Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
"Adventures don't begin until you get into the forest. The first step in an act of faith." ~Mickey Hart
Well, it’s about time that you’re saying, “where in the world is Carmen San Diego”, oh wait my name is not Carmen San Diego, but where in the world Chris are you off to next? I recently took that first step on an act of faith you could say by saying YES to that call from Lindblad Expeditions New York office via email saying that your requested date of departure for Antarctica has appeared, do you want to take it & that they needed to know by the end of the day I received the email, this was oh only about a week and a half ago. Low & behold I did listen to my heart that was scream YES YES YES take it or you will loose that dream that I have had my whole life to set foot on the lost continent. Did you know that it’s the coldest, driest & windiest place on Earth too? Let alone it’s the fifth largest continent with an area of roughly 14 million square feet with most of the area mad up by a vast permanent ice sheet averaging 2,000m in thickness. One of the last places on Earth where you will see an ice sheet, don’t forget about Greenland in the northern hemisphere. What did you know; I took that call and acted from my heart for the expedition of a lifetime. I had to do a wee bit of rearranging of my work schedule too, & I’m very thankful for that too. This doesn’t happen every day an opportunity to go to the South Pole. To find out more about the continent look to this guide on BBC’s Nature: BBC's Nature Antarctica . Also, there’s this great guide from National Geographic: National Geographic Antarctica. I remember years ago before I started backpacking that my grandmother was doing networking for me while at the nursing home in Kennebunk, Maine about the Antarctica program threw Raytheon Corp. There’s always been something of early expeditions by both land and sea there that has spoken to me. I don’t know if my grandfather actually did step anywhere near it by crossing the Drake’s Passage on an oil tanker either, I only knew about his crossing through the Panama Canal. I have done that twice & it was amazing! I definitely had some good times there for sure! Lately, I did read an article in February’s Outdoor Photographer on Antarctica & a friend of mine who was working on the National Geographic Explorer sent me a couple of postcards from British Antarctica too wishing that I would see the penguins. I’m sure this friend of mine has told the entire boat all about me too, is what was said in the postcard too. Also, recently another friend of mine asked me if I had an adventure planned yet & said no, maybe these were my signs that I lightly bushed off until I got the email asking if I wanted to go last minute.
Now, to clear up some confusion here because I do get asked this quite a bit from a lot of people. Even the Kennebunkport Town Nurse thought I worked for the Discovery Channel. I’ve been working for Lindblad Expeditions not The National Geographic Society. Lindblad Expeditions does have a partnership with the Society. During every voyage there is a video that the Expedition Leader shows the guest explaining that because it’s a frequent question. I swear my own family still doesn’t get it. Well, you can find out more by visiting http://www.expeditions.com/ to learn more about Lindblad Expeditions. Lars-Eric Lindblad, who pioneered expedition travel, was the first to sail into Antarctica. The US Geological Survey mapped a cove in Lars-Eric’s memory, Lindblad Cove, on Trinity Peninsula too. Today Sven Lindblad who still honors the founding principles that his father set out to do in the early days of eco tourism runs Lindblad Expeditions the company he founded. Honestly, it’s a great way to travel with the guiding principles of responsible travel and respect for the planet. Don’t forget that there are Photo Instructors on board with each expedition too. I just recently watched this great B&H video on YouTube:Expediton Photography in the Digital World by Ralph Lee Hopkins. Ralph is a Santa Fe, New Mexico who is the founder director of the photography expeditions for the Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic alliance & also a National Geographic Photographer.
I’ve watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins & March of the Penguins, which I will admit is an excellent documentary. This short video on National Geographic is quite sweet:Adelie Penguins Camera. But more important I have done my research throughout the years. Some of the facts are stored in back memory, like there’s no governing body for Antarctica and it is divided into territories. Also, 90% of the world’s water is stored in Antarctica with most of the landmass being the ice sheet. Oh, it’s rich in history for sure. I believe that I will be in British Antarctica too on the Antarctica Peninsular, is where I’m actually headed. I would love to see the Ross Ice Sheet, but that’s over in New Zealand’s Antarctica and wee bit away from this 14-day voyage that I’m on. It’s very sad to see in the news lately, especially the BBC with the US proposing to drill for oil there. There’s a lot of alternative ways to produce oil, wake up & smell the coffee on this one our planet is in danger and we must change the way that we look at oil & the oil consumption. There’s a lot of ways to make fuel-efficient products on the market. I could go on a green tangent right now, but won’t & will stick to this being a travel post. I did stumble on this video on cotton on National Geographic: Fresh Water Cotton TShirts it’s worth your time to watch it & to learn about it.
So I’m actually on my way to Miami International Airport to catch my flight to Buenos Aires where I’ll have a day in the city of Eva Peron before flying to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina’s southern tip to embark the National Geographic Explore to take me to the “White Continent”. Now, of course I know a handful of people on board. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Mike & CT who I haven’t seen since Baja last year who have been really awesome with teaching me the tricks about my Cannon 7D. Yes, I’m a Cannon shooter and use a Mac Book Pro to do my editing with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop as my darkroom. I’m serious about it, you should know that by now if you have read my blog or looked at my website, Christine Anuszewski Photography. I’m a photographer! My eye has greatly improved from my days of adventures in Asia. I do have an artistic and adventurous soul there’s no questions about that. There’s nothing wrong with following your heart either. Recently, I have read Ram Dass’ famous book Remember, Be Here Now and it was amazing. I meant to read it years ago, but I wasn’t ready. Something lately has just spoken to me to read it.
Now Latin America is calling me to come & visit. I haven’t been there for quite some time. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been. Oh, before you do plan your trip to Argentina be aware that it’s the only country in South America that requires you to do an electronic visa in the form of a tax. They call it an immigration fee, not a visa per say and you must pre pay for it online with your credit card via: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/Registro.aspx. For American’s it cost $160USD. It’s been years since I have had to get visas and I do know that some places do issue the visas on arrival too, like Cambodia and Indonesia because I have done it there.
Since I’ve been in Florida, I had to look to REI for a few items and a friend of mine to ship me my gear. I did treat myself to a new pair of Xtratuf’s for the adventure. Oh, I did spoil myself with the insulated ones. You think from growing up in Maine that I would prefer boots from LL Bean, but to be honest, they don’t fit me right & I didn’t care for them as a kid. Unlike, my sister who loves her classic Bean Boots, they are not me. I guess from living in Alaska during the summers you could say that a part of the Alaskan culture has worn off onto me with Xtratuf’s because if you don’t have them up there it’s a sign that you’re a tourist.
It’s been a while since I’ve been at home travelling and set sail on an adventure. Who knows what I’ll be doing on the boat besides that I’ll be helping the staff out and who knows what else besides enjoying my adventure. I could end up writing or submitting photos for the daily expedition report (DER) too. I hope that I don’t get to do gangway watch like I did for Captain Kay while in Seattle, I did had too much fun with that & I got to use a radio. It’s no surprise that I can probably do the menu speal by telling the guest before hand that breakfast & lunch are buffet & that for dinner that you do have the option of meat, fish or vegetarian option. Also, there is a red & white wine that is selected by the chef to complement the menu items each evening. Also, I will probably will remind the guest to sign up for dinner so it will make wasting food much less of a problem for the chefs. I do know too much about the menu & the galley, but that will not be of any surprise to me by working with it or known to spend too much time with a dear friend of mine that’s a chef de cuisine (bean cakes magic). I will admit that it’s hard for me to be waited on rather than waiting on the guest, I did find that a wee bit of a struggle in the Galapagos. I’m used to working like the Energizer Bunny, not having fun like the guest. Oh, I can’t wait to see the penguins & whales again! I can’t promise that I will be quiet with whales either. I swear that the entire Magdalena Bay heard that I kissed a gray whale last year. I was next to Flip Nicklin in the Zodiac too & I was shocked that Captain Coughlin actually was laughing because I was very excited.
All right, until I get to South America & Antarctica before I can update my Blog. I will say that since I’m going back in time to the famous satellite internet connection, photos might be hard to post for a while depending on the signal speed. Hopefully, this American Airlines Flight 909 from Miami will have a decent movie. I prefer to fly with an international carrier because they have the TV in the seat rather than the ones only in so many rows. I will be honest to say that you do get more from an international carrier (like having an outlet for your USB port, to name one of the perks) & it’s sad to say, but it’s true. Hopefully, it’s a good one & I got a book this time with my iPod if I should need it. In case you need to file a complaint to the TSA this website was very helpful on the procedures you can do, How To Compain To The TSA , you never know these days with travel, especially in the States. Also, don’t forget to register with the State Department (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) & if you would like to see what else they can help out with check out this New York Times article: Going Abroad How The State Department Can Help.
Happy Days until we meet again! It’s off to find endless summer, even though it means experience it in the cold & on the white continent. Oh, I can’t wait either…