Antarctica
Cuverville Island

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  • Day87

    Antarktis

    March 1 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Poseidon Expedition Antarktis - 7. Kontinent

    Das 5* Paket im Hotel Arakur haben wir in vollen Zügen genossen, SPA, warme Dusche, Fitness, Frühstücksbuffet…was wottsch meh?! Genau, ein negativer Antigen Test…jubiduu, der Reise in die Antarktis stand nichts mehr im Weg.

    Am späteren Nachmittag ging es im Hafen von Ushuaia an Bord der Sea Spirit, ein Expedition Schiff für 100 Gäste und 70 Crew Mitglieder. Nach der Kabinenbesichtigung erhielten wir den ersten Welcome Drink, das Saftey Briefing und schon bald waren die Häuser von Ushuaia nur noch als kleine Punkte wahrzunehmen.

    Da die Antarktis 1500 km entfernt von Ushuaia liegt, musste in den ersten 48 Stunden die gefürchtete Drake Passage überquert werden. Der Expeditionsleiter meinte, die ersten 24 Stunden sind ein Drake Lake und dann ein Drake Shake…nach ein paar Pilleli war es dann auch für Bettina ein „sanftes“ wiegen in den Wellen. ;)

    Als dann die ersten Eisblöcke im Meer zu sehen waren, waren alle vermeintlichen Strapazen der Überfahrt vergessen und die Vorfreude wurde immer grösser.
    Es wurde uns nicht zu viel versprochen. Da wir enormes Wetterglück hatten, konnten alle 10 geplanten Aktivitäten (Landgänge und Zodiac Fahrten) durchgeführt werden. So konnten wir zweimal ein Landgang auf der Antarktis machen (mer sind ufem 7. Kontinent..wuepaa). :) Und einige Male Landgänge auf Inseln vor der Antarktis. Dazu kamen einige Zodiac Fahrten, wo wir durch die Eisschollen gegleitet sind und die Tierwelt beobachten haben. Der grösste Teil des Kontinentes ist für Touristen nicht zugänglich, wie auch der Südpol.

    Oftmals kam uns die Landschaft surreal vor. Da sitzt man in einem kleinen Motor-Gummiboot im Meer, ringsherum schneebedeckte Berge und Gletscher, Eisberge welche meterhoch aus dem Wasser ragen, zwischendurch Pinguine die durch die Luft springen oder am Land watscheln. Seals, welche sichs bequem machen auf den Eisschollen und dazu noch diverse Vögel, welche am Himmel kreisen. Dazu mal strahlend blauer Himmel, Regen, Schnee oder mystischer Nebel…ein Traum.

    Unser persönliches Highlight war die Zodiac Fahrt durch die Eislandschaft bei strahlend blauem Himmel und plötzlich tauchte ein circa 16m langer Buckelwal unter unserem Boot auf, da stieg der Puls schon etwas! :) Als krönender Abschluss zu diesem wunderbaren Tag gab es ein BBQ draussen auf dem Deck.

    Auf dem Schiff haben wir uns sehr schnell zurecht gefunden, das Hirni konnte sowieso ausgeschaltet werden. Jede Aktivität wurde auf 3 Sprachen durch den Lautsprecher bekannt gegeben, da war auch kein Handywecker notwendig. ;). Wir wurden von A-Z verwöhnt, zum Frühstück, Mittagessen und Abendessen wurde ein leckeres 3-Gang Menü serviert. Da man ja zwischendurch doch noch Hunger haben könnte, gab es täglich um 16.00 Uhr Kaffee und Kuchen! Ja, die Hosen sind wieder etwas enger…chch :D

    Es waren erstaunlich viele junge Gäste auf dem Schiff und so waren wir schnell eine Clique, welche sich zwischen den Aktivitäten für Drinks und Kartenspiele in der Schiffs Bar traf. :)

    Nach den wunderbaren Tage auf hoher See haben wir uns vom Luxus des rundum Services verabschiedet und sind nun wieder mit unserer 1-Zimmer Wohnung auf 4-Räder unterwegs…ab jetzt heisst es, Richtung Norden!
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    Plagi u Bhoupti

    Wennd z Gfüu hesch es heig numeno jungi Lüt, ghörtme säuber villech zu de Autä.. 😜 wunderschöni Fotos!!

    3/7/22Reply
    BettinaB

    Haha, wo mer dur eusi Bilder sind, hämmer eusi Falte um d’Auge betrachtet und gmerkt, dass au mer älter wirded!😂🙈

    3/8/22Reply
    Jasmin Nufer

    Wow die Bilder, meeega😍🐳🐧❄️👌🏼

    3/8/22Reply

    Da kann ich nur sägä... woaw, woaw, woaw....unglaublichs reisefieber isch im anzug bi mir... erinnerungen fürs leben...gnüssets und bin gsannt wie's wieter gaht..... [Praxedis]

    3/9/22Reply
     
  • Day11

    Zodiac boat cruise, Errera Channel

    November 20, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ -7 °C

    By around 15:30, the weather is starting to close in again. With everyone back onboard, the captain moves the ship further into the shelter of the Errera Channel. It’s snowing outside now. They’ve announced a one hour delay to the start of the scenic cruising, but I’m presuming that will rely upon the weather lifting, as there’s precious little to see at the moment.

    Apparently not - the expeditions director is determined to give us an authentic Antarctic experience, so with the wind blowing horizontal snow at us at a force of 17 metres per second and an outside air temperature of -7°C, we’re off into the boats!

    Well, the first group is. I’m in the second batch, supposedly leaving 45 mins later. Which turns out to be remarkably fortuitous, as within half an hour, the weather begins to break and visibility is restored to the channel. One of the biggest challenges I’m finding on this ship is getting ready at the right time for the the excursions - because the schedule often ends up slipping because of weather conditions, but when they call you, you need to go fairly sharpish to the dock. Unfortunately, this often means donning the polar gear, and then having to wait around in the ship, and because you’re now wearing so many layers, you rapidly overheat. Which then means you get on the boat all sweaty inside, and then consequently end up very cold once actually on the move. It’s a juggling game at which I have yet to win. So there I am at 17:00, sweating like a whore in church and cursing the ongoing delay. I’m seconds from abandoning the trip entirely when they finally call us through and onto the zodiac.

    It turns out our boat is being piloted by Steffen, the expeditions director. He’s keen to inform us that his previous group have just seen a humpback whale surfacing by the glacier, so like giddy school children we take our seats and speed off towards the opposite side of the channel. With baited breath, we wait. And wait. And wait some more. Unfortunately, humpbacks are designed so that once they’ve taken a lungful of air, they can remain submerged for up to 45 minutes. So, although the majestic creature is probably still underneath us somewhere, we are not on this occasion treated to a glimpse of it. Still, even without that treat, the trip across the channel on the zodiac is certainly spectacular. Experiencing these surroundings from sea level is almost indescribable. The icy sea spray, the scale of the icebergs (which seem so much smaller when viewed from the ship), the primal beauty of everything in every direction you look... I feel I’ve overused the word ‘exhilarating’ in this journal, but that’s the only word I have to describe it. Our trip lasts 45 minutes, but honestly feels like five - all thoughts of the cold are forgotten. I’ve finally mastered the glove situation (two pairs are required - tight-fitting fingerless ones so I can quickly take pictures, and then a pair of thick waterproof gloves to put over the top) and my decision to put on two sets of thermal undergarments - although regrettable during the long wait - was ultimately a good call. This has been another fantastic day in Antarctica.
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    Rosalind Scott

    So wonderful - I'm loving reading this so much. You're a fantastic writer and of course your pictures are unbelievable!

    11/21/19Reply
    Gareth Shaw

    Thanks so much Rosie! It’s lovely knowing that people are reading along with me!

    11/21/19Reply
     
  • Day6

    In der Kaldera

    March 7, 2020 in Antarctica ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    Es ist so unglaublich, den ganzen Tag I.m Krater des Vulkans zu verbringen. Bei der Einfahrt und am frühen Vormittag war Nebel und jetzt den ganzen Tag herrlichsten Sonnenschein. Zu Mittag gab es auch Essen auf dem Sonnendeck, 🥦Suppe und Rentier🌮. Das Obst 🍎🍐🍑🍊🍉 ist schön hergeschnitten, Kekse und Kuchen sind für mich nur Augenschmaus 😉Read more

    Inge Dirnbacher

    Wunderschön!

    3/7/20Reply
    Brigitte Pachinger

    Super, dass es mit dem Wetter geklappt hat😎

    3/7/20Reply
     
  • Day17

    Antarktischer Sommer auf Cuverville Isla

    November 30, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    Nach dem Abstecher zu den Süd-Shatlandinseln sind wir wieder in der Antarktis angekommen. Heute Morgen (Sonnenaufgang um 2:50, hell war es ab 1:30) sind wir durch den Errera-Kanal gefahren.
    Sonne, Pinguine, Eisschollen, Gletscher: Antarktis pur. Wetter ist wieder super, wir genießen die Sonne bei 2 Grad.Read more

    Cordula Doßler

    Cool. Im wahrsten Sinne.

    11/30/19Reply
     
  • Day8

    Eisberge

    December 26, 2021 in Antarctica ⋅ 🌧 1 °C

    Wegen der Eisbildung konnten wir nicht an Land gehen. Somit fuhren wir in den Sodiacs durch den „Eisbergfriedhof“. In dieser Bucht strandeten die Eisberge aufgrund der Strömung und bieten somit die herrliche Kulisse für unsere Tour. Dies war unsere letzte Sodiac-Tour in der Antarktis.Read more

  • Day7

    Danco Island

    January 2, 2020 in Antarctica ⋅ ☁️ 1 °C

    Nach einer verschneiten Nacht sind wir in Danco Island angekommen. Wir durften heute einige Zeit mit den Pinguinen verbringen. Nach einem guten Fußmarsch auf die Spitze der Insel, ging es über eine selbst gebaute Rutsche wieder runter.
    Abends sollten wir zu Paradise Harbour fahren, doch die Ausfahrt von Danco Island ist von einem großen Eisberg geblockt, also bleiben wir die Nacht in dieser Bucht und versuchen es morgen früh erneut.
    Enttäuscht sind wir nicht, denn hier gibt es ein Buckelwal nach dem anderen zu sehen. Einer kam sogar direkt neben unserem Tenderboot hoch und schnaufte. Das war nichts für schwache Nerven!
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  • Day8

    Along the Danco Coast

    November 17, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

    The remainder of the afternoon is a very relaxed affair, with our group having disembarked in the morning. After a fairly light lunch, and still nursing a sore knee from this morning’s involuntary gymnastics, I figure a short nap is on the cards. I’ve been waking up so early this trip - not helped much by the fact that we are now firmly in the land of the midnight sun. The cabin has blackout curtains, so this would not normally be a problem, but I find I’m waking up throughout the night and surrendering to curiosity to see what’s sailing past my window, convinced that a whale or something may be performing for my viewing pleasure. Of course, no such thing has happened, but by that point I’m wide awake.

    After a brief snooze, I get up and hit the sauna. This is a real treat on this boat, especially with the panoramic windows. The sensation of sitting there in the blistering heat while surveying the frozen landscape is something truly special. I could get very used to this.

    At around 17:30, and with everyone safely back on board, the ship pulls out of Orne Harbour and begins a leisurely drift to the south, passing some monumental icebergs the size of basketball courts (and that’s just the 10% that sits above the waterline). Fog is closing in rapidly, and soon we have slowed to a crawl. Given the size of the icebergs we’ve just passed, I presume they need to be cautious. However, after just 20 minutes of such progress, the fog dissipates again, revealing the ice-clad mountains lining the Danco Coast.

    We haven’t been told exactly where we are heading - that’s quite deliberate at this stage, because weather and sea conditions can turn in a heartbeat - but our southerly bearing would put us in reach of Neko Harbour, which we have been told is probably the most southerly site we could visit on this trip. Some guests have been disappointed to learn that we will not be crossing the Antarctic Circle on this voyage, but they’ve clearly not done their research - this is not physically possible at this time of year, as the sea is completely frozen over south of 65.5°, and we can’t sail across solid ice.

    Our evening orientation meeting reveals that we are indeed heading towards Neko Harbour, specifically to Kerr Point, as this is the site where guests with deep pockets and unhinged minds can camp out for the night on the ice. Given that I have a lovely warm cabin that cost an arm and a leg to begin with, the idea of spending the better part of €600 to willingly leave that sanctuary in order to go spend an uncomfortable night in a frozen, draughty tent is quite beyond me. Although I guess such a feat comes with massive bragging rights.

    Eventually we make it to Neko Harbour at around 21:00, and the zodiac boats waste no time in ferrying the tents and supplies to shore. On arrival, the camping site is shrouded in mist, but as it gradually clears, I can see the bottom of a giant snowy slope, which will be their home for the evening. The landscape is quite eerie - the water is dead flat, with the only ripples being ones we’re making ourselves with the boats. Several penguin rookeries along the coast are providing a cackling symphony of sound, which is occasionally interspersed by an ominous cracking from the active glacier. The whole surface of the inlet is strewn with ice, ranging from small chunks that crepitate as the ship passes by them, through to significant icebergs, which make loud bangs as they come in contact with the ship’s reinforced hull.

    I had presumed that we were going to drop anchor here and spend the night, but at around 23:00 or so, I notice that we’re starting to make our way out of the channel again. I head to the front of the ship to watch as we glide through the deep ebony waters, moving large chunks of ice out of our path with the bow tunnel thrusters. Beneath the glassy surface, the colossal outlines of the icebergs make for an unsettling sight - I’m starting to understand the whole thalassophobia thing now. At the front of the ship, I meet one of the catering crew who tells me that we’re moving out of the channel so that the campers get a proper isolated Antarctic overnight experience. Perhaps that justifies the price, then, given that moving a 21,000-tonne boat solely for that purpose must cost a lot in fuel.

    It’s still light as midnight approaches and as we continue to drift out towards the mouth of the long inlet, but having finally had my fill of photographing icebergs for the time being, I make my way to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
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  • Day11

    Cuverville Island

    November 20, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ☁️ -3 °C

    During the night, the ship has moved north, returning to the vicinity of Neko Harbour. Last time we were here, high winds and poor sea conditions drove us south - for which we were ultimately very thankful, given the opportunities to which that turn of events led. But now we are reattempting ‘Plan A’ from two days ago, which involves landing on the small island of Cuverville. This is a site of special interest for bird life, being home to a colony of around 5,000 gentoo penguins and nesting Antarctic skuas. Whales have been known to frequent the bay around the landing area, and Weddell seals are also often to be found basking on the beaches.

    The wind is still blowing strongly, but clearly not strongly enough to prevent the zodiacs from beginning their transfer services across to the beach. There’s quite a swell though, so boarding is a less than elegant affair and as I take my seat, I grab onto the straps and brace myself for a bumpy ride.

    The transfer from ship to shore takes about 3 minutes, during which time we pass all manner of floating ice shapes on the water. These must pose a serious navigation hazard for the zodiac pilots, but they manage their job very well. It occurs to me that I have no idea who is behind the wheel - the pilots are always decked out in oilskins, balaclavas and ski masks. It could be anyone under there.

    We seem to be sailing into a penguin sanctuary. They’re everywhere: in the water, on the ledges, and all over the snowy shore. Disembarkation is tricky, as we have to make it off the edge of the boat and onto some rough steps that have been hewn into the ice - my own ski visor means that I cannot look directly down at my feet, so I’m praying I’m stepping on something solid. Once ashore, we collect our walking poles and set off across the crisp and crunchy snow, remembering that crossing penguins have priority, and to give them the requisite amount of space.

    It’s bitterly cold, the snow is sinking slightly under my boots and my visor has fogged up, but it’s nevertheless a very enjoyable experience. The penguins are naturally comical: noisy and boisterous, they slip and slide around on the snow, chasing after each other and squabbling, whilst simultaneously giving an air of supreme indifference to our presence. They seem wonderfully maladroit on land - something to which I certainly relate - and it makes me even more astonished that they seem capable of scaling such unforgiving terrain without falling to their deaths. It’s a real treat to be this close to them. As I turn around to head up over the ridge, one little fellow walks right in front of my path and flops to the floor. I can’t go round it without straying beyond the cordoned area marked for us by the expedition team, so I have to wait for it to move instead. We’re on their turf now, and they call the shots.

    The bay is relatively sheltered from the gale, which is a mercy because I can’t use my camera while wearing my gloves, so I have the opportunity to take them off without my fingers freezing. Up on the ridge though, it’s a very different matter, and the biting wind means I don’t stick around for long. It’s incredible how these little penguins don’t freeze solid. But not only do they cope, they’re clearly thriving in this environment.

    Returning to the boat launch area for our return to the ship, we’re entertained by a solitary penguin working its way down a steep snowy bank towards the water - it keeps taking a few steps, then reappraising the situation and going back a little, looking for an easier route. Eventually it makes it to the overhang, but misjudges the landing into the water and bounces off the rocks below. It swims off seemingly unscathed - I can only presume they’re made of resilient stuff!

    Back on board, it’s time to divest myself of my polar gear and head up to lunch. It must be at least two hours since our last force feeding! This afternoon, there is talk of scenic boat cruising, but as with every day down here, we’ll just have to wait and see what the conditions allow.
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  • Day15

    Cuverville Island and a BBQ

    February 13, 2018 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Our second last day ashore Antarctica, gentoo penguins, fur seals, and that evening a BBQ on the back of the boat. IAATO guidelines are strict when it comes to food, you are not permitted to take food ashore, so the back of the ship was the venue. When the penguins in the distance were sick of the music, a scent of guano drifted in on the changing wind...coincidence?Read more

  • Day180

    Antarktis - Brown Base

    March 1, 2017 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Der zweite Landgang an diesem Tag führte uns dann nach Brown Base. Ein paar von den Pinguinen hatten wohl am Vortag ein bisschen zu tief ins Glas geschaut...
    Auch an diesem Abend gab es wieder einen tollen Sonnenuntergang.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Cuverville, Isla, Cuverville Island, isla

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