I was really thrilled to receive a comment on this blog so that I could write back! I would love it if anyone else out there reading and a comment or question for me...I am missing home a little, so it is good to have at least this one way to communicate with others!
This is the response I typed to Terry and Beth's question:
Greetings Terry and Beth;
(in an attempt to answer your request for a comparison of Antarctic/Arctic
Each has its perk. If you enjoy being relatively up close and comfortable
with polar bear, you'll likely get it here. If the ice caps, glacial
moraine, historical stories of melting and ice movement, capture your
interest, then this is the place to be. Also Greenlandic communities such
as Sisimiut, Ilulissat, Qeqertarsuaq and Kangerlussuaq, deep in the heart of
the fjords are steeped in Danish and native culture, reminiscent of the
past. The trip across the Davis Strait for us, this journey, was turbulent,
reminding me of many of the Drake Passage crossings to Antarctica. Then
there is the entire encounter with the native communities such as
Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, Victory Point (King William's Island), Fort Ross )a
former Hudson's Bay Co. trading post) and the Bellot strait
Antarctica, especially if you take the Falkland Is. and South Georgia
option, offers gigantic bergs, a plethora of ocean mammals and sea birds
beyond your imagination. I still have memories of the pods of humpback
whales just a bit ahead of our sea kayaks. South Georgia, home of over
200.000 king penguins is truly unbelievable. The humungous elephant seals
of the Falklands, with their burping and farting is so entertaining.
Historically both have perks: the Arcic with tales of Knud Ramassun,
Franklin, Amundsen, Scott, etc... as well as recent explorers, which are
related through our highly qualified staff who have authored several books,
or are descendants from the explorers bring our past to life. Visiting
Beachy Island, gravesite of some of Franklin's men, the ill-fated expedition
Then the Antarctic, with Shakleton's tales (and all other explorer's tales
as well), visiting his gravesite in Gritviken (I forget how to spell, and no
'google' out here), an old whaling station (only on South Georgia trip)...
etc... I could go on ... over tea one day!
If you google Sir Wally Herbert, it will give you a scope of the calibre of
speakers on board.. his daughter, Kari Herbert, is with us (also an author)
and last night gave a presentation about her mom and dad, and life
experiences. Wally was an exceptional artist as well; died in 2007; that's
only one of our 7 presenters on board each of similar exciting backgrounds.