1 - 25 January 2019
Join me on a photographic expedition with a small group on a 60ft sailing yacht. We will determine our own schedule, locations and timing and have maximum time to photograph.
This is your chance to experience Antarctica as one of just 6-7 guests aboard a thoroughbred sailing yacht, where you will be in awe of spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife within one of the last wildernesses on earth. As a small flexible group we can tailor-make our adventures and adapt itineraries to satisfy even the most seasoned adventure traveler. A cruise to Antarctica to see its dazzling landscapes and plentiful wildlife should be on everyone’s “to-do” list, but this adventure simply beats them all!
Spirit of Sydney is an ocean greyhound and her origins as a southern ocean ’round the world’ racing yacht reflect in her thoroughbred handling and the chance to steer a real racing yacht in the southern ocean is an exhilarating experience in itself, an exhilaration matched by the soaring flight of wandering albatrosses as they lift off the wave tops and soar above the yacht. Adventurous guests of all abilities are catered for, (you don’t need to be an experienced sailor to lend a hand) as the yacht is easily shorthanded, and even non-sailors have returned as seasoned veterans of southern ocean sailing.
Days 6-21: Our next days merge into each other as we cruise the relatively sheltered waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, exploring the wild and beautiful landscape and fascinating plethora of animal life. Now’s your chance to take to the kayaks out and slip along the side of an iceberg as lazy crab-eater seals plop into the water beside you, or perhaps to just drift along, wondering at the sheer immensity of the glacier wrapped mountains that loom over you. Perhaps you’d like to take the snow-shoes and hike up a snow hill to take in the view that literally extends for 50 miles or more in the clear crisp Antarctic air.
Days 22, 23, 24: After a couple of exciting weeks cruising….exploring….photographing .... kayaking… , we begin to watch for a weather window to sail back across the Drake and make a possible sailor’s ‘Rounding of the Horn’.
Day 25: Our first night in ‘civilization’ will be a de-brief in Ushuaia where a ‘pisco sour’ or two will help provide a fitting ambience to celebrate the end of a fabulous adventure. A return to relative civilisation, but Ushuaia’s claim to ‘el Fin del Mundo’ will leave you sceptical, as like most people who travel to Antarctica, you will be forever haunted by the landscapes and thriving inhabitants of ‘that other world’…….that lies to the South, bound by ice but rich in life.
The famed Lemaire Channel is home to dark, majestic waters overhung by precarious seracs and snow cornices that make us hesitant to sail too near the rocky cliffs. We breathe a sigh of relief as we pass Cape Reynard (otherwise known as ‘Eunice’s titties’ after the secretary of a Falklands Islands Dependencies Governor!) and set our sails for a brisk sail across the Gerlache Strait to the Peltior Channel.
As we cruise down the spectacular channel the Fife Mountain Range looms over our starboard hand. We drop our anchor under the ice cliffs at Port Lockroy and visit the English historic base that was pivotal in the days of early exploration and of fascinating Operation Tabarin, a secret wartime initiative to counter Nazi intelligence. The antiquated risqué paintings of 1940’s temptresses seem demure by today’s standards!
We head round to Dorian Bay and take a snow shoe walk up onto Harbour Glacier where the panorama includes: Thunder Glacier to the north, with the Fife Brothers range towering above, Jabet peak to the west, and across the Neumayer Strait – snowy Mount Francais (the highest peak on the peninsula at 2760m) rises majestically above all else.
Return through the Drake Passage
Cape Horn and Land ho! As we round the Horn the obligatory bottle of whiskey comes out…a share to King Neptune and the rest for the crew! If we missed a landing on the way out, we try again, and hopefully visit the monument which evokes the souls of lost sailors, with its interesting sculpture that sings hauntingly in the wind. As we sail up the Beagle Channel, the verdant green magic of Patagonia with its lush Antarctic beech forests and cascades will delight senses accustomed to sea ice and snow.