MISSION COMPLETE

Yoooo!!! I have successfully completed my goal of all 7 continents by 2018. BOOM! 💥 

  Honorary Chinese 🇨🇳     Taken after Polar Plunge #2 in the Antarctic Ocean // 11.24.2018

Honorary Chinese 🇨🇳 

Taken after Polar Plunge #2 in the Antarctic Ocean // 11.24.2018

  Big ol’ icebrrrrrrg

Big ol’ icebrrrrrrg

I am safely back on ground in Ushuaia, Argentina, staying at my lovely friend Alícia’s house. I’ve mostly regained my land legs, but have had the occasional reminder of the ocean’s sway hit me in the shower and while laying in bed. I’m still processing the incredible voyage I just undertook, and have a myriad of emotions and thoughts to sift through. It was a very interesting trip - not exactly what I was expecting, but then again I didn’t really have anything planned. It was challenging in a lot of ways, much too short, yet overall impressive and awe-inspiring. I’ve seen a lot of glaciers, snow and icebergs in my day, but nothing quite like this. And the penguins! Oh my, how wonderful they truly are. This route  only put us in line with the gentoo, adelie, and chinstrap colonies. Hopefully I will get another experience sometime in my life to see other species, such as the king, macaroni, and emperor. 

  PROOF! Not quite the south pole (which lies at 66°33’S) but pretty damn close! 

PROOF! Not quite the south pole (which lies at 66°33’S) but pretty damn close! 

For those of you who are waiting to see all of my penguin and iceberg pictures, you will have to wait a bit longer. Unfortunately, there were some complications when transferring my photos on the boat, and I am having issues viewing/sharing my pictures. Not gonna lie, I had a bit of a panic attack about this but I’m feeling better after getting an incredible massage and healing bodywork done yesterday.

  STAY TUNED - files WILL be recovered...🤞🏻 

STAY TUNED - files WILL be recovered...🤞🏻 

I have decided to cut my trip short, so I can recover the files as well as finish the year strong with a few jobs in NYC. I will be heading back to Brooklyn next week - I’ve already booked a few days and am {of course} looking to fill up my calendar as much as possible. Soooo, photo friends, if you hear of any work in these next coming weeks, holla at your girl! 🙌🏻

  Werk werk werk werk werk

Werk werk werk werk werk

Por favor, mi amorssssss ❤️❤️❤️

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the few images/videos I have from my phone. Rest assured, there are a lot of amazing stories, hilarious moments, some treacherous waves (DRAKE SHAKE!!!), and a few snafus to be shared. This is what makes an incredible expedition! A journey to remember indeed!

STAY TUNED!!! 

All I know is I put my feet on the 7th continent, and now have a taste for more.

So I’m gonna apply for a job on an expedition crew next year. 

Ocean Atlantic

November 19 2018

  Getting ready to board - didn’t have to stowaway... (just pay thousands of dollars...)

Getting ready to board - didn’t have to stowaway... (just pay thousands of dollars...)

It’s really happening! Today I boarded the Ocean Atlantic, a Polish-made Russian icebreaker full of mostly Chinese passengers, as well as 12 other international guests. And of course, the staff and crew from around the world.

My service is going to be nonexistent, so most likely this won’t get posted until I get back, along with all of the stories and expedition route. In the meantime, rest assured that my lifelong goal is about to be achieved and I’m so grateful to all of you who have supported me in every way to make this a reality. Can’t wait to see those penguins!

🐧🇦🇶❤️

  Prison pose, penguin style

Prison pose, penguin style

  Always a good travel omen 🌈

Always a good travel omen 🌈

Ushuaia Is Dope AF

I ❤️ Ushuaia  

  Yámana warrior  

Yámana warrior  

What a cool little town! So far, everyone has been incredibly kind and it is very laid-back and beautiful here. I walked around a bit more this morning, then hopped on a sailboat to go explore the Beagle Channel and surrounding islands. I went out with a local company called Tres Marias, family-owned and operated for the last 20 years. The son of the family was our skipper, along with another lovely gentleman as our guide.

I joked with the captain that his name must be Maria, si? And he answered “Maria, no”. I knew there was something lost in translation, so I tried to explain my stupid joke. Then he looked at me and said, “No, you don’t understand. My name is Mariano.” 😂

  Capt. Mariano sailing us away from Ushuaia  

Capt. Mariano sailing us away from Ushuaia  

We laughed and laughed. Apparently no one in his family is actually named Maria. Just the company and the boats. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  Federico + Mariano

Federico + Mariano

It was an incredible day! Not too much wind (which is fairly unusual for the area) so we relied more on our engines then our sail. We went around to a few islands to view the king cormorants and some sea lions. Then we docked at Isla H (most southern island in Argentina - we could see Chile across the water) and stretched our legs on a lovely nature walk for around an hour. Federico was incredibly knowledgeable, teaching about the Yámana people as well as the flora and fauna of the region. 

I poked around town a little more, noting the Jehovah’s Witnesses (they are everywhere) and the street fair being set up for the local children.

Alícia and I met up for an amazing dinner at her friend’s restaurant, which was a lovely way to spend another evening with my new friend. 

  Christian Acosta, co-owner of Paso Garibaldi    (please excuse crappy phone pic) 

Christian Acosta, co-owner of Paso Garibaldi

(please excuse crappy phone pic) 

  I don’t really like food photos, but this king crab and shrimp risotto was the bomb.com  

I don’t really like food photos, but this king crab and shrimp risotto was the bomb.com  

Last night I went to her house for a home-cooked meal and she lives in a fabulous location - check out the video below. She has also offered for me to stay at her place for 2-3 days when I return from Antarctica! 🙌🏻

  Alícia’s cute home

Alícia’s cute home

   My new friend + Ushuaia guide, Alícia       Video is the view from her home

My new friend + Ushuaia guide, Alícia  

Video is the view from her home

Heading to Tierra del Fuego tomorrow for more adventure! STAY TUNED!!!

 •••••

YES! The Antarctica Fund IS still live!!!

www.gofundme.com/AmyAntarctica

All donations greatly appreciated + receive a free print from Antarctica 🇦🇶  

SHARE // SHARE // SHARE // SHARE 😘🤙🏻

Wild Wildlife

ONE WEEK OUT from the Great Adventure! Antarctica, here I come (via Ushuaia, Argentina)! Definitely kicking it into power mode. I’ve been ticking stuff off my to-do list, connecting with loved ones, and continuing to throw miscellaneous items onto the pile o’ stuff to pack. And I’ve been cooking. It’s kinda my zen, plus it’s the final weeks of my CSA and I continue to be inspired. My refrigerator is getting pretty full.  

In all my prep, I want to make sure that I put up a few blog posts to really get this baby started. I was brainstorming some ideas with Tertius, and he suggested writing about the animals I could encounter. Brilliant! I’m really hoping to see a lot of wildlife, and get some incredible photos. I’ll be sure to share them when I do 😘

Before starting the research for this post, I had no idea there were 9 types of penguins found in the far south. Yeah! Stoked for it all - the seals, birds, whales and other marine wildlife. Not sure how many I’ll actually get to see, but check out these beauties:

(all pics snagged from the interweb via Google) 

 The Flightless Birds (🐧🐧🐧)

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The chinstrap penguin is aptly named for its distinct facial marking. They are apparently one of the more aggressive penguins, kinda bullies. The most famous chinstrap penguins are Roy and Silo, who lived in the Central Park Zoo. They were a male couple who tried to hatch a rock. One of the zookeepers swapped it out for a fertilized egg and they raised the chick as if it were their own. Love is love 🐧❤️

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The emperor penguin is probably the most famous, starring in such hits as March of the Penguins and Happy Feet. They are the tallest (up to 4’) and heaviest (50-100 lbs) and are serially monogamous. 

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The adelie penguins are skilled and powerful swimmers. They are daredevils and will leap off high areas into the sea, throwing all caution to the wind. 

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The gentoo penguin is long-tailed, has a white stripe over its eyes, and a bright orange bill.

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The king penguin is similar in appearance to the emperor but has an orange cheek patch and is sleeker with a straighter bill. 

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Ah, the macaroni penguin. This mad cute crested species is the most numerous and has a distinct yellow crest.

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The southern rockhopper and northern rockhopper penguins look like they should be having some sort of West Side Story-like dance/fight-off. But instead they are pretty chill and both in great danger of extinction. 

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The royal penguin is similar to the macaroni penguin, crested yet white-faced. Those guys have been known to interbreed on occasion.  

Breaking the Seal 

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The leopard seal is a vicious predator, gobbling up penguins with no remorse. They are extremely vocal underwater and primarily solitary. They are bold, powerful and deadly.

Other seals found at the bottom of the world:

A Whale of a Tale 🐳

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The orca AKA killer whale is not actually a whale at all but the largest of the dolphins. They nosh on penguins and seals. I have been fortunate enough to see them wild in Alaska several times, and am really hopeful I will get to see them down south.

And let’s not forget the actual whales down there:

Sperm // Blue // Fin // Minke // Sei // Humpback // Southern Right

The Birds! (that can fly)

Wandering Albatross // Cape Petrels // Giant Petrels // Snow Petrels // Blue Eyed/Imperial Shags // Sheathbills // Antarctic Skuas

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I cannot wait to get down there and see as many of these amazing animals as possible! Any predictions on what I’ll encounter?

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THE ANTARCTICA FUND IS STILL KICKIN’ IT LIVE (throughout this entire adventure)               

NO DONATION TOO SMALL - ALL DONATIONS WILL RECEIVE A PRINT FROM ANTARCTICA

(Please SHARE with philanthropists and wealthy loved ones)

Antarctica Bound!

  Shake or Lake?

Shake or Lake?

The greatest adventure of my life is only 9 days away, and I’m starting to feel it. It’s been such a long-term goal - a distant dream - and it feels a bit surreal to be so close to fruition. I’ve gathered most of my gear into a large pile, and have written and rewritten lists so I don’t forget a thing. Although, admittedly, I most likely will. 

I’ve purchased a round-trip flight from Argentina and the first four nights accommodation in Ushuaia. That’s it. Even with all of my fundraising efforts (selling my car, personal belongings, print sale + GoFundMe) I can’t afford the steep $10-25K price tag on most tourist boats. So I am aiming to hop on a last-minute departure, looking for either a discount or an option to barter with my photography/guide skills. I’ve given myself five weeks to complete this mission.

Stay tuned with this {brand spankin’ new} blog to find out how the adventure unfolds!

Even I don’t know. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  Me slidin’ onto a boat like...

Me slidin’ onto a boat like...

 

ANTARCTICA FUND STILL IN EFFECT 🙌🏻

www.gofundme.com/AmyAntarctica