Yatz on Tour

Joined August 2017Living in: Canberra, Australia
  • Day19

    16 March Waiting, Planes, Waiting

    March 17, 2018 in Chile ⋅

    Finally we arrived in Santiago, checked into our boutique hotel after 10pm. The hotel is great - we deposited our bags and headed down to the bar for some tapas and wine. We then headed out onto the street - I think we are in a bohemian area - the place is alive - restaurants everywhere, street markets, you can buy cannabis, street artists - two guys doing the tango - fabulous - an old guy trying to juggle - bad. Our room faces the street so we may be partying for a few hours yet. This day started at 5.30am, so I think we will be able to sleep through anything.Read more

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  • Day15

    Day 14-15 Drake Passage & Cape Horn

    March 13, 2018, 🌊 South Atlantic Ocean ⋅

    We went to bed rocking and rolling and woke to rocking and rolling. Thankfully with the skillfull captaincy of our Captain we have missed most of the bad weather, and the plus is with the change of course we now go past Cape Horn. Lots of celebrations, final briefing, camera roll, Captains drinks, final dinner - superb and more drinks.Read more

  • Day14

    Day 13 12th March Deception Bay

    March 12, 2018 in Antarctica ⋅

    We are currently anchored in the middle of Deception Bay - a part of the South Shetland Islands. Deception Island is an active volcano. Very early this morning we zodiaced into Whalers Bay, an old whaling station, now occupied by fur seals. The water was warm and you can still smell the sulphur - the visibility was low - we were unable to see the ship or Neptune’s Window, our walking destination - the winds were gusting at 39 knots. We spent 2 hours ashore and we felt as though we had a complete workout. Back on the Ocean Diamond we had a warming shower and breakfast, whilst the other half of the Quark passengers went ashore.
    Antartica has a treaty, and amongst other things the treaty regulates the amount of tourism, restrictions on areas visited and numbers of people ashore.
    Really bad weather was predicted for the Drake Passage, so it was decided by the Captain and Expedition leader, to leave a half day early and make a run across the Passage to try and beat the worst of the weather. Leaving moody Deception Bay was a little sad as this was our last excursion.
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  • Day13

    Day 12 11th March Weather brewing

    March 11, 2018 in Antarctica ⋅

    This morning our destination was Portal Point, however the dark, dark clouds and wind have come upon us, so we headed up the Gerlache Strait to Graham Passage. We boarded our zodiacs and took off in snowy, bleak conditions. We saw some whales that were logging - they obviously thought the weather horrid, so stayed asleep. We rode the waves in the zodiac, crunched some ice and took in the fabulous landscape.
    Wildlife: Humpback whales, Chinstrap penguin, terns, and birds.
    After lunch the weather looked horrid so I told Stephen if I should fall asleep before the next zodiac ride -leave me be - he did exactly that. As it turned out the weather cleared, blue skies all around (the first time for the whole trip) - conditions were so good they stayed out for 2.15 hours instead of the planned 1.30 hours. Needles to say I am sulking so I will leave it to Stephen to tell you all. Unfortunately for Carolynne probably the best zodiac trip so far. We zodiaced on Cievra Bay, lots of ice and icebergs which we motored through, Humpback and minke whales, leopard, fur and Crabeater seals, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins on the shore, rafting at sea, jumping down rocks, a variety of birds all in full sunshine. There was also an Argentinian research base to view.
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  • Day12

    Day 11 10th March Rock and rolling

    March 10, 2018, 🌊 South Atlantic Ocean ⋅

    This morning we zodiac cruised, plowing through the crunching ice - at times it was a bumpy ride. Except for the birds, the seals and whales were not in abundance. A different story when we landed on Danco Island - inhabited by a colony of Gentoo genguins - they are so much fun - some adults were moulting, so stand in a patch of feathers until they lose them all and have a shiny new coats - chicks were shedding their down - and some chicks playing house by collecting stones for a nest - others braving the water and learning to swim for when they have to find their own food, which is krill.
    Wildlife: Humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Crabeater seals, Terns, Kelp gulls, Snowy sheathbill, Skua
    We cruised into Wilhelmina Bay and in the afternoon we were out in our zodiac for a ride around the bay. Again we saw lots of Humpback whales - however the whales were mostly logging, and not showing their dorsal fin. The Bay was interesting with many glaciers and importantly it was protected by the winds.
    Wildlife: Humpback whales, terns, Crabeater seal
    Tonight was BBQ night, out on deck, 1degrees and snowing heavily - oh - and we had to wear a mad hat. It was lots of fun but needless to say by the time you ate your BBQ the food was cold. Ice cream was the only thing on offer for desert, and yes I had ice cream. After dinner, Baileys coffee in the lounge went down a treat.
    We anchored at Wilhelmina Bay for the night because of the protection it provided the ship.
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  • Day11

    Day 10 Setting foot on the Continent

    March 9, 2018 in Antarctica ⋅

    This morning we cruised in the zodiac through iceburgs and a plethora of wildlife and then we went for a walk on the smelly side. We landed on Cuverville Island home to 5,000 pairs of breeding Gentoo penguins. They are so cute and inquisitive, Stephen was standing with his legs a little apart and one penguin waddled right up to him and continued through his legs, as if one walks through a black arch everyday to get home.
    Wildlife: Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguins, Crabeater seal, fur seal, Leopard seal, Waddell sea, Antartic tern, Skua, Kelp gull, Humpback whales.
    The Ocean Diamond then set sailed through Andvord Bay to Neko Harbour. The Passage was unbelievable, whilst most people had lunch we went to the bridge and upper deck to watch the Captain and crew navigate through what we thought an impossible passage. The Russian speaking Engineer told us two ships tried to navigate the passage yesterday and had to turn around - 10 out of 10 for our Captain. However when we did reach Neko Harbour it was not suitable for a zodiac landing, we then steamed to Paradise Harbour. We finally landed on the Continent at an Argentinian Station -they left yesterday, however the Gentoo penguins warmly greeted us. Before returning to this ship we cruised the Harbour which was the playground for Humpback whales. Tonight we are staying in the Harbour for protection from the winds - however we are parked just off a glacier, which has calved several times this afternoon. I envisage we will have a night of groans and maybe calving during the night - so the ship we be rocking from the waves caused by the calving.
    Wildlife: Gentoo penguins, Humpback whales, leopard seals, Snowy sheathbill, Antartic terns
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  • Day10

    Day 9 penguins, penguins, penguins

    March 8, 2018 in Antarctica ⋅

    What can I say, you just have to come to this magical place for yourselves, as words can’t do it justice. This morning we toured in a zodiac around Yalour Islands, stunning landscape, icebergs and wildlife.
    Wildlife: Humpbacks, Adelie penguins, Gentoo penguins, Crabeater seal
    After lunch back on Ocean Diamond we boarded our zodiac for a shore excursion to Booth Island, landing at Port Charcot, named by a French explorer after his father. Jean-Baptiste Charcot wintered on Booth Island in 1904. The Island is now home to some 80,000 Gentoo penguins, they are so much fun, they come right up to you, and are as inquisitive as we are. We walked to the top of the Island to a cairn - a memorial to the Charcot’s expedition. We then boarded the zodiac to cruise or plow through the ice, around the island to enjoy the iceburgs and wildlife up close.
    Wildlife: Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguin, Crabeater seal, fur seal, Antartic gull, Skua etc.
    As if this place could get any better - when we started sail we went through the Lemaire Passage - simply stunning - we are blessed. We know this Passage was special as all the expedition team were out front enjoying the views with us. We are going to bed contented people.
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  • Day9

    Day 8 Iceburgs and wildlife

    March 7, 2018, 🌊 South Atlantic Ocean ⋅

    This morning we arrived at Crystal Sound. The ship put down anchor near Andresen Island and we hopped onto a zodiac for a spin around the icebergs, glaciers and for some wildlife spotting. What can I say - it was stunning, particularly the pod of 6 or 7 whales.
    For most of the day it snowed - not whilst we were out on the zodiacs, however when we made our made dash back to the ship a blizzard came in and it was so cold.

    Wildlife - Adelie penguins, Antarctic cormorants, Skua, fur seals, crabeater seals and a pod of minke whales.
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  • Day8

    Day 7 Crossing the Circle

    March 6, 2018, 🌊 South Pacific Ocean ⋅

    At 2am this morning with great excitement it was announced over the ships PA that we were about to cross the Antarctic Circle. We hauled ourselves out of bed, putting many layer of clothing over our PJs and when outside to celebrate with champagne. When dawn broke we were steaming past Adelaide Island. The landscape and environs far exceeds our expectations- you have to come and experience it to believe the wonders of the Antarctica. At noon we anchored at Marguerite Bay, we hopped onto a zodiac and motored to explore the ice burgs and wildlife. Our zodiac circled Neney Island and then we landed on Stonington Island, an ex British and American Station. We were ever so fortunate in that a British Conservation Team were on the Island and gave us talks about the British Station and one of our Expedition Team talked about the American Station. The Brits also had a post office - I am sure as a means to make money for the conservation of the buildings. Although I am not sure how much they would have made as only six cruise ship made it that far south this season. The majority of our expedition team have never been this far south even though they have worked for Quark for five + years.
    We also managed to fit in a talk on whales and a 1930’s movie on an expedition to Marguerite Bay.

    Wildlife seen: penguins- Adelie, seals - fur, crabeaters, lion, birds - Albatross, shua, Wilson...
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