Monday, January 31, 2011

Antarctica, A Ghost Ship


It is just past midnight on Day-2 of my dream adventure  and I am roaming the halls of what seems like a runaway ghost ship.

All the other passengers are apparently tucked away in their beds, probably with thoughts of sugar plums and penguins dancing in their heads.



Library Being the “night owl” that I am, I  explore a bit more of the Ioffe.

I discover a library on one floor and also the way to access the bridge without having to go outside.



Visiting the bridge,  I find there are at least two other night owls on board the Ioffe. They are doing a fine job navigating across the Drake Passage towards Antarctica.



SAM 069 Ioffe Main Lobby Area




SAM 070 At the reception desk, I enter my guess for the Ice Berg Competition.

We are asked to guess what time we think the first iceberg will be seen.




With my purely non scientific, “roll the ice”, 5:25pm calculation now recorded, I head over to the posted navigation chart to check our progress southbound.




 SAM 072 We are in the middle of the Drake Passage



Near the navigation chart there is also other interesting information about Antarctica and the Akademik Ioffe. Did you know there is no sun for 182 days during the Antarctic winter?

Fortunately for us, winter is over in the southern hemisphere. We are still far enough north that our days and nights are somewhat normal. However, we will soon have the benefit of longer days as we head further south.



SAM 077 Looking through a nearby port hole, I stare at pitch blackness.

I step outside and I am greeted by a brisk bone chilling wind combined with light falling snow.



There goes my chance to enjoy a star filled night over the southern oceans. Instead, it’s a nice long warm shower and before long sugar plums and penguins are also dancing in my head.



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