head up next to us, swimming under the boat, following us, and basically making everyone shit in their pants. but i still managed to get some photos. see the pics below.
visited a couple of antarctica bases, one run by the uk, and the other by the ukraine. the ukraine base, vernadsky base, was good because it had the most southern bar in the world. got a shot of vodka at the bar. saw a bunch of technical equipment and rooms which measured ozone layers, weather patterns, etc. also saw the gym which was decorated with lovely pornographic photos of russian women (there are about 12 comrades living on the base for 6 months without contact with comradettes), and also the gift shop where you could by russian pornos on vhs. dvd technology hasn't hit this base yet.
and as crazy as this sounds, i went swimming in antarctica. jumped into the ocean (or bay) then ran ashore and jumped into a warm thermal pool that the staff made for us to jump into. was lots of fun, but i scratched myself diving into the ocean, and i got these large gashes on my belly. oh well, i've got a battle scar from the farthest point south.
the boat itself was a 75' boat called the explorer which can get through some levels of icepack. crossing the drake passage to get from ushuaia to antarctica was nasty. supposedly these were calm waters for the antarctic ocean, but i still managed to get seasick. i puked on the way there during the 2 day jaunt across the drake. the best thing about the ship was that they fed you non-stop. 3.5 meals a day. any weight i lost from trekking, i doubled back from this trip.
any any way, below this blog are photos from the trip as well as photos from the past month and a half going through patagonia. enjoy, and godspeed.


penguins and seal

antarctica sunset

surreal antarctica scenery

whale tail

barbecue on the back of the ship in antarctica. one of the most surreal things i've ever seen.

iceberg alley

bartender pouring me a shot in the 'most southern bar in the world'

whale bones and penguins

more scenery

this is a leopard seal

this is it's big gigantic mouth that could rip you to shreds

glaciers glaciers everywhere

albino seal

dancing dolphins after the last drake passage crossing


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