Rob and Sally Lovemore embarked on a lifetime dream to visit the Antarctic – where the South Pole is! We departed from Ushuaia, located on the southern tip of Argentina and nicknamed the “End of the World”, on the January 4, 2019 on the 108m ice-rated expedition ship Silver Explorer with 125 passengers and a 100 crew on-board.
Integral to the expedition was a 12-strong team of expedition leaders and scientists who guided, lectured and supervised us throughout the trip on all matters Antarctic. Their expertise covered pelagic birds like albatrosses, petrels, penguins, sheathbills, shearwaters and prions, animals including seals and whales, photography as well as geography and history to cover climate, glaciers, plate tectonics, icebergs, storms, history and the previous explorers who had ventured into these waters. They were an incredible group of individuals with massive credentials in their respective fields – and, of the 12 leaders, four were South African!
The voyage took us on a clockwise route east to the Falkland Islands, across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia, down to the Antarctic Peninsula and across the infamous Drake Passage to Cape Horn, along the Beagle Channel and back to Ushuaia.
Of the 18 days at sea, eight were spent crossing big ocean expanses and the balance spent moored in the lee of land and ice. On these days we clambered on to Zodiac rubber ducks and went ashore twice a day to walk among the penguins and seals; hike into the hills and play with our cameras! On ocean crossing days we enjoyed lectures from the scientists; tales of the Antarctic and many hours of photography from the ship railings.