Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 6: Antarctic New Years
December 31 to January 1 - Blind Bay, the Antarctic Peninsula

With the New Year only a few hours away, we set sail for Blind Bay. The plan was to find some fast ice, sea water that has frozen solid on the surface, and is also attached to the shore holding it in place. We would wedge the ship into it, just as we did for the polar plunge, and be able to get off the boat and ring in 2009 with a party on the ice.

King Kevin

King Kevin - Alan and Daveen had holiday poppers for us with small toys and crowns and a big pop!! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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New Years Smiles

New Years Smiles - Paulyn wearing her new years popper crown. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Kids On Holidays

Kids On Holidays - We got all kinds of Christmas/new years presents presents, including stone penguins from the ship crew, and champagne bubbles, game pens and holiday poppers from Alan and Daveen. Here Rob is having fun with his barrel of monkey's pen! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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On the way east to Blind Bay we dipped southward into what would be our southernmost point on the entire trip: 67 36' 65". At that latitude and time of year the sun was well above the horizon all the time, so we'd truly ring in the year with the midnight sun.

The GPS Monitor

The GPS Monitor - The monitor in living room showing our route. This is our Southern most point for the whole trip. We will continue to head into Blind bay (which is North East) to celebrate New Years. After this we will turn around and head back north. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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After edging around the island we headed into Blind Bay, an enclosed area that, judging from the latest satellite ice charts would still have fast ice in it. Unfortunately when we got there the ice was rotten: fast ice that has become so soft and thin that it's not far from breaking apart into a billion bits of free-floating ice. Certainly not safe to walk on! We drove the ship into the endless expanse of ice with the intent of wedging the ship fast as we had done the day before, but it was not to be. We hit the ice, engines blazing, only to rise up a bit , cut the ice ahead of us, and continue on into the solid white desert of ice, marred only by the occasional penguin or seal track.

Hoping to encounter more solid ice, we plowed on in, leaving a slurry of ice and water in a trail behind us. After breaking over a mile in to the ice it became clear that it wasn't going to get any thicker, and we came to a halt completely surrounded by thin ice, save for a mile-long track of slush off the stern.

Checking Out the Ice

Checking Out the Ice - Crabeater seals checking to see if they can use the hole our path made to get up on the ice. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Followers

Followers - These crabeater seals were loving that we were opening a hole in this fast ice and were coming up for air and playing in our trail. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Nearly midnight now (though still bright as it had been all day) we all, guests and crew, gathered on the stern and welcomed in the new year. The day was even more special for the largely Ukrainian crew, as the Ukrainian January 1st is New Years and Christmas all rolled up in to one, and is far and away their biggest holiday of the year.

- - Photo by
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Beginning to Look Like New Years

Beginning to Look Like New Years - People beginning to gather on the bow of the boat so that we can ring in the New Year! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Antarctic New Years Party

Antarctic New Years Party - The Fox Family and Friends Antarctic New Years Party begins. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Our Awesome Crew

Our Awesome Crew - A bunch of our crew ready to party with us! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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As per naval tradition, at the stroke of midnight the oldest person aboard (in this case, Uncle Alan) rings out the old year by striking the ship's bell twelve times, and then the youngest person aboard (Philip, 18 years old and one of the crew-in-training) strikes the bell another 12 times to ring in the new year.

Ringing Out The Old Year

Ringing Out The Old Year - A old ship tradition says that the oldest person on the boat rings the ships bell to ring out the old year. Alan got this honor. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Ringing In the New Year

Ringing In the New Year - A old ship tradition says that the youngest person on the boat rings the ships bell to ring in the new year. One of our crew, Phillip (18 years old), had this honor. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Antarctic New Years - Ringing in 2009 at the bottom of the world in the Antarctic Circle on board the Hanse Explorer - Video by Kevin Fox
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Happy New Years

Happy New Years - This is pretty much everyone (including Obama Penguin), ringing in the New Year on the Hanse Explorer. There may be one member of the crew missing here as someone has to watch the bridge. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Loving America

Loving America - Boatswain (no seriously - he has a name but everyone on the ship called him Boatswain. He even looks like he was born to be a Boatswain) was very happy it was new years! He was so cute and so sweet the entire trip. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Cheers

Cheers - Heather and Brian Toasting the New Year! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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New Years in the Ice

New Years in the Ice - We all (Friends, Family, Guides and Crew) enjoyed celebrating new years on in the ice at our southern-most stop on our Antarctic trip. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Toasting

Toasting - Brian enjoying our Antarctica New Years! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Kings & Princesses

Kings & Princesses - Ingrid in her holiday crown. King Alan is there in the background too! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Fox Hats

Fox Hats - Two of our awesome crew sporting Fox Antarctica Hats! The patches say "My Hanse Explorer 2008-09 Fox Antarctica Expedition" Just like the patches on our coats. Alan & Daveen gave hats to the crew as New Years gifts. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Our Leaders

Our Leaders - Rob, Alan, Daveen and Tim! Are awesome leaders (though in different ways) on this amazing trip. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Happy New Years

Happy New Years - Lena and Boatswain enjoying the holiday. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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The captain had made sure we flew a flag for most of the nationalities represented on the ship (in this case, American, Swedish, French and British), and we all, passengers and crew alike, partied with flags, bubbly and bubbles until we remembered how late it was, and that tomorrow would be another busy day!

Represent!

Represent! - Patricia who is from Sweden wearing the Swedish flag, Noah has the US flag drapped from the pole over his shoulder, and Captain Martin who currently lives in France (though he is German) displays his love of the French Flag! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink - Heather enjoying New Years in Antarctica. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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The Hat Crown Fashion

The Hat Crown Fashion - Sara crowned for New Years in Antarctica. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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New Years with Friends

New Years with Friends - Tim, Rob & our Master Engineer (whose name I have forgotten) posing for a new years photo. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Swept Off Her Feet

Swept Off Her Feet - Lena and one of the crew (presumably her boyfriend) on New Years in Antarctica! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Break Out Back

Break Out Back - A few people having a smoke break out on the back of the boat. You can see the trail we are leaving through the rotten ice. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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With this chapter, we're also adding a map of our travels so far to the bottom of each page, to give folks a better idea of exactly where on the Peninsula each chapter took place. Check it out below!

Read the next chapter: Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker


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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