Sunday, July 13, 2008

anticipating Antarctica

I booked a spot on a 10-day Antarctica trip next March, with
GAP adventures. The company owns a single boat, the M/S Explorer.

My friend Lori went last year and raves about it.

I chose this boat because it has a "Fitness Center". I expect there will be a lot of downtime while crossing the Drake Passage, and I may as well exercise. Otherwise you get cabin fever or something.

GAP runs an identical trip in January (the Antarctic summer, with 20+ hours of daylight). Unfortunately it was full, so I reserved a spot on the March excursions. It has fewer animal sightings, but I care more about glaciers than penguins. Haven't I seen penguins in the zoo? I mean, look at this:

It's pretty much the same as this, right?

My primary enjoyment of traveling lies in the anticipation beforehand and the fond memories afterwards. During the actual trip, I'm often cranky from the long hours of flying, jetlag, getting lost, starving.

This trip is great because I have nine whole months of anticipation.

The M/S Explorer also has multiple places to socialize. There's a library room, a lounge, a bar, and a cafe. Other Antarctica ships usually only have one large lounge. Having multiple lounges is good, in case one lounge is occupied by a loud person who gets on your nerves.

Today Lori said that she actually swam in a pool of water in the Arctic circle, without a wetsuit. Her body went into shock, and she had a headache the rest of the day, but it was worth it.


A couple weeks ago, at dinner:

Me: Is it very cold in Antarctica?

Lori: No, it's not that cold, because you wear special clothes. I find it colder in Berkeley, actually.

Me: [describing Lori's photo of penguins]

Tom: You could bring home a little penguin.

Me: No, it would die! It's used to being in ice all the time.

Tom: Apparently Berkeley is just as cold as Antarctica.

Me: Anyway, there's a January trip and a March one. I'm thinking about the March one.

Tom: Great, it'll be March of the Penguins.


Anonymous said...

Interesting the container is called MS Explorer. Be careful as research on the interest shows it crashes often.

(Update: I was making references to the Microsoft GUI but check out this!

Go get my account working with Lively ;)

Jeremy said...

I, too, love the feeling of anticipation. Your trip sounds like a pretty cool one so you've got something to look forward to for nine months.

Hmmm...nine months eh? Is this trip a metaphor for something...?

mtsuit said...

Are you sure it's the MS Explorer you're booked on, and not a substitute boat? I don't think she's in service any more.

BBC News wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Is March warmer in the south? Or January?

Journal Of A Nomad said...

Hey there, I stumbled upon this link searching for 'Google Munich'. Well, this Antarctica stuff reminded me of a friend, who's doing this trip in January 2009. She's travelling from Germany to South America, where they start the expedition..haha. I'm jealous cause I aint on the list. Maybe I'll do that sometime later..Have to save enough bucks for that. :-) BTW, you have a nice blog! If you happen to check my blog, temme how it is. Machts Gut.chow! :-)

Bob said...

I think this is an excellent choice for a vacation. Not alot of crowds or lines to wait in. Well, there may be a for the Sushi. I hear those penguins can be kind of pigs when it comes to raw fish. But then again, you do like pigs.

Spring in the Antartic can't be much worse than a nice cool Wisconsin winter.

writer said...

Kimberly really wants to go one of these trips.

Anonymous said...

I have to assume your image comparing Antarctica, full of penguins and the zoo, was your attempt at humor .. otherwise, they look completely like two different experiences!

Berkeley colder than Antarctica - I can't imagine that.

Bob said...

You didn't opt for the Russian Space Adventure?

冷血儿 said...

M/S Explorer
= =!

The name looks like "Microsoft File Explorer"

通过Lively找到这里的, 很不错的应用, 我也有试过, 但是好像从Lively里弹出的链接都是指向IE的, 我认为应该是指向客户端所在的宿主更好些.

John K. Lin said...

Bob - I don't think Niniane would pass the credit check required for a flight on a Russian rocket ($20M+).

However, maybe Virgin Galactic is something more in her price range:

$20,000 deposit required for the $200,000 flight...

Syed F Ahmad said...

Niniane, Congrats on the Lively product launch. I have not used it yet so no feedback yet. But I guess that is the outcome of your "confidential" project for the last few years. I am sure the go live is keeping you busy!

Niniane said...

It occurs to me that I have never seen John K. Lin make a joke, or laugh at anyone else's joke.

ArC said...

Anonymous (comment #1) meant to link here.

I certainly wouldn't want to be on a sinking ship, but it seems to me that if I was, and got off it safely, that would be my go-to story at parties for the rest of my life.

Come to think of it, I bet simulated disasters are an under-served adventure vacation niche. Those Worst-Case Scenario guys should really expand into offering full-body experiences instead of just books & calendars.

randell said...

LOL @ March of the Penguins

MS Explorer? I fear for you.

Bob said...

Jon K. Lin - Sorry about that. In the future I will preface my attempts at humor with a warning.

Warning! This is an attempt at humor. I am not a professional comedian so this is only an attempt. If this was a professional attempt at humor, Niniane would be billed for my services. Once again, this is only an attempt at humor.

How's that? Seems like a good disclaimer.

I should also begin each posting with the following.

Warning. I have never won a spelling bee or a grammar competition. So be forewarned, this posting could mangle the English language. If misspelled words and poor grammar cause you to have seizures, please do not read any further.

John K. Lin said...

Niniane X. Wang - I have a great sense of humor, that is why I read your blog, NOT so that I can be funny, but to enjoy your sense-of-humor and writing :-)

I laugh often at your postings and others' comments, albeit in silence in cyberspace...if only I could laugh with you...perhaps seated next to you on a flight on Virgin Galactic or voyage to Antarctica :-)

Anonymous said...


Regalis said...

Ah, but actually laughing with her could only be a step down from your idle imaginings. What if she snorts, like a pig? Or wheezes like an asthmatic, old mare? Or squirts milk from her nose? Ick. Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed. :)

valska said...

I get what you mean when you said, "My primary enjoyment of traveling lies in the anticipation beforehand and the fond memories afterwards. During the actual trip, I'm often cranky from the long hours of flying, jetlag, getting lost, starving."

I never thought I was that sort of traveller, but my recent travels tells me otherwise. I was super cranky from the jetlag and getting lost!

John K. Lin said...


I've met Niniane a few times in person. As far as I can tell, she doesn't snort, wheeze, squirt or for that matter, spit up or burp. Additionally, she doesn't smell (i.e. excessive body odor), and isn't flatulent. Alas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I beholden a beauty, not a beast.

Niniane said...

re: first Anonymous. I fixed your googlemail account with Lively. Any other requests? ;)

re: the John K. Lin posts. These impersonations are quite entertaining. At least I hope they are impersonations...

John K. Lin said...

Impersonations of John K. Lin? This is the real John! Although I do have a humorous alter ego :-) I'm not trying to impersonate you - but I do speak the truth. You are a beauty, not a beast, as Regalis is trying to imply.