Recall my amazing expedition to Antarctica HERE early this year? After getting back from Christmas in the UK, in early January I was busy packing and organizing my gear to leave for Argentina where, in Ushuaia, the ship would be waiting to take Paula, me, and another 100 plus passengers on the adventure of a lifetime!
Remote places, especially Antarctica which is definitely as remote as one can be, are exciting but of course always somewhat dangerous. I have to admit if what is happening there now with the Russian ship, M/V Akademik Shokalskiy, had occurred as I was preparing to head south, I would have had some trepidation about leaving home!
All Photos from The Guardian
The map shows where the ship is frozen into the heavy pack ice, following blizzards on Christmas Eve. This is not the area of Antarctica we visited, however, you will note directly north of the location sits Macquarie Island where I visited on the Sub-Antarctic expedition trip in 2011.
Air evacuation of the scientists and tourists on board will have to be considered using the helicopter from the Chinese vessel, Xue Long. The crew will stay behind and the Australian ship, Aurora Australis, will try to reach it again when the weather improves. Meanwhile the huge American Coast Guard ice breaker, Polar Star, now on its way from Seattle to Sydney, has been re-routed to Antarctica to assist in the rescue, but will not arrive for 8-9 days!
Yes, it's great to always be up for a big adventure.........and usually the purchase of the pricey insurance coverage is never utilized, thank goodness.........I just hope all these travelers, scientists, tourists, and of course the crew, stay safe, healthy, and are rescued soon.
Go HERE to read more and keep up to date with the rescue mission. The Guardian newspaper has two staffers on board who seem to be doing a very good job updating the precarious situation.