Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.
21.01.2008

Well everyones been bugging me for a new post so here it is.. As a few of heard, I´ve just got back from Antarctica. I didnt plan to go Antarctica at all, it kind of just happened.

I was still in Ushuaia after new years and a couple of the other guys had been there for Xmas and were showing off their pictures. I had a quick look at their photos and was amazed and decided that it was a once in a lifetime oppurtinity and to hell with the cost. Fellow Brit Mick and Irishan Arthur were also still at the campsite and wanted to go so we made a decision to go nto town and try and pick up a “cheaper” last minute deal. The trips to Antarctica usually go for about 4000-10,000 pounds. WOW ! No way I could afford that so some serious shopping would have to be done.
After about 2-3 days of shopping around we found the last 3 places on a 90 bed ship called the MS Andrea. A Liberian registerd and Croatian/Philipino crewed ship. It was 2200 pounds for a 9 day return cruise. 2 days to cross the infamous Drake Passage, 5 days of landings and 2 days back.

Now, I know your all saying “TWO THOUSAND QUID FOR 9 DAYS” and you´d be right, its bloody expensive but worth every penny. We had luxurious cabins, 3 multi-course waiter served fabulous meals a day and a team of scientists, deck hands and wildlife experets to guide us around the highly controlled and sensitive continent and its islands. The first two days were crossing the Drake Passage and the Beagle channel. One of the roughest and most dangerous stretches of water in the world. 15 metre swells and waves play with the ship and throw you about the ship like its its a funfair. There were actually seatbelts on your bed to stop you being thrown out in your sleep. The last time I was strapped into a bed, i had to pay more than 2000 quid ;)….

As you can imagine, the first night I was pretty sea sick along with most of the other passengers. Its also pretty worrying when your woken up at 3am with the sound of ice crashing into the hull as the ship carves through the summer pack ice. SO, the second day and when we walk out onto deck our jaws dropped. Huge icebergs were floating literally feet away as the Captain and Ice master pick their way between snow capped Volcanic islands and icebergs bigger than a footballers mansion in Cheshire. Birds that you only see on TV circle the ship and the odd pengy pops in and out of the water while you keep your eye out for Whales. One day we were very lucky to be greated by a family of Humpback Whales. They followed the ship, playing and rolling while spraying water out of their blowholes… A once in a life time wildlife experience !! Its hard not to stay out on deck all day looking at the scenery but the icey cold wind keeps you in the bar as much as it can.

While we were sailing between landing points we were given briefings, slideshows and drills about going out into the islands and the continent. Its a highly controlled environment due to sensitive geology and of course the wildlife must not be disturbed. Our excellent guides made sure we knew where we could and could not go whilst giving us history lessons and talks about the penguins, Elehants seals etc. Did you know how many differnt kinds of penguins there are ??? No, either did I but there are frig loads. (They all smell like fish shit though. A sickening smell when your surrounded by thousands of the little blighters).

So we were taken out on inflatable boats to the various different islands 3 times a day for 5 days. We visited so many pengion and seal colonys that I lost track and we also visited the British base, Port Lockroy where I sent a few postcards home !!! I cant give justice to what I saw in words so just look at the pictures !!

As in life, all good things come to an end and before I knew it we were sailing back to Ushuaia all still in awe of our experiences… We arrived back in harbour late in the evening and us non derepid passengers and the crew hit the town for a big party and piss up lasting until 6.30am… I rode out of Ushuaia the same morning with only 45 mins sleep back to Rio Grande ready to cross the border back into Chile and Northward bound……

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8 Responses to “Antarctica”


  1. lucy  Says:

    Looks absolutely amazing ed, I’m sure that poor pingu will be traumatised for life now though after meeting you! xx


  2. Smokehouse  Says:

    Wow, would you go back there? that is usually a test of how good something is! I am currently checking out bikes, he he. Looking forward to the next post and the next batch of piccies.


  3. Danquart  Says:

    Hi Ted,

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC mate.
    Ooohhh what a lucky man, You a are!
    Cheers,
    Dan


  4. Reggie  Says:

    Good decision to take the trip, afterall what’s 2k over the rest of your life eh!

    Keep the shutter clicking.


  5. Bob  Says:

    Dude your off your tits!!! is fookin right mate!!!!!!!


  6. Doc  Says:

    Awesome trip. Worth every penny.
    Reggie told me about your trip. We were out on the Serows yesterday. We didn’t see any icebergs though. Sorry to hear about the wallet. That will be blown all the way to the Faulklands by now if you lost it on Ruta 40!


  7. wishfull traveller  Says:

    Great storys, great pictures. Keep on posting. Sorry to hear about the wallet, shit happens as long as no one is hurt then it can all be replaced, your out there doing it i am sat in an office wishing I was out there.

    Good luck with the rest of the trip.


  8. Lee  Says:

    What I want to know is are you ever coming back home to cold wet miserable England or are you going to say f*ck it and bugger off for good?



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