The Great Southern Route : 2013 - 2014
CAPTAIN'S LOG ANTARCTICA 54|GSR few rules that you should definitely adhere to are: People should have no impact when landing at heritage sites, or elsewhere. The only thing taken back from these visits should be photos. Take a boot-disinfecting bath. Any footwear worn ashore must be cleaned and disinfected on return to the vessel to prevent organisms being inadvertently spread around. All garbage and food scraps must stay on board. Sewage should be treated and kept in holding tanks until at a suitable location at sea, where it is authorised to be dumped, is reached. The most suitable way to get ashore is by inflatable boat. Nearly all landings will be beach or rock landings. A landing at Whaler's Bay in the caldera (a cauldron-like feature caused by volcanic activity) of Deception Island to see the ruins of an old whaling station is a must. There are plenty of manned research bases around the Antarctic Peninsula and -- with prior holding ground can be poor. Icebergs and the remnants thereof (called bergy bits and growlers) can be the greatest danger at anchor. As currents and tides change, a safe anchorage can turn into a doomed one very quickly if an iceberg starts bearing down on you. Ensure the bitter end of the anchor chain is accessible and able to be disconnected fast should the anchor and chain need to be slipped in a hurry. Have an anchor watch at all times and engines available for immediate start. Make sure to pack plenty of binoculars. They're useful for sightseeing but even more important if you're caught out at night, when steaming around ice can be a risky business. There are often plenty of volunteers amongst the crew to keep a sharp lookout, so ensure you've got enough binoculars to equip them all properly. IAATO has strict guidelines to minimise the environmental impacts of tourism in the area. A arrangement -- visitors are welcome. Make sure to pick up some souvenirs and send a postcard from the small British outpost at Port Lockroy and take a tour the well-equipped US research base at Palmer Station. IAATO request that all tour vessels submit their cruising schedules well in advance and post details of vessel movements to all operators so that shore landings can be timed to avoid landing parties from two or more vessels showing up at the same place at the same time. An evening check-in on MF/HF radio gives the captain the opportunity to arrange the schedule to avoid these clashes and is also an opportunity to discuss weather and other issues that may affect vessels in the area. Keeping in contact and knowing where other vessels are is an important in case emergencies occur and assistance is required. It's worth keeping in mind that there is a runway at an Argentine base on King George Island where special charter flights can be arranged to drop off or pick up passengers from Argentina or Chile. But be aware that these flights are costly and often delayed or cancelled due to bad weather conditions. While it may involve a lot of cost and preparation, not to mention a long trip, seeing Antarctica is a magnificent experience. There is little room for error in this part of the world so a seaworthy vessel and competent crew are the two things that you can't leave home without. Even with the most meticulous planning you'll still encounter unexpected challenges, but that is just part of the unforgettable experience of travelling in this untamed part of the world. MARC GRISE Marc Grise started his career at sea in the merchant navy and holds a Master Foreign Going certificate. He has worked all around the world and spent a lot of time in the offshore oil industry. Having begun sailing at a young age in New Zealand he started in the professional yachting industry in 1991, working extensively on sailboats. He has a lot of experience in yacht racing, from dinghies to superyachts. Mark was the commissioning captain on the motor yacht Lone Ranger, which has cruised many areas of the world, including Antarctica.
2010 - 2011