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The finer points of time travel

So I'm sitting at the airport in Buenos Aires waiting for my flight to arrive (we board in 15 minutes and they haven't put up the gate yet...) and I'm thinking about time.  Not only to avoid missing my flight (which seems entirely possible) but also in an entirely different sense.  When you travel, time changes.  You go from one time zone to another, you encounter cultures that eat later, go to bed later, wake up later, and that affects how you view time.  But when you go to a place that has no time zone, a place where all time zones come together to a single point, time starts to become less and less relevant.  You start to see how it really is a human construct.  Couple this with almost total daylight and your in for a strange trip indeed.  I was speaking with Carol Devine (a special guest invited by Lindblad and totally amazing and nice person) and Alex (a houlie from Hawaii who was on our expedition and equally nice) about this a few minutes ago as we collectively wait…

Homeward bound

What can you say about heading home after experiencing something like this?  Its not something you can put into words, but because I know that memory can be fleeting and writing can help make those memories more permanent, I'll try and put some thoughts down.  I'll start with last night.

I didn't get seasick, but that definitely doesn't go for everyone on board.  Many people looked a little green and the dining hall was a bit empty.  As it approached 11, the ship began to toss more as the seas grew rougher and me and my companions headed down to our bedroom to try and get to sleep before the rough water hit in full.  Lets just say it was an interesting attempt at getting some shut eye. The ship tossed all night, smashing me into the wall and a couple times it felt like I was being lifted right out of it.

This morning its calmer, and we're working our way into stiller seas.  Its still rough, and hand lines are up in all the common areas.  Donnie and I decided to he…

Port Lockroy and the REAL penguin plunge

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Howdy folks!!!
Today we're offloading for Port Lockroy, an English outpost here in Antarctica.  It was used for whaling, staging operations and now it serves as a historical site that has a gift shop, bar, and post office.  There is a good sized colony of penguins there and there are some rules set up for interacting with the natives.  For instance, if a penguin walks toward you on a penguin 'right of way,' one must defer to the penguin.

I'll post an update once I land.  I'm borrowing a crazy lens from Lindblad's B&W cabinet, so I should get some good shots there.

BTW yesterday we went for a zodiac cruise into Paradise Harbor.  Interesting name for the ocean terminus of a glacier bound by giant peaks.  You know the giant peaks are something I didn't really expect.  This place is beyond picturesque.  We went out twice (the Fellows) and examined blue eyed shags - a subspecies of the imperial cormorant, Antarctic turns, the ugly snowy sheathbill, and pin…

Killer whales!!!

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WHAT!!!???!!
At 5:30ish a pod of killer whales showed up and was right off the the bow.  They were harassing a young humpback whale, and hunting for something.  They came right up to the port side of the bow and you could see the distinctive markings of the Antarctic killer whales - sort of a grayish color above what would be the lateral line if they were fish. I got some cool pictures.  Interestingly the ships whale biologist Connor Ryan said that he believes killer whale is a better name than orca, and that he suspects that orca is a named pushed by Sea World in an attempt to separate them from a negative image (the whales that is).  These guys are known as 'little B's' - as opposed to, well, big B's.  They're a subspecies its believed, but in order to figure out if its a separate species they need a carcass to examine, and as of now, they have never found one.  The whales with the large fins are males, and the shooter ones female.  The pod is led by the grandmot…

Falling ice!!!!

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Man, what a day!!!
Short recap because I'm presenting tonight to everyone at the nightly debrief and doing a video interview with the National Geographic videographer.

TODAY WAS EPIC!  I know I may have said that before, but it was.  We went out by zodiac into Cierva Cove, the site of an actively calving glacier with glaciologist Dr. Erin Pettit.  Cierva Cove is the site of amazing icebergs and lots of brash ice.  The glaciers face was about 80m tall.  Dr. Pettit was attempting to determine the salinity and the temperature of the cove.   Even cooler than that though she listening to the glacier.  I'm serious.  She had a probe called a hydrophone with some sort of microphone on it lowered down into the cove and was recording the sound of the water melting.  Glaciers have gasses bound in them, and when they melt underwater like that, they make a popping sound.  By doing this she could determine the rate it was melting and other variables associated with how it was changing.  W…

Iceberg shots

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Incredible!

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I can't tell you how incredible this place is.  I can't type either. My fingers are frozen from being outside on the bow of the ship for too long, taking pictures of the most beautiful icebergs floating on a perfectly still sea.  In the hour and a half I as out there I saw crab eater seals, several humpbacks, storm petrels - but the ice!  Just amazing.  I wish I could upload a ton of images for you to see, but the internet is abysmally slow and I keep getting bumped off.

Yesterday I took a kayak around some icebergs and coasted on the ocean.  I believe we were in the Weddell  Sea, but I'm not sure.  Its all blurred into some strange and frozen dream.  The day doesn't seem to have an ending, and we got to bed out of obligation and not from exhaustion.  I'm not sure how I have the energy to keep going like this - I guess I'll sleep when I'm home.  Our captain, a Swedish man name Leif who is considered the best in the industry put the bow of the ship into the…