Antarctica 2009 Trip

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Antarctica 2009 Trip

Preparing For Landings

There are a few people on board who are really looking forward to having firm ground under their soles, but most have handled the very light seas quite well and are finding their sea legs.

A quiet start to a long voyage - the bow of the RV-Akademik Sergey Vavilov.

To get to shore, we will need to walk down a set of steps and climb into a zodiac which will ferry us across, but there are some practical issues.

The first is water. While some zodiac rides will be across mirror smooth water, it is just as likely we'll be ploughing into some strong winds with lots of sea spray and the occasional rogue wave which will wash over us. Wearing waterproof clothing is a must and I have decided to hire some proper wet-weather gear from the ship. It also means I can lie down on the ground in amongst the penguin poo and not worry too much about getting dirty - the clothing will be cleaned when I return it in three weeks time.

And once we get to shore, there normally isn't a wharf to tie up to. You clamber onto rocks or a beach, so your feet need to be waterproof as well. Wellington boots are supplied by the ship and I am to fnd out how essential this is. Even better, the guides recommend wearing the wellington boots while on shore as often we're walking through mud and more penguin poo.

However, the best bit of gear I have seen are the all-in-one boots, trousers and braces, fully waterproof from the toes to the navel. The Peregin crew seem to favour these as it means the bottom half of you is always dry.

Next is my camera gear. Although I have a waterproof LowePro backpack, if it gets doused by sea spray as we fight our way through a windy crossing, I will have to wash it carefully when I return to the ship, otherwise the salt water will leave a film of corrosive salt which can infect my camera gear as I put cameras in and take them out. It seems the best solution is a waterproof bag, such as the waterproof linings for larger backpacks. I drop the LowePro DryZone into the waterproof lining and my water problems disappear.

What I am about to discover is how handy the little Lumix FT1 waterproof camera is going to be. I used it in Papua New Guinea on the banana boats and figured it would work just as well on the zodiacs. It means I'm read to take photographs at any time, especiall since the camera is so small. Plus it has a movie mode, but keeping the camera still is another issue!

Next: West Point Island


Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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