Discovering The Blue Continent

Jul 25th, 2011, 11:23 PM
  #201  
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LeslieS,

You'll have a great time! Still working on the "stuff I took and would recommend" posting to wrap it all up.

Will look forward to hearing about your trip
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Jul 26th, 2011, 12:29 AM
  #202  
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SPT,

We did have a fun group which I think was exceptional for this type of cruise. Combined with the Quark personnel provided for this trip, we were destined to have a great time
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Jul 29th, 2011, 04:28 AM
  #203  
 
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I'm sorry to tell you I won't be as prolific a poster as you DMBT!! But I'll try to give a few tidbits about our trip to help future travelers.

I definitely would love to check out your gear guide when you get a chance to post that.

Really hope our group has half the fun you all did - but you set the bar quite high!
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Jul 29th, 2011, 10:35 AM
  #204  
 
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what a great report! I am just about to book a trip with Quark, and came across this. I've only had a chance to read through the first few posts, but defintely looking forward to sitting down and reading the rest. Thanks for such detailed information!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 06:58 AM
  #205  
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FROM HEAD TO TOE

This time last year my excitement was starting to grow as I was looking forward to my trip to Antarctica. One of the problems, if you can call it that, was knowing how to prepare for a trip to one of the remotest places on the planet.

It turns out to be a lot easier than expected and in the end I over packed!

TRAVEL

My itinerary with Quark Expedition provided for one night accommodation in Ushuaia prior to our trip departure. Being in Ushuaia before then is not a bad idea as there is a lot to see and do there. If I had to do it all over again I would stay after the trip was over and avoid the cruise day insanity at the airport.

HEAD

A nice wool cap would do just fine. One that covers the ears would be better and avoids having to pack ear muffs. There were days on our trip where a warm cap was not even needed.

At least two pairs of sunglasses works well. As most skiers know, the beautiful snow can be blinding and there is a whole lot of it down south even in the summer.

Although you might associate sunscreen lotion with going on a tropical vacation if you don't want to return home looking like a cooked lobster, bring it.

An adjustable neck warmer would be nice and I think would work much better than a scarf which tended to get in the way especially on windy days.

BODY

The importance of layering up and staying dry cannot be stressed enough if you want to stay comfortable on your outings. Two pairs of thermal underwear make a good foundation. I had one set made of 100% Polypropylene and another basic cotton wool blend.

Along with a Quark Expedition provided fashionable yellow parka, regular clothing and a ski type wet-dry pants I was able to stay comfortable on most outings.

HANDS

Although I did not have a pair, a few hip adventurers worn a combined mitten glove. This seemed to work well for taking pictures as it can be awkward to operate equipment with the fat fingers of a normal glove. You'll be the envy of the group if you have a pair of them.


TOES

Probably the most difficult part of your body to keep warm. Wool socks with sock liners seem to work best for me. I tried the chemical foot warmers but felt they were of little help when needed. A good pair of boots would be nice but not practical since you have to wear the waterproof ones provided in the mud room. However, it seemed just at the point my little pinkies were starting to scream “Help me, help me!”, the gang way of the Ioffe would be insight.


EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT

Besides a good camera with telephoto lens like a Canon EOS Rebel, I used a simple point and shoot Samsung SL-605. I would highly recommend a video camera. Although most of them can be bulky, a Flip or similar one would allow you to capture the sights and sounds of Antarctica with ease.

With all your equipment in toe you will want to protect them with a waterproof pouch. I bought a 10 Liter one that was more than adequate. A waterproof backpack is not necessary but if you insist, I can sell you a new one that's unopened.

The Ioffe has a 220V electrical system therefore a 220-120 electrical adapter along with a splitter would be a necessity if you want to have your own in-cabin power plant. Also don't forget extra equipment batteries or a charger.

A camping type pin-less clothes line also came in handy and saved on a laundry bill.

MEDICINE

Bring whatever you think will work for you for motion sickness. There will be a ship doctor onboard with other free options. The rough seas for us were only while crossing the Drake Passage coming back home.

For all you planning and preparation no doubt you will forget something or over pack. However, you already have one of the most important things that I think you will need.

A sense of adventure!

I hope you will have as much fun or even more that I did on your journey to and from The Blue Continent, Antarctica.


Equipment Photos:
http://youtu.be/KBs4-FXEFpQ
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:01 AM
  #206  
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LeslieS,

I hope "The Last Post" helps. I know you will have tons of fun and I look forward to hearing the bar has risen, again!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #207  
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travelersusan,

When are you going on your trip? I found Quark to be a great tour operator to Antarctica.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 08:56 AM
  #208  
 
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Thanks DMBTraveler! Sounds like I have most of what I need gear-wise. Your suggestion to get a neckwarmer rather than scarf echoes another Antarctica travler's advice so I'll look into buffs. My toes are always cold but maybe I shouldn't bother with the toewarmer packets since your experience with them didn't wow you.

I will write something - nothing as epic as you - but look for a report next February, God willing.

Thank you again for sharing your adventure with us and the packing list is the cherry on top for me
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Aug 10th, 2011, 10:52 AM
  #209  
 
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I realize I am a little late to this thread, but I finally had a chance to finish reading your trip report (and watching all of your amazing videos).

I’m booked on a December voyage through Quark. It’s hard for me to verbalize just how excited I am, and reading your report has just magnified my anticipation.

Your packing list it quite helpful. However, I am planning on bringing bags and bags of the hand/feet warmers. I’ve taken them on plenty of cold weather vacations (although nothing like Antarctica) and they have saved me on many occasions. I’ve even been known to stuff them in other areas of my clothing! It is also worth noting that I’m from Texas, so not quite used to the temps that others might be. And it’s definitely hard to think about this now, considering we are on our 40th day of 100+ temps.

I know this must have been incredibly time consuming and I greatly appreciate you writing this report.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 11:00 AM
  #210  
 
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sorry, hit send before I saw your other message. I am on the December 18th voyage on the Clipper with Quark. I had been on the waitlist for months, and didn't think it would work out this year. But just a few weeks ago I received an email that a spot opened up, so I jumped on the chance. Within a few days, I had paid my deposit, booked air tickets and started researching other activities in Ushuaia and El Calafate.

I've read great things about Quark, and even had a friend who ran the Antarctica marathon last year and sailed with Quark, so I am confident that this is going to be a special adventure. Now the only problem is having to sit around the next few months and wait!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 12:18 PM
  #211  
 
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Once again, thanks for sharing DMB! Just got to watch the Horn and Dolphin videos today. Loved both. We weren't able to round the Horn on our cruise because of dnagerous waters, but we were treated to a rainbow, which made a great picture of the silhoutted horn. We've had the pleasure of watching dolphins on some whale watches we've taken, in particular one in Monterey, CA, but my luck with picture taking has been lousy! I do have lots of snapshots of water tho. LOL

Thanks again. The trip was wondrous and I enjoyed going along with the help of your words and pictures!
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Aug 11th, 2011, 11:27 AM
  #212  
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LeslieS,

Guess you might want to give "travelersusan" post on warmers some consideration... She seems to have a lot of experience with them and could probably provide some helpful tips.

Will look forward to your February 2011 post(s)
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Aug 11th, 2011, 11:37 AM
  #213  
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travelersusan,

We can all understand your excitement. It's a journey and adventure of a life time!

Spent a few days around Ushuaia before the cruise and enjoyed it. As I mentioned, I would also plan a few days after to avoid the cruise day mass exodus at the airport.

I understand El Calafate is also a beautiful part of Argentina. If the views from the air are any gauge of the issue then I would wholeheartedly tend to agree.

Hope you get a "Cold Snap" in Texas, soon!
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Aug 11th, 2011, 11:45 AM
  #214  
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Giovanna,

Buy a Flip and you"ll never miss the dolphin shots again! The software that comes with it also allows you to make snapshots from the videos you take.

I have the low end, Non-HD version and have had a lot of fun with it.

You and the other followers on this post have been an inspiration for me to share my adventure. To read your comments has been very rewarding.

Thanks so much and I hope you always have great travel stories to tell.
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Aug 11th, 2011, 03:08 PM
  #215  
 
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Thanks, DMBT, you're an inspiration. Enjoy your future adventure.
Treesa is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 06:45 PM
  #216  
 
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DMBTraveler, I came across a few of your posts on Fodors' U.S. site and was impressed enough to click your name to see what other gems you might offer and happened upon this one. I have fantasized about a trip to Antarctica and I read each of your posts and watched most of the videos. They were simply dazzling! I sincerely thank you for sharing your love of travel and this adventure of a lifetime in particular. Happy travels!
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Aug 21st, 2011, 06:46 AM
  #217  
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Treesa,

Thanks, same to you


Sluggo,

Antarctica was a wonderful trip that began with a dream. I hope you get to fufill you fantasy to visit there. It can be an expensive journey but I booked it in advance and made monthly payments. Happy travels to you to!
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