A relaxing day in Punta Arenas, Patagonia - Chile's southernmost city, literally at the southern tip of the American continent... this was not planned as I was meant to fly from here to Rothera Research Station in Antarctica this morning. But there was a backlog of a group of scientists who were meant to fly on the same route and plane, a Canadian-built 4-engine Dash 7, days ago, and who were grounded here due to weather conditions preventing any flights to Rothera, who had priority on today's flight.
You can browse by using the cursor buttons.)
on my departure morning for the big trip
- some of the summits were higher than we were!
in the foothills of the Andes
and the ARSV Laurence M. Gould moored in Punta Arenas
Derek (RAF), Frithjof, Cherry and Matt (Univ. Cambridge)
(left to right)
Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017
No luck - weather conditions at Rothera were still reported to be unforgiving for any attempt to fly there. Another day grounded in Punta. This is what it means traveling to Antarctica!
Matt, Derek and I had a little walk around town - I then had lunch again at Shackleton's Bar, before spending the rest of the day in my hotel room working on a funding proposal.
And in the evening - back to Shackleton's Bar, for dinner and some Chardonnay...
Sunday, Dec. 24
The morning briefing by the Dash-7 pilots did not bring the desired news - weather along the flight path to Antarctica was still too poor today. One more day in Punta - Christmas Eve. Back to proposal writing, and the daily walk to Shackleton's Bar for lunch.
Then, in the afternoon, the much-awaited news: Weather on the way to "our" part of Antarctica was finally improvement, and we should be ready for flying tomorrow morning! Hooray.
Matt and I were planning for an early Xmas dinner tonight - but we would keep it light, we have to be fit tomorrow morning!
where have now spent 3 days longer than planned on our way to Antarctica
In the end, we had a lovely, light Christmas dinner. For Marlin, the diver sitting next to me, this would be the last dinner in civilization until March 2019! And, amazingly, the two pilots of the Dash-7 still remembered me from my Antarctic trip in 2010-2011. Not only that, they even remembered the contents of the seminar that I had given at Rothera then! Where else in the world would you get that...