you than me!"
Such was the typical reaction from most when told I was going
to Antarctica. A totally inconceivable response to me - when a
friend told me they were going, I couldn't speak for a few minutes,
so steeped in envy was I!
However, I received a fateful email from Quark Expeditions in
September 2001, and after a few more emails and a phone call,
I realised I was about to achieve what had seemed like the impossible
dream! Years of circling government antarctic divisions and pondering
doing an advanced degree at university was going to be pushed
aside as I realised my dream of going to Antarctica in what would
have to be the way with the most fun! I have always loved the
cold, bleak, and snowy parts of the world, and despite my numerous
investigations into getting to Antarctica, this was the first
time it looked like I was really going!
I let out a long sigh of relief after arriving in Ushuaia and
was met at the gangway of the icebreaker, Kapitan Dranitsynby
by Brad, a Quark Expeditions naturalist. I really
was going to Antarctica!! Even the news that the initial fantastic
21-day voyage had been cancelled and was now being split into
two smaller charters didn't phase me - because this was the first
time I was going to Antarctica and anything was going to be better
than my wildest dreams!
enough, over the next 6 weeks, I crossed the Drake Passage 7 times
(the detour to the Falkland Islands on the last trip bypassed
the Drake Passage) to Antarctica. Each trip was fantastic, each
trip was unique, each trip held a unique blend of people. I thoroughly
enjoyed every cruise and loved meeting all the different people.
I was even more fortunate to be invited back in 2003 - a banner
year for stunning weather and gorgeous photography - so be sure
to look out for "more photographs" links at the bottom
My duties entailed delivering several lectures concerning geological
topics. This amounted to a general '101' introductory lecture
to basic geology (rocks) and the volcanic evolution of the Antarctic
Peninsula, a lecture on the snow, glaciers and sea ice of Antarctica
and a talk on global warming (a geologic perspective). I was also
required to help keep an eye on passengers on shore, and basically
assist the passengers, answer their questions and make their trip
as pleasant as possible. It wasn't hard - particularly on the
scheduled cruises - the passengers wanted to be there, wanted
to drink in and absorb as much as possible as me!