Day 15 snapshots

Today is Saturday February 11, 2006

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Bye to crew

The ship pulled into the dock at Ushuaia precisely at the beginning of the reserved dock time. Very well planned by this Russian crew. The captain, third from the right convened his crew to bid us all good bye. They did a wonderful job crossing 700 plus miles of some of the most nasty sea without incident.

Bye to staff

We departed the Orlova early in the morning and some of the Quark Expedition staff came out to see us off. Jeanne Beaudry, a marine biologist, Roger Slade, a geographer, geologist, and meteorologist, Laurie Dexter, the expedition leader, Akos Hivekovics, our ornithologist, and just out of the frame is Victoria Salem, our historian.

These five provided most of the lectures and presentations that gave us new information about Antarctica and filled in large gaps in our knowledge about the continent and, its eco system, development, and exploitation.

Bye to ship

Off the ship, off the dock, back on the shore, we turn around to bid good bye to the ship itself where we spent about eleven days and nights approaching the Antarctic continent, exploring some of the edges of the Antarctic Peninsula and returning to South America.

Hello tourist town

Yes, we were back in South America, on the island of Tierra del Fuego, in Ushuaia—otherwise know as the End of the Earth, El Fin del Mundo. From the picture above, you can see that there are four other cruise ships docked this morning at Ushuaia. That means that there are probably about four thousand extra people visiting. Four thousand tourists.

And to be certain, Ushuaia is a tourist town. It is a stepping off place for Antarctica as was our tour, but it is also the southern-most city in the world, a turning point at the tip of South America, and it has its own interesting historical background. The souvenir shops are just the most garish part of the functioning city. We will spend the next two days here being tourists.

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