The Ethereal World of
REVISED with new imagery from 7 expeditions!
Aboard the Russian polar research ship - Akademik Ioffe
Destination: Antarctic Circle 66°33.44” South
Current position: 65°22.01” South, 65°59.85” West
Date: December 31, 2013 17:15 hrs UTC
At 2 knots per hour, the Akademik Ioffe was barely moving through the thickening ice pack. After a relatively calm, two-day voyage from Ushuaia, south through the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage, we were in an area known as Graham Land, just off the coast from the Biscoe Islands, part of the Antarctic peninsula.
Earlier in the day, we learned that 3,000km across this massive, frozen continent, another Russian ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, had become trapped for several days in solid pack ice, near a French research station. A Chinese icebreaker not far away, had been hailed to free it.
With 96 passengers, some 40 expedition staff, and 34 Russian crew members on board, the fear was that our ice-hardened vessel, might meet a similar fate. We were still 70 nautical miles distant from our ultimate destination – the Antarctic Circle. For the moment, the waters were deceptively placid. However the ominous ice floes and changeable weather, were a threat... not to be ignored.
“All stop!” called out Captain Leonid Sazonov.
The helmsmen rotated the lever on the engine telegraph, to the stop position. In the engine room, several decks below, engineers put the propulsion system into neutral. Slowly, the mighty Ioffe drifted to a halt.
“So what do you think?" asked concerned expedition leader Chad Gaetz.
Looking out the panoramic windows of the bridge, at the vast expanse of thick ice surrounding his ship, with a wry smile, the veteran Russian mariner responded in a thick accent... “It's ice!”
Find out what happens next, as Voyageur Fred takes you on a remarkable voyage of discovery to the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent in the world - Antarctica! Up close views of penguins nuzzling their cute and fuzzy chicks, singing sea lions, enormous breaching whales, diverse bird life, and of course the stunningly beautiful, icy landscapes... will take your breath away!
Based on seven expeditions to this wondrous world from Dec 2013 to January 2016 with Canadian expedition company One Ocean Expeditions, it’s an enthralling 90-minute slide and video show, featuring historical tales, glistening icebergs, adventurous landings, and ethereal music, you won’t want to miss!
to be missed!