Antarctica

Antarctica

Sail and Kayak the Antarctic Peninsula in Jauary 2018

We are returning to Antarctica on Spirit of Sydney for a month of exploring on foot, in kayaks and aboard the yacht. Only one space left.

Description Beaches Comfort Adventure
Sailling from Patagonia we cross the Drake passage and then slowly make our way down the Antarctic Peninsula exploring the numerous sounds and islands. Yacht berth, camping
Description
Sailling from Patagonia we cross the Drake passage and then slowly make our way down the Antarctic Peninsula exploring the numerous sounds and islands.
Beaches
Comfort
Yacht berth, camping
Adventure

This is a repeat of what Frances and I believe was our best travel experience.   The wildlife,  scenery, history and adventure exceeded our expectations and hopefully will again. There is a brief trip report here.

We walked and skied to remote penguin colonies and spent many hours watching life in the rockeries as the first chicks hatched (This time a month later we should be watching the chicks grow rapidly).  Humpback whales diving under the boats as we paddled in calm black sounds, orcas near the yacht and encounters with sea leopards are fond memories of encounters we expect to repeat.

Our first landfall will be Deception Island with its abandoned whaling station, geothermally heated penguin colony and hot water pools.  To me it was something straight out of Willard Price's "Whale adventure".  Tying up next to a sunken whaler in the Enterprise Islands and exploring them on skis was another buzz.   As a small group of 7 we will get chances to visit some of the Antarctic bases and understand more of the history and politics of the region.

Overnight ski and snowshoe tours, camping and staying in abandoned huts provide a chance to experience the wilderness and scale of the continent.  

Exploring the bays, sounds and islands by kayak provides a special opportunity to observe the wildlife and we look forward to this again.

Dates and trip structure

The trip departs Ushuaia, Patagonia on 1 January 2018 and returns on or about January 29.  

We have chartered the 60ft yacht Spirit of Sydney with a professional crew of 2.  We will be the "voyage crew" and while absolutely no sailing skills are required we will be required to stand watches and share in general duties. With 6 of the 7 spaces already fulled we have some strong sailors in the group. Note - Trip is now full.

We begin by sailing down the Beagle channel.  There may be a day or two waiting at the entrance for a good spell of water before we head across the Drake Passage or possibly the Drake Lake.  This is normally about a 3 day crossing and while it can be rough is not nearly as bad as some people imagine.

Our first landfall will probably be Deception Island in the South Shetlands, After that we island hop through the Antarctic Peninsula archipelago with a schedule mostly determined by the weather and our interests. There will be 7 sea kayak aboard and ample opportunities to explore on land and in kayaks.  

It is likely that we will get as far south as the Antarctic Circle before finding a weather window for the trip back.

Conditions and Equipment

The temperatures will vary from -5 to +5C.  At 60 degrees south the worst of the westerlies have gone and we had many fine calm days last trip, on occasion sitting on deck with a red wine pretending we were somewhere warm. Good NZ winter tramping gear is almost ideal.  The exception is the kayaking - for which you will need a dry suit (rental may be available).

Experience Required

 We are a group of experienced travelers, trampers, skiers etc who are all used to the outdoors and to working in small groups in what can sometimes be quite intense settings.  There are no specific technical competencies required other than general all-round outdoor experience.  We will be organising group training in glacier travel.  We will be expecting people to operate within their competency, so if you are less experienced as a kayaker you may opt out of some kayak activities.

Price

The trip price is $17,400.  Plus airfares to Ushauia return.

To book or enquire:  email info@outdoor.co.nz, or try Ross on the numbers below.

Trip is now fully subscribed (as at 21 September).

 

Kayaking in the ice

Spirit of Sydney

Camping on glacier

Hot pools on Deception Island

Frances learning to helm in the Drake Passage

Beach reception

Porposing Penguins

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