An Antarctica Expedition cruise will take you to last of Earth’s frontier regions. This unique adventure will take you beyond the limits of the South Polar Circle and to remote locations into a world that few people ever see. It is a privilege to visit this awe-inspiring land, to experience the special magic that has lured explorers, adventurers and scientists for more than two centuries and whose challenges have never been enough to stop expedition after expedition from attempting ‘conquest’ of the polar region.
Antarctic travel is made easier with ice-strengthened ships, and the cruises on sturdy zodiac landing craft (inflatable boats) will get you close enough for those Antarctic photos, seeing Antarctic lakes and capturing pictures of polar wildlife. Passenger ships in a variety of sizes cruise to Antarctica and the choice of ship can make a big difference to your journey and experiences.
There are a number of Travel Agents who specialize in Antarctic and other Eco- tours, so be sure to select the itinerary that most suits you. Some leave from Ushuaia (South America) and sail to the Weddell Sea. Others depart from Port Stanley (The Falklands) and include South Georgia. Still others leave from Dunedin or Christchurch (New Zealand) and travel to the opposite side of the White Continent.
The smaller cruise ships use Zodiac boats to ferry tourists from ship to shore in small groups. Shore excursion landings are now limited to no more than 100 individuals at a time; one guide must be provided for every 20 travelers.
Today, the ships are no longer wooden, the pace is no longer slow, the map is no longer uncertain. What is certain is the treacherousness of the Ice, the unchanged bitter cold, the bone-chilling wind …..
Surviving the cold is about protecting core body temperature. Spinning Yarn is one way to prepare for this, by fashioning the appropriate warm garment. Following these few tips for surviving cold weather, we can see where spinning yarn can be part of the process…
- Dress in layers. Trapping heat close to your body. Use a foundation layer to wick moisture from the body to outer layers, which should be wind-resistant and waterproof .Wear snow pants and a good winter jacket. Carry mittens or gloves (with glove liners), socks, and a hat. Spinning yarn in summer allows time for these essentials to be knitted, crocheted or felted for winter.
- Cover your head – 50% of heat goes out the head and neck, so wear a wind- blocking hat, scarf and gloves. Spinning yarn of Qiviut, the garment is especially warm. Strong winds cause the most concern with keeping warm. The moving air takes heat away from your body making it feel colder than what it really is. It can take as little as 30 seconds for bare skin to become frostbitten.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf or full face mask. Your breath will warm the air. You may add goggles also.
- Eat regularly – Extreme cold causes your body to burn more calories, so eating appropriate food will generate body heat. A hot cup of cocoa or soup raises your body temperatureand helps your insulating layer do the job.
Prolonged exposure to intense cold changes your body’s chemical reactions, which begin to slow until they generate too little energy for your muscles to work. Your body will carefully regulate blood flow, sending blood only to the most essential parts—your brain and heart, protecting your body core and key organs, preserving the core temperature to avoid death from hypothermia.
Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure characterized by a loss of feeling and a white/pale appearance in fingers, nose, ear lobes or toes. Permanent damage can result.
Marion followed these principles when spinning yarn on the ice.
As Shackleton did, picture yourself as surviving and never entertain thoughts of failure.