Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 0: Positioning
December 22, 6:03pm - Southwest flight 1588, Seats 14D and 14F, San Jose to Burbank

It's been over a year since my aunt and uncle invited Rachel and me to Antarctica, and in the past few weeks research gave way to planning, planning was replaced by packing, and a few days ago packing was overrun by panic.

Twelve days on a yacht, sailing the Antarctic Peninsula. There will be ice. There will be penguins. There will be penguins on ice. And whales. I know there will be so much more, but from here in my aisle seat I can't imagine anyplace more far removed from my own life.

Over the next five days Rachel, myself, and ten family and friends will be sojourning from Southern California to the Southern Continent.

We've packed, turned down the thermostat [actually I just checked with Rachel. Turns out we didn't, so that's one more thing to add to tonight's email to the Neighborinos], said goodbye to the kittens and discovered in the cab to the airport what obligatory nearly-essential item we forgot at home (the video camera. Not sure how that could have happened). Yet despite all the trappings of a journey's onset this isn't really the start of the trip, it's just positioning.

Tonight we're spending the night at my mom's house in LA, hanging out at my childhood home along with my very pregnant sister Susie. Mom had cataract surgery on eye #2 this morning, which means that she'll be sporting a bitchin' pirate eyepatch. [Another thing I forgot: bitchin' pirate eyepatch to cover the boring one the doctor surely gave her.]

The real journey begins at 9am tomorrow, when we intrepid travelers meet at Van Nuys Municipal Airport to board a chartered aircraft and embark on a 13 hour flight to Santiago, Chile, with a refueling stop midway in San José [irony is my co-pilot], Costa Rica.

SWA1588 - Seat 14D

SWA1588 - Seat 14D - In an airport and airplane full of people traveling to be with their families for Christmas, we were already beginning to feel out of phase with the rest of the world. Knowing that half the family would be thousands of miles away on Christmas, we had our faux Christmas (or 'Foxmas') a week early. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Traveling Rachel

Traveling Rachel - Kindle, Macbook, Wife. What more could anyone want on an adventure? Oh yeah, a camera better than the one in my iPhone. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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We're descending now into the mottled sea of golden lights that is the San Fernando Valley, the scattered rainclouds making for a little chop as we drop in over the Grapevine. In the coming days, tonight's 40 minute flight of holiday travelers will serve as a fast and crowded contrast to the longer legs ahead.

Read the next chapter: Leaving, on a jet plane

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Telling the Story posted Jan 10, 2009

» Day 0: Positioning posted Jan 12, 2009

Leaving, on a jet plane posted Jan 12, 2009

Day 1: The Herc posted Jan 15, 2009

Day 1: Penguino posted Jan 16, 2009

Day 2: Chicken posted Jan 17, 2009

Day 2: Leopard posted Jan 19, 2009

Day 2: Snow Day posted Jan 22, 2009

Day 2: Shipwreck posted Jan 26, 2009

Day 2: Totally Tabular posted Jan 27, 2009

Day 3: Gentoo Cute posted Jan 29, 2009

Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier posted Feb 3, 2009

Day 3: Palmer Station Visit posted Feb 9, 2009

Day 4: Icy Penguins posted Feb 11, 2009

Day 4: Adelie Awesome posted Feb 15, 2009

Day 4: Leopard Seal Attack posted Feb 17, 2009

Day 4: Kayak posted Feb 19, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Station Visit posted Feb 23, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Sunset posted Feb 25, 2009

Day 5: Antarctic Circle posted Feb 27, 2009

Day 5: Polar Plunge posted Mar 5, 2009

Day 5: Mouth of The Gullet posted Mar 13, 2009

Day 5: Ice Camping posted Mar 18, 2009

Day 6: Flamingos on Ice posted Mar 20, 2009

Day 6: Mountain Climbing posted Mar 24, 2009

Day 6: Ice Textures posted Mar 26, 2009

Day 6: Antarctic New Years posted Apr 2, 2009

Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker posted Apr 9, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 1 posted Apr 17, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 2 posted Apr 21, 2009

Day 8: Bird Watching in the Fish Islands posted Apr 23, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 1 posted May 5, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 2 posted May 11, 2009

Day 9: Port Lockroy - Base A posted May 20, 2009

Bonus Chapter: Baby Penguins! posted May 21, 2009

Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales posted June 3, 2009

Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding posted June 11, 2009

Day 10: Birthday Whales posted June 23, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds posted July 15, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals posted July 22, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 1: Walking on the Moon posted Dec 11, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz posted Dec 15, 2009

Day 11: Emperor Penguins posted Jan 8, 2010

Day 12: Black and White and Pink All Over posted Aug 4, 2011

More chapters posted every few days...

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