Who has never dreamed of stepping on the white continent?
They are not few times that I have looked at information on the Internet of large cruises that all summer seasons crossed the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula with some privileged ones. Then, out of curiosity, I looked at the prices, and saw $ 8,000, $ 10,000 or up to $ 15,000 for 11 or 12 days ... and my hair was on end. However, my piggy bank continued to grow, with the illusion that one day it would be attainable.
The decision to embark on such an adventure has to be given from many views: from the personal, from the economic and from the sentimental
From the personal point of view, I found the moment when for various and various reasons closed CHAVETAS 2.0. It was a time when my life had to take a 180º turn and the situation allowed me to embark on any adventure, even alone.
From the economic point of view, my piggy bank had grown, but that didn't mean disbursing large sums of money for going on ... a cruise. I hate cruises. It is not the idea I had for this trip. I needed something different, something more expeditionary. I already knew what I needed ... I NEEDED AN EXPEDITION VESSEL with trekking, landing, hiking and interacting (without "contaminating") with the environment as much as possible
From the sentimental point of view, the body asked me for an adventure like that. I got to look at the Gobi desert, or Tibet or some other paranoia of mine ... but this is what I was looking for. Exactly this ... THE ANTARCED.
But the decision would not have been made if he had never received that call. Yolanda, from Tuareg Travel (to whom I will be eternally grateful), he gave me the possibility of obtaining a ticket on this expedition. Tuareg trips It has special prices with one of the two great companies that cross this Antarctic peninsula, the Oceanwide Expedition. The other is Quark Expedition. The price reduction with respect to the officers (which were around $ 6,000) are considerable and even gave me the possibility of providing ground services, accommodation reservations or whatever I needed. If it wasn't for her, and that call, I wouldn't be here.
Another important thing is that in addition to NOT BEING A CRUISE, and fulfilling 100% with my "prayers", it is the only one WALKING EXPEDITION of the season and is longer than normal, a total of 13 days, instead of the usual 11
He Professor Molchanov (COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE) is an icebreaker (or rather, an expedition ship) Oceanographic research, modern and comfortable, designed as a ship reinforced against ice. This ship has been adapted for the passage, so that it is ideal for an expedition cruise of these characteristics.
With more than 70 meters of length, 12 meters of beam, a draft of approximately 4 meters, this vessel displaces about 2,000 tons. It has two 1,700 horsepower diesel engines and reaches a speed of 12.5 knots. It has an autonomy of 70 days of independent operation and holds the ISM certificate
The crew consists of about 20 people, enthusiastic and with extensive experience in navigation between ice. The captains are recognized experts in polar navigation. The expedition leaders and international speakers are specialists in the Arctic environment and environmental issues
The boat has a wide bridge and good outdoor observation areas from the deck. An excellent meal prepared by international chefs is served in their dining rooms, and those same spaces function as conference rooms. Other areas of public access to the ship are a lounge and bar, a small library, an infirmary and a sauna.
It can also accommodate 52 travelers in comfortable triple cabins without bathrooms (2), doubles without bathrooms (9), doubles with bathrooms (24), superiors (2) and a suite. All cabins have a desk and luggage space.
The ships transport complete Zodiac type boats, which are excellent for landing and observing wildlife in areas that are only accessible.
Length: 71.6 meters (236 feet)
Sleeve: 12.8 meters (42 feet)
Draft: 4.5 meters (15 feet)
Ice class: KM * UL (1) A2
Displacement: 2,140 Tons
Motors: 2 x 1560 hp diesel
Cruising Speed: 10 - 12 knots
Plazas: 53 travelers plus the crew.
BOAT GUIDES AND STAFF
In command of the ship is the captain; A professional sailor responsible for everything related to navigation. They are of Russian nationality; The professionalism of Russian captains in Polar navigation is recognized. At your service, there is the crew that varies according to the ship. In the case of Molchanov there are about 20 people.
The expedition is in charge of tour leader (leader of the expedition), professional guide who has a great knowledge of Antarctica and the polar environment in general, in all its aspects, historical, geographical, faunal, etc. Informative talks are given on all these aspects.
These people make up the ship's staff, both for this trip and for other similar trips, they are usually of different nationalities and the common language on board is English. Often, some components of the staff are Chilean or Argentinian, which facilitates the issue of connection with the crew.
COMMUNICATIONS AND CHAVETAS 3.0
With the birth of CHAVETAS 3.0, what has improved the most is the part you don't see. The ease of uploading and uploading photos, as well as writing stories, makes it easy for me to have a day with lots of photos and a fairly decent story in 30 minutes. This is all thanks to Elias.
Within the new features, the option of publishing via email has been implemented, and since the ship only has an expensive satellite email, 1 daily email was used to leave the family alone and publish something at the same time.
Traveling to Antarctica is not a pleasure trip. That they ask the expeditions of Admusen or Scott, or the suffered Scketelon, at the beginning of the 20th century if their challenge was simple. By this I mean that although there is an indicative idea of what you want to do, it will depend a lot on the climatic conditions. However, the initial idea (later varied) was to do something similar to this ...
DAY 9 (Ju3 December 2009): Boarding in Ushuaia (16'00)
DAY 10 (Vi4 December 2009): Drake Passage
DAY 11 (Sa5 December 2009): Drake Passage
DAY 12 (Do6 December 2009): Dundee Island - Paulet Island
DAY 13 (Lu7 December 2009): Snow Hill - James Ros Island - Seymour Island
DAY 14 (Ma8 December 2009): Devil Island - Vega Island
DAY 15 (Mi9 December 2009): Gourdin Island
DAY 16 (Ju10 December 2009): Astrolabe Island - Graham Land
DAY 17 (Fri 11 December 2009): Cuverville Island - Danco Island
DAY 18 (Sa12 December 2009): Neko Harbor
DAY 19 (Do13 December 2009): Melchior Island
DAY 20 (Lu14 December 2009): Drake Passage
DAY 21 (Ma15 December 2009): Drake Passage - Usuahia (7'00)
That is why, when I was asked about the freedom of my backpack or my stiffness on this 24-day trip, my answer was that it was "flexible" to some extent. In Uruguay it was 100% and in Argentina too, but on December 3, however, I had to be in the Port of Ushuaia.
The journey of a life?
Petrels, all kinds of birds, seals, penguins, huge iceberg, the fearsome drake step, traces of past expeditions, whales, exciting landings ... all this congregates what I consider the trip of a life but ...
... Uruguay has shown me that it is not necessary to look for magic, but that it comes only and in inexplicable and unexpected places, so the answer would be ... YOU NEVER KNOW
A hug to all