Back on dry land

Back on dry land | GulfNews.com.

We docked at Ushuaia port around 8.30am. Cabins cleared and checked, we made our way down the gangway onto terra firma after 11 amazing days in Antarctica.

Our expedition guides were on the dock waiting to say goodbye and wave us off. Despite the fact that we were all eager to get back to our families, it was with heavy hearts that we left the ship.

 

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The last day on ship

The last day on ship | GulfNews.com.

After breakfast a series of lectures by the guides were on the program – a great opportunity to reinforce what we had seen and experienced during the expedition.  After lunch we made time for just one more team photo call!  This is our last night on board – tomorrow we will be back in Ushuaia Port by 9am and it will be time to disembark and make our way back to the UAE.  What an incredible experience we have all had – so many stories and pictures to share.

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Rougher seas back across Drakes Passage

Rouger seas of Drakes Passage cause problems | GulfNews.com.

This morning we woke up to much rougher seas and realized that we are indeed making our way through Drakes Passage and on our way back to Ushuaia. During the course of the day some of the ships staff spoke to us about various forms of wildlife that each of them specialize in. Just after lunch a Humpback whale was spotted. Everyone dropped what they were doing and rushed to the windows of the starboard side of the ship, camera’s in hand.

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A pleasant surprise on the way to Mikkelsen Harbour

A pleasant surprise on the way to Mikkelsen Harbour | GulfNews.com.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were boarding the ship for the start of our expedition yet now we find ourselves on our last day of activities, including making a shore landing in Mikkelsen Harbour, kayaking, snowshoeing, zodiac cruising and mountaineering.

 

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Shore Camp and most Southerly Pink Ribbon

Shore Camp and Most Southerly Pink Ribbon | GulfNews.com.

At 5am this morning we had a wake up call from our guide Andy. With no tents to dismantle we packed up camp quickly and headed back to the ship for a hot shower and breakfast.

After breakfast, we passed through the scenic Lemaire Channel and docked at Port Charcot, where we were able to jump ship again and enjoy some snowshoeing, kayaking and zodiac cruising.

The afternoon was spent at the southernmost point of our expedition on Petermann Island and we are currently heading north and will spend the night sailing through
the Gerlache Strait.

 

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A close encounter with penguins

A close encounter with penguins | GulfNews.com.

Another gorgeous day in Antarctica, starting with a two-hour snowshoe hike at Damoy Point. Stunning vistas included the seven sisters mountain range, Mount William and Mount France. The hike ended with some very close encounters with the penguins.

Then on to a jam packed afternoon starting with zodiac cruises , visits to Douglas Point and finally on to  Port Lockroy – Antarctica’s only post office.

Tonight we will be sleeping on the ice. We will be boarding zodiacs at 8.30pm to head out to our camp site. No tents for this crew as the team continue to challenge themselves in the Polar conditions. It will prove to be an extraordinary experience

 

 

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Women with altitude

Women with altitude | GulfNews.com.

This morning we all woke up to a spectacular, sunny morning while sailing through the breathtaking Errera Channel. Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by beautiful white snow covered mountains, with the surface of the sea dotted by icebergs of all shapes and sizes.  We set out to summit our “Pink Ribbon Peak”  and after arriving at the foot of the mountain by zodiac we were divided into two groups equipped with harnesses, caribiners,  ice axes and instructions to climb in two groups each with 6-7 people,  all attached to a single rope and to stay on a certain path. It proved to be a challenging climb which took about two hours. “The mountaineering was an experience of a lifetime” said Frida.

 

 

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Waking up to the excitement of finally getting off the boat

Waking up to the excitement of finally getting off the boat | GulfNews.com.

This morning we arrived at Half Moon Island and awoke with the excitement of finally getting off the boat and being the first group to go kayaking. Too soon, the wind picked up,  white caps appeared everywhere and we had to make our way back to the ship and cut our adventure a bit short. Later  some of the team decided that a polar dip was a good idea. The rest of us thought they were crazy but cheered them on with cameras at the ready. “It was an invigorating experience that ‘literally took my breath away’ but one that could not be missed,” said Lara.

 

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Across the Drake Passage

We woke up to a sunny morning with calmer seas | GulfNews.com.

We woke up to a sunny morning with calmer seas. In the afternoon, we approached and sailed past the very first iceberg of our trip. Perched on the iceberg were hundreds of penguins.  At the same time, we had a thrilling sighting of a Finn whale.

 

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Each time I lifted my head, the nausea overtook’ | GulfNews.com

‘I felt that I couldn’t get out of bed because each time I lifted my head, the nausea overtook’ | GulfNews.com.

Today’s blog is being composed by the few teammates that have been able to make it out of their bunks to the breakfast table.

Several team members were overcome by the dizziness, nausea, and a total loss of equilibrium. “I felt that I couldn’t get out of bed because each time I lifted my head, the nausea overtook me so I climbed back in and tried to sleep away the misery,” said Sarah.

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