I am writing this entry (offline) at 33,000 feet above Patagonia about 40mins away from Ushuaia at the bottom of the world. Ushuaia is the most southerly city on the planet. I had an early and unplanned dash to the airport as Aerolineas Argentinas had a strike over the last few days and I noticed my flight number over the week kept being cancelled. A mild and brief panic set in as the only way to reasonably get to Ushuaia and subsequently my ship to Antarctica is by air. I feel for any of the other people that must have missed flights over the last few days and faced the prospect of missing their cruise! Talk about a travel disaster and especially considering these Antarctic excursions do not come cheap. I moved quickly to preempt any possible cancellations of my flight today and managed to get rebooked on a flight that left at 7:45am instead of 3:40pm. For some reason these first flights are actually getting off the ground with little delay but the rest of the day it gets problematic. The strike is a big deal here in Argentina as the president has had to step in directly. Sometimes no matter how much planning there is … the unexpected can really bite you in the bum. I guess being quick on your feet and polite to reservation staff on the phone or at the airport can go a very long way.
(Online now) I have arrived and settled into my hotel, which has a great view of the Beagle Channel. My ship the MS Expedition has not arrived yet. Tomorrow I will board the vessel and begin the adventure of a lifetime. I have my seasick pills and am hopeful they will work. Drake’s passage, which I have to navigate in the coming days, can be quite a scary ride. It is said that anyone going to Antarctica has to pay the “Drake Tax” on the roller coaster ride of the high seas … or should I say the low seas.
This is my last entry for a few weeks, as I don’t think an Internet connection is available in Antarctica :-). Maybe I should consider selling a fiber link and data center there? Then again who would sign the contract … a Penguin? Maybe I really shouldn’t consider such things, as I am a budding environmentalist!