Sunday 27 November 2011

It’s a lot of work to be well-prepared!

As we approach Antarctica, a lot of things need to be done on board the ship to prepare us for this part of the journey. In the morning, we had our clothing and bags vacuumed to remove seeds and other foreign material that may contaminate Antarctica. There are already plants from afar growing in a few places in Antarctica and so we make sure we don’t contribute to this problem.

We also had our mandatory IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) briefings. It is an IAATO regulation that everyone who wants to land on the “Last Continent” has to attend. The briefings include all the information we need to conduct ourselves in such a way that we do not have a significant impact on the fragile and pristine ecosystems and wildlife of the extreme south.

Later we had our boot fitting. We rent special, high-quality boots to passengers so that they remain dry and warm while ashore and also so that we can clean them thoroughly between landings. Again this is to prevent contamination between sites.

As a reward for all this hard work, Elmer and Dennis made magic with the waffle iron on deck 7!

Sometime today we crossed the Antarctic convergence and entered Antarctica proper. One would like to think that perhaps this Southern Fulmar is doing just that as it appears to fly into a fog bank which often hangs over the colder water at the convergence.

Finally best wishes to Margaret Jolly aged 101 years. Her son Anthony and his cousin Keith send greetings from Antarctica, and so does this Cape Petrel!