40 Nights in the Antarctic, sampling the deep-sea floor

By Madeleine · Mar 16, 2017

Brize Norton RAF, Oxford, England
South Orkney Islands, Antarctica
Main mode of transport
Ship (RRS James Clark Ross)
Cost per person
Mid range
Not the usual accommodation when travelling, I had a shared science cabin on the RRS James Clark Ross https://www.bas.ac.uk/polar-operations/sites-and-facilities/facility/rrs-james-clark-ross/

Best Bits

This was the first time I’ve visited Antarctica. Crossing the Antarctic convergence is literally entering another world. It’s an isolated extreme environment. The first time I saw an iceberg I jumped out of my seat but within hours they just became a part of our day.

Madeleine in Antarctica

Worst Bits

I was working nights, from 7pm to 7am. Although I still saw a lot of the amazing wildlife that Antarctica holds I was sleeping during prime whale watching time…

Madeleine in Antarctica

Trip Dates and Comments on Timing

March. This is the end of the Antarctic summer, it’s starting to get a little wild down there.

Arrival Logistics

From Brize Norton we flew to the Falklands, spent a few days in Port Stanley and then sailed south… from there we were under the captain’s control.

Madeleine in Antarctica

Main Activities

Working, nature, sports, collecting animals from 1500 meters deep

Madeleine in Antarctica

Food and Drink Highlights

Peas! I miss fresh greens when I’m at sea but any time frozen peas were served I was happy!

Essential Packing for this Trip

Other than safety gear I’d say thermals, gloves and a good bobble hat!

Madeleine in Antarctica

Madeleine’s Experience…

The trip was led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), these trips are often referred to as science ‘research cruises’ but I promise you they are not holidays. We had a job to do. A group of around 30 scientists were onboard and the aim of our trip was to sample the animals that live on the seafloor in and around a marine protected area on the South Orkney Islands south slope.

Our general itinerary upon arrival was set sail, stem for a few days, land on Signy Island to restock the field bases, stem to our sampling locations where we were for about three weeks, stem back to the Falklands via South Georgia.

Madeleine in Antarctica

First Last Name

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I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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