On 10th December I returned from two voyages to Antarctica with One Ocean Expeditions. The ship was built as a Russian research vessel, and can take 100 passengers. She uses zodiacs (aka ribs: sturdy rubber boats) to ferry passengers to remote beaches. I was the ship’s ornithologist and one of the staff team – 15 naturalists, zodiac drivers and guides whose job it was to make the voyages as wonderful as possible for the passengers. There were too many highlights to mention, but on the first voyage the Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins were all displaying and laying eggs.
On the second voyage, the huge King Penguin colonies on South Georgia were unforgettable. Thousands of Fur Seals and many four-ton male Elephant Seals kept them company. Both voyages featured many fine Wandering Albatross views as we crossed the stormy waters of the Drake Passage, between Antarctica and Ushuaia, the world’s most southerly city, in Argentine Tierra del Fuego. And the pristine beauty of the Antarctic icebergs just has to be seen to be believed!