Saturday, February 22, 2014


Where Mother Nature rules: Spectacular southern continent demands respect

Story by Katharine Fletcher; images by Eric Fletcher
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today we hope to reach the South Orkney Islands, but sea ice may prevent us from our goal. We’ll need to be flexible. I’ll give more information soon.”

This was one of Expedition Leader Anja Erdmann’s daily announcements to passengers aboard the MV Fram. She and Captain Arild Hårvik apprised us of weather conditions, wildlife sightings and photo opportunities during Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten’s Antarctic Expedition last December.

Ice covering the Waddell Sea proved impassable, so Captain Hårvik did reroute Fram. We explored the western Antarctic Peninsula, sailing through the narrow, iceberg-jammed Lemaire Channel to our southernmost destination of Vernadsky, a Ukrainian Research Station.

This aptly demonstrated that even one hundred years after Ernest Shackleton left Britain bound for Antarctica on his doomed ship Endurance, Mother Nature still rules.

. . .
Published in the Ottawa Citizen Travel Section, Saturday February 22, 2014.
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