Antarctic Cruise Day 14

February 19, 2006
Day 144
Antarctic Cruise Day 14

The Plan: Get kicked off the ship and thrown back into the real world.

I had to get up early to pack my stuff for the first time in two weeks. Not constantly reorganizing my pack meant that I needed over an hour to get everything in order. I had breakfast, made sure I didn't forget anything, and thought about my cruise.

In many ways I was sad to leave the ship. Everything I wanted was handed to me for the last two weeks. I ate more food than I normally would in months. I never had to worry about finding a place to stay, finding something to do, or my stuff getting stolen. With all of those daily inconveniences out of the way, I had plenty of time to learn about the places I was visiting and have fun.

On the other hand, two weeks was long enough for me. After the second day, I barely met any new people. The food I was eating, while plentiful, was horrible for me. The activities were fun, but I was always on a strict schedule. But most importantly, I think being on a cruise gives one a diluted view of the world. How much can you really learn about a big city in 8 hours? And how many local people are you going to meet when you're being bussed around in a guided tour all day? The people I meet while traveling usually don't have a lot of money, but they are usually friendly and more than willing to show me what living in their country is all about. On a cruise, when your hand is constantly held by a tour guide, you never really leave your own country. When that happens, it's tough to learn about somebody else's country, which is what I value most in traveling.

Still, this cruise has been one of the highlights of my entire life. Seeing the glaciers, the wildlife, the endless miles of desolate land of Antarctica, is something not many people are privileged enough to experience. In fact, only about 300,000 people have ever set foot on the white continent, and now I'm lucky enough to be one of them. The cruise had its share of pitfalls, but it still will be an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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8 thoughts on “Antarctic Cruise Day 14

  1. Kyle Clasen

    Your trip to Antarctica looked unbelievable! I didn't know it gets warm enough to visit without heavy heavy gear. I was wrong there. I always picture what I have seen in the movies. The movie Alien VS Predetor comes into my head.

    I guess everywhere in you have went including Antartica has been a great experience. I'm still very much enjoying learning about South America and seeing it through your pictures and blog. Thanks!

  2. Will Gaus

    Look at you Shackelton! Awesome pics of Elephant Island Dano!!

  3. Dan Perry Post author

    Thanks Will. The joke on the bus was that his real name was Shaggleton, Antarctic casanova. That seems to fit my description much better.

  4. Paul J

    I was down in DesMoines last weekend visiting Drake with Adrienne, and got to spend a couple hours with Adam and Andrea Matz. Adam and I were talking about you and your visit to Antarctica, and we came up with a question to ask you:

    Do people in Antarctica hate Bush?

    (Adam said he would "probably" post it, and we both know what that means. I decided to do it instead.)

  5. Dan Perry Post author

    Little did you know that the people of Antarctica are having massive anti-Bush rallies all over the continent as we speak, and Antarctica will most likely be the next place we attack.

  6. Adam M

    I was about to make a joke that we wouldn't attack since there isn't any oil in Antartica, but that got the nerd in me thinking...


    "many scientists believe it may hold one of the last supergiant oil fields yet to be discovered"

    No one tell Bush this or we may have "Operation Penguin Freedom".

  7. Dan Perry Post author

    Well, also in that article it talks about the Madrid Protocol, which places a moratorium on oil drilling in Antarctica until at least 2041, so maybe we won't attack after all. You know how much Bush likes to follow international protocols!

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