Fred's Logbook


Date / Time: 2018-03-05 23:00:14Voyage from: to ETA:
Fred's foster-parent:

Fred's vessel:
IMO No.:

Hi everbody!

I am back in civilization after 3 Expeditions on the Ocean Atlantic (Albatros Travel) to Antarctica! The connection to the outside world from the ship was not as good as on other ships, so I was unable to update regularly but here are my stories from the past month down South:

Tom and I boarded the old lady in Ushuaia, the city at the end of the World, from where most ships start their journeys to the seventh continent. We walked onto the pier and saw her right away. This is what she looks like:

She is sailing since 1969 under different names and with several purposes, mostly in Russia. The public areas have been nicely refurbished and the crew areas and lower decks still have their original looks. There are several outside decks from where guests can enjoy the scenery:

Tom was quite nervous as he had never worked with this company before and knew no one onboard. His position was Kayak Assistant but he also held several lectures and drove the zodiacs. Everyone was very welcoming onboard and we quickly got settled in a nice cabin and explored the ship.

Two of the 3 voyages we did on this ship were chartered by the Chinese which meant that both me and Tom had to brush up on our Mandarin to be able to communicate with them. Luckily they also traveled with interpreters! There were about 200 guests onboard and we visited many places on the Antarctic Peninsula, also a few where I had never been before!

The weather at this time of the year is usually quite calm and we have had many days with spectacular sunrises and sunsets. There was one day where we were sailing from one location to another at night, with perfectly calm conditions and fantastic scenery. To our greatest surprise, a couple of Humpback whales showed up right next to the ship to say hi (thatís what it seemed like).

They stayed with us for more than half an hour, diving up and under, showing their flukes (tails) and rolling over on their sides. The most magical was maybe that since the sun was setting, the light came in from a low angle and lit up the spray from the whalesí blowholes in a magical way. It is a night we will all remember:

This time of the year is also extra special because the penguin chicks are around. They are several weeks old but are already almost the same size as the parents! They have special fur to keep them warm and they will lose this to be able to grow a waterproof feather layer that allows them to into the water and catch their food. Near the end of our journeys, we visited a little Gentoo-penguin colony on the top of a hill in a place called Neko Harbour. Not only was it very nice to see the penguins from up close, I was also amazed by the glaciers around us and the magical light we had again in the evening.

Tom and I have both made great new memories and learned even more about this unique place that is Antarctica! We are now back in Ushuaia and waiting for MS Midnatsol (Hurtigruten), to go on one last Adventure to Antarctica with travelers from all around the world. I hope you liked this little report and the pictures and I will talk to you soon again about the last last trip of my Antarctic season!