Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 5: Antarctic Circle
December 30 - Crystal Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula

Vernadsky Station represents the southernmost reach that most peninsula expeditions achieve. Because most ships have less time, less maneuverability, deeper drafts and worse weather, this is the point where they turn back and explore the upper reaches of the peninsula, often trying again at those spots they had to skip over earlier due to weather.

On this trip, however, everything was going our way. We've been seeing a stretch of weather that even the captain and guides make clear to us 'just doesn't happen out here', at least not for as long a stretch as we'd had. And the latest satellite ice pack reports indicate we may have a good chance at making it significantly further south. Entering the fifth day of a twelve day excursion, we certainly had the time to explore further.

Sleeping off the lingering Ukrainian vodka, we were awoken by Rob's morning "bing bong" announcement. It was 10 am and we had entered the Crystal Sound. We had made very good progress through the night and we would, in a half hour, be crossing the Antarctic Circle. Beneath the circle, and so close to the Southern Summer solstice, we would be experiencing 24-hour days of sunlight. Medium-high in the sky during the day, the sun would henceforth skip just above the horizon throughout the nighttime hours. Only one star will be stealing the show here for months.

Up! Up on deck. We would meet at the bow and fire the horn as we broke through the circle.

For all the sites we had yet seen, this morning was remarkable for the stillness and clarity imbuing everything as we glided silently through a seascape seemly frozen in time.

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Read the next chapter: Day 5: Polar Plunge


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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