Archive for the ‘Cruises’ Category

GPS Tracking – Arriving in Ushuaia

March 4th, 2010 at 6:50 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Not much more to add to our post below. We arrived in Ushuaia last night. And we’re here for another night.

GPS track on how we got here is below:

 

Who Said Itinerary Changes Are Supposed To Be Easy?

March 4th, 2010 at 6:46 am (AST) by Jake Richter

So maybe we shouldn’t be laughing and amused at this very moment, but when the announcement came over the public address system that a small complication had developed with respect to our charter flight to Miami, we found it pretty funny.

These Magellanic penguins we saw a couple of days ago are kind of like us right now - milling about without a clear direction to go in

These Magellanic penguins we saw a couple of days ago are kind of like us right now - milling about without a clear direction to go in

Apparently Argentinian officials would not give clearance to our plane to come to Ushuaia from Lima (where the plane is at present). That apparently will be resolved shortly, but some other bureaucratic complications require the plane to overnight in Ushuaia, so we’re not actually leaving here until tomorrow, and thus get another night aboard the National Geographic Explorer, which is great. We also don’t have to fly red-eye, which I truly appreciate.

So for now we get to enjoy a short tour of Ushuaia, some walk-around time, lunch at a local restaurant, and some as yet unconfirmed activity this afternoon.

We would like to give our sympathies to all the Lindblad Expedition folks in New York who managed to rebook most everyone’s connecting flights for tomorrow morning only to have to do it all over again to account for this latest flight change. And let’s not forget all the folks here in Ushuaia who have to put up with 140 or so guests (some of whom will unfortunately be unhappy about this latest change) for another day or so. If any of you feel under appreciated, let us know and we’ll remind you what a great job you do.

 

From South America to North America

March 3rd, 2010 at 10:11 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Easter Island it ain’t, but it does have its share of interesting sights. I speak of Miami, Florida, which is apparently where we will end up on early Friday morning.

Apparently the airports throughout South America are all messed up and clogged up because of the closure of the airport in Santiago, Chile. Lindblad Expeditions decided the most prudent course of action was to charter a Miami Air plane to pick us up in Ushuaia tomorrow and then take us all to Miami (with refueling stops in Lima, Peru, and La Paz, Bolivia). And from Miami we’ll figure out how to make our way home on one of the weekly flights available to us.

In a way it’s a bit of serendipity, as we recently realized we had no birthday presents for Bas’ upcoming 13th birthday in a couple of weeks, and we know Miami shopping options far exceed those on Bonaire or in Ushuaia. And, I need to get my big honking Alienware M17x notebook computer repaired before it completely melts down, and that can only happen when the computer is the in U.S. for a few days.

We’re planning on staying in the Miami area for all of next week, and will get home a couple of days later than expected, but hopefully well rested.

 

GPS Tracking – Carcass Island and New Island, East Falklands

March 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Today was the last real day of our three week voyage, and we spent it in the East Falklands, specifically at Carcass Island and New Island. It was a gloriously sunny day, apparently a rarity around here, and Krystyana and I enjoyed a nice long nature hike in the morning as well as our first real sighting of Magellanic penguins, and then in the afternoon we visited a multi-bird rookery on New Island.

There we saw rock hopper penguins, nesting shags, and nesting black brow albatross.

We have lots of excellent pictures and I hope to post at least some of the photos of the last couple of days while we’re at sea tomorrow (which is also when we pack).

We arrive in Ushuaia on Thursday morning.

The GPS track from today is below. We are traveling east to west on this track, just in case that’s not entirely clear.

 

GPS Tracking – Stanley, Falkland Islands

March 1st, 2010 at 8:17 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

It was a gloriously beautiful day in the Falkland Islands today – sunshine, a few fluffy clouds, and ample, blustery winds (a common feature of the area, as we understand it).

Around dawn we made our way from our safe harbor at Berkeley Sound to Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, and then spent the day exploring Stanley by foot. Not a huge amount to see, but we did visit a few shops, wandered through a number of residential areas, and visited both the Stanley Post Office and an excellent museum with ample historical information about Stanley.

Later in the afternoon we visited Stanley Growers, a hydroponics-based grower of wonderful produce, including a vast number of tomatoes, all of which we got to sample.

Tonight we’re en route to West Falkland Island, and more particularly, Carcass Island, where we will spend the morning checking out sheep, a ranch, and Magellanic penguins. And Rockhopper penguins await us in the afternoon.

Below is our GPS track though almost the present, since last night in Berkeley Sound – the northern part of the track is the latest part.

 

Hercules Bay – Jumping Macaroni Penguins

February 28th, 2010 at 10:16 am (AST) by Jake Richter

February 25, 2010 – After our spectacular morning on the plains at Fortuna Bay, we took a short voyage up to Hercules Bay. During late afternoon, we enjoyed a private Zodiac tour – just us four Traveling Richters with staff photographer Mike Nolan as our guide and driver.

The light wasn’t great – it was already quite dark as far as our cameras were concerned, but that didn’t prevent us from being delighted at seeing a number of small colonies of Macaroni penguins. Better yet, there was constant Macaroni penguin traffic off and on small cliffs as the penguins leaped into the water to go feed, and fed penguins leaped out to feed their chicks.

Macaroni penguins plunging into the ocean

Macaroni penguins plunging into the ocean

The Macaroni penguin in the foreground has just leaped out of the water and appears suspended in mid-air

The Macaroni penguin in the foreground has just leaped out of the water and appears suspended in mid-air

The landscape in Hercules Bay was also stunning, with amazing rock formations showing evidence of the strong forces which shaped South Georgia eons ago.

Here the rock striations are colored by lichen, algae, and mosses

Here the rock striations are colored by lichen, algae, and mosses

And lest we forget, the glaciers and snows atop South Georgia’s impressive mountains also produce their own form of terrain change.

Snow melt creates this impressive cascading series of waterfalls at Hercules Bay

Snow melt creates this impressive cascading series of waterfalls at Hercules Bay

All in all, a very pleasant afternoon in the middle of a beautiful nowhere.

More photos available on my Flickr pages.