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Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp, On board the M/V Plancius
March 3-14 2015 Trip Report

Escorted by: Cindi LaRaia

Page Two

Day 2 – Wednesday 4th March 2015
At Sea in the Drake Passage

GPS 08.00 Position: 056°33'S / 065°39'W
Weather: Wind W 6/7. Sea State: Moderate. Weather: Partly cloudy. Temperature: +6°C.

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp, On board the M/V Plancius, March 3-14 2015 Trip Report - Page TwoWell, our first night on Plancius had been a relatively quiet one up until around 5am when we finally cleared the shelter of Cape Horn and the ship really began to roll with the motion of the swell and waves from the westerly direction. It was a little uncomfortable for some but most people made it to the dining room for breakfast and began to get used to the ‘Motion of the Ocean’.

At 9:30 the Expedition staff invited us to the lounge for some introductory briefings about the activities available to us on this Antarctic Basecamp.

Paul explained how the kayaking would work while Ali showed us how the snowshoes would enable us to enjoy some hikes around the hills and peaks on the Antarctic Peninsula. If you can walk you can snowshoe! Wilson, with a little help from Ali explained about the joys of Antarctic camping including a rundown of all the kit that would be needed to keep us warm and the use of a ‘Loo with a View’, the chemical toilet! Finally, the Mountaineering guides, Andrew and Markus talked about some of the more technical aspects of mountaineering in Antarctica and inspected the boots that would be needed to fix crampons on for some of the glacier climbing they would embark on.

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp, On board the M/V Plancius, March 3-14 2015 Trip Report - Page TwoAfter lunch there was time for a bit of a ‘post lunch snooze’ or some time on deck before the round of presentations began again, starting with Olli and his photo workshop. He has all the skills and expertise to guarantee we all take home some beautiful photos of Antarctica and its wildlife.

Later in the afternoon the Dive Team called all of the divers to the dining room for a meeting and briefing about their operations and the logistics of diving in the freezing waters of Antarctica. Log books and certificates were checked to ensure that everyone has the essential qualifications for dry suit diving in this remote Antarctic marine environment.

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp, On board the M/V Plancius, March 3-14 2015 Trip Report - Page TwoAt 6pm we were invited back to the lounge for daily Re‐cap, a chance to catch up on things that have come up during the day and learn a little more about the Antarctic environment and its species. To start Ali, with the help of Andre demonstrated the length of the wingspans of some of the seabirds. With no sense of scale at sea it is difficult to appreciate how big these birds really are but with the aid of a piece of string Ali was really able to put things in perspective for us. Lori then gave us some information about how to identify whales at sea. We hope to see a number of different species of whale during this trip so information about blows and fins, the main features of the animal we will see, was very useful. Erin then explained how the Antarctic Circumpolar Current was formed and how it effects the Antarctic Ocean and its inhabitants today. Kelvin then explained more about the Basecamp activities and how the groups, sign‐ up sheets and landings will be organised. The logistics of Basecamp are complicated but the Expedition Team have run these expeditions many times before and know how to make things work to ensure we all have the best trip possible. He outlined our plans for the coming days, showing on a map how far we had already come but also how far we still have to travel to reach the Antarctic Peninsula.

Shortly after Re‐cap we were invited down to the dining room for another delicious dinner where conditions were calmer and all of the food and plates remained on the table!

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