Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yakity Yak, which language to chat ?

There is always an interesting air of anticipation that surrounds a group of people who are about to set off into the wild blue yonder. Especially when you are to cross the infamous Drakes Passage to get to Antarctica. What will it be like, will I be scared, will I be sea sick the whole time, what will the boat be like and will I get along with my team mates on board, so many questions that only time will answer.

Xplore was docked in the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, on the banks of the Beagle Channel that backs onto the Darwin mountain range of snow capped mountains, even now in the middle of summer we experienced dustings of snow on these peaks which make it a truly picturesque place.

For two days we made final preparations and topped up the provisions that will need to last us a month in the frozen south as 10 people from all around the world joined Xplore.

The question is what language do we speak ? we have 4 people from Italy, 1 from Belgium, 1 from Norway, 1 from France and 3 from Australia making a very eclectic group ranging from 19 years of age to my father at 76, a banker, someone from media, an electrical engineer, 3 architects and a student, surely this will be a love / hate experience !

Luckily a number of the team have sailed together before and those that haven't soon fell into the routine and comforts that have made Xplore such a popular boat, good food, great wine, homely comforts in a safe and warm yacht. what more could one ask for to make an adventure complete.

We slipped our lines early on the morning of the 30th of December, birth date to Lyn on board which we will celebrate in full style when we reach the snowy peaks of Antarctica.

With a calm forecast to cross, we have set full sail, more adventure news to come.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Working away in Punta Arenas

The days are long, for two reasons, it's light until 11pm, the sun starts to rise again at 3am and the work list for preparations for Antarctica are long as well.

But all is moving along well, Audrey and I are making good progress with preparing Xplore for the next southern adventure.