Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 2: Snow Day
December 27 - Portal Point, in the Antarctic Peninsula near the Gerlache Strait

During lunch we travelled about 8 miles south to Charlotte Bay and made a zodiac landing on a pristine snow hill called Portal Point. Once we landed we immediately took to climbing the rise to the top of the hill. Walking in each other's footsteps made hiking a lot easier, as the footfalls were typically about six inches deep, but could drop you in to your thigh if you were unlucky or put your weight down too suddenly. This was actually a lot of fun since, with the exclusion of twisting an ankle or a knee, we could really romp. We were watertight and the weather in the direct sun was a balmy 40°F! Oh yes, we were one with the sunscreen.

Once we got to the top, we were treated to a vista of blues. The blue-white snow gave way to the deep blue seas, smattered with azure bergs spanning the bay to the deep snow-packed shores on the other side, sitting beneath an endless sky that rose from a pale blue to a deep blue field of bright white clouds. But see for yourself:

The Full View

The Full View - A stitched together panorama of a beautiful day in Antarctica. Best seen large! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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The Ship Below

The Ship Below - Brian Photographing our ship from the hill. - Photo by Tim Soper
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Big Cloud

Big Cloud - An awesome cloud on the Antarctic scenery. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Rob congratulated us on setting foot on the continent proper (all our landings to that point had been on islands). As it turned out for six of us, Antarctica was our 7th (and last, naturally) continent, which was cause for much celebration and buffoonery, including making ourselves into a human 7 and hoisting a camera high over our heads on my monopod to take the shot.

Continents!

Continents! - Fox family who have now been to all seven continents. - Photo by Tim Soper
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7 Continents

7 Continents - Having just set foot on the Antartic continent the Fox family members who have now been to all 7 continents pose in the shape of a 7. Alan, Brian, Daveen, Sara, Heather, Kevin. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Snow Turns Us All Into Kids

Snow Turns Us All Into Kids - Patrica enjoying playing in the snow. - Photos by Kevin and Rachel Fox - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Giddy at the weather and the sense of relief at actually being here we did what foxes will do in the snow: play!

Somersault Boy

Somersault Boy - Brian doing Somersaults of joy on the hill of our first steps on the Antarctic continent! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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ity bitty grounded bergy bits

ity bitty grounded bergy bits - Shapes in the snow are often the same whether big or small. The scenery in Antarctica. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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And then (inevitably) the snow fighting began in earnest.

Curve Ball

Curve Ball - Sara throws a curve ball at Tim! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Snow Balls On Film

Snow Balls On Film - Sara launching a volley at Noah while Rachel and I both get the shot! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Why Antarctic snowballs are quite deadly!

Why Antarctic snowballs are quite deadly! - Cousins Kevin and Sara team up to bomb other explorers with Antarctic snow. Unfortunately they are taken down! Best Seen LARGE! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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The Other Team

The Other Team - Brian and Noah work together to take down Sara and Kevin during our first visit to the Antarctic continent. Also see this photo of their take down of Kevin and Sara. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Snow Hill

Snow Hill - Snowy hillside on the Antarctic Peninsula. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Armed & Dangerous

Armed & Dangerous - Sara is ready to take anyone on. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Struck

Struck - Brian's been hit! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Sister Snow

Sister Snow - Sisters (Sara and Heather) team up and watch each others backs. Or is Heather using Sara as a shield? - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Blue Above and Below

Blue Above and Below - Beautiful Antarctic views every day. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Truce! Time out for the group photo!

Run Tim Run

Run Tim Run - I put the camera on self-timer but forgot to check the duration. This is Tim trying to run back to the shot, not knowing he had only 3 seconds! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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We're Here!!

We're Here!! - Group photo from our first landing on the Antarctic continent! Funny how much better things worked out when I set the timer to 20 seconds. Don't miss the ship in the background! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Lonely Photographer

Lonely Photographer - Kevin's camera set on timer to take our group photo. - Photo by Tim Soper
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An hour or so later we drifted back to the zodiacs in ones and twos under the seemingly never-ending light. The trudge up the hill made for a much easier slide back down, feeling like kids yelling in the otherwise silent snow field.

Back The Way We Came

Back The Way We Came - All snowed out (for the moment) we trek back the way we came. I know the zodiacs are down there somewhere! - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Sara Penguin

Sara Penguin - Sara having a belly slide down the hill!! - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Back to the zodiacs, we zipped back to the ship where it was (already?!) time to get ready for dinner.

But if you think the day was over just because we'd gone through a nearly uncharted strait, hit an iceberg, gone nose to nose with a leopard seal, visited some weddell seals, set foot on the 7th continent, climbed to the top of a snowpack and had a snow fight, then you forget that the days down here are 22 hours long, and it wasn't too long after dinner that we went out on another excursion to get up close and personal with a 90-year old shipwreck...

Read the next chapter: Day 2: Shipwreck


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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