King penguins

Farthest south!


Day 1 - Aboard the Kapitan Khlebnikov


     This journal is constructed as one web page for each day of my journey, including the arrival day in Auckland, and the final two days, which I spent in Hobart.  I have tried to keep the picture images of a reasonable size for easy web page loading.  To see a much larger view of (practically) any image, just left-click on the photo.

     The next day, we were off to the airport for a flight to Christchurch, on the South Island.  We flew over beautiful country, with lots of snow-covered mountains.  Christchurch is on a plain, at sea level.  Some of us spent a couple of hours at the nearby International Antarctic Center, which had many interesting displays.  While it does seem a bit corny, they do have some excellent resources there showing what is currently being done in Antarctica.  Nearby is the headquarters for the U.S. program – their big supply flights into, and out of, the continent come through Christchurch.

     From Christchurch, we took a bus to the harbor town of Lyttleton to board our ship, the Kapitan Khlebnikov.  It is not very far away and the driver was quite chatty about the history of the area.  We got to the dock too early, so he took us up a scenic road where we could look out over the harbor.  Quarantine Island was pointed out to us – both Shackleton and Scott had their dogs and ponies brought there, to be picked up by their ships for the trip to Antarctica.

U.S. HQ in Christchurch.

Quarantine Island - Lyttleton Harbor.

The Kapitan Khlebnikov

     We got some good views of the ship as we drove back to the dock.  Then we were on board!  I met my cabin-mate, David Grueneberg.  We found that our triple was really a double, as there was no third party!  Well, that was a de facto subsidy of many thousands of dollars, so we were both quite pleased at that turn.  We were quite compatible during the trip and had a great time.  The ship is a Russian one, and there are many signs around that mean something, but not to me.  In fact, right above our cabin was a tag in Russian.  Later in the cruise I asked Vassily, the radio room operator, what it meant.  He said it was “Chief Motorman.”  So, when the ship was a full-time icebreaker, that’s where the chief motorman used to bunk.

Russian tag meaning . . . ?

Lyttleton hillside overlooking harbor.

Boarding the KK.

     We boarded the ship at 4:00 p.m., but did not get underway until much later in the evening, at about 10:00 p.m.  Since is was quite warm, many of us stood up on the flying bridge (atop the ship, above the bridge) watching as we pulled out of the harbor, anxious to begin our trip to Antarctica!

     Follow the "Next" and "Back" links to go from page to page.  Or, return to the "Antarctica Home Page" and link to any day from the "Daily Logs" shown there.  If you have any comments, e-mail me at:  dfoster<at>kaibabjournal<dot>com.  Please put “Antarctica” in the subject category.

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