Antarctica November 2012

Famous for its enormous icebergs, towering glaciers and shimmering summer light, Antarctica offers some of the planet's most awe inspiring landscapes. The North Atlantic and Arctic evoke images of sparse snow covered lands, but when summer comes it bursts with colour and life.

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Antarctica November 2012

Postby minky whale » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:29 pm

Hi I am going to Antarctica in November this year and I am going alone. It will be an adventure of a lifetime for me and I wondered if there was anyone on this site that can give me some ideas and tips on what to take with me. Camera etc., I would be grateful of any help given.

Look forward to hearing from anyone

Maureen :D
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby limerigger » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:42 pm

Hi Minky Whale. I am visiting Antarctica in 8 weeks time and will be more than happy to let you know what equipment I take and how it performed.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby PaulTeolis » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:17 pm

hi maureen,
i have photographed twice now in antarctica with G adventure, once as an expedition photographer for them.

My camera gear list is pretty simple. I usually have 2 camera bodies on hand, one as a back up
in the event of technical problems. I prefer my ultra wide angle lens, 16-35 and have a zoom 70-200, both f2.8. I carry a 2x converter with me for wild life shots which were fine, but because of the proximity to wildlife, I only used it sparingly.

Lots of memory cards as well, as you will shoot way more than you expect. Batteries as well.
Most of my storage was in my laptop and external drives.

I have solid camera bag, but also brought dry bag to put gear in for protection against water and snow.

I don't expect you to carry as much gear as I did, but bring what you are comfortable. A chamois as well to dry off cameras and lenses. UV and polarizer filters are a good choice.
Blower brush and such for cleaning.

I have weather jackets for my cameras as well to protect them from the elements. Freezer bags work equally well.

let me know what else I can pass on to you.

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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:41 pm

I took my trip Nov 2010 (first sail of the season).

I took an 18-270mm lens as my general all-purpose lens and a 100-400 mm zoom (with 2x Extender when desired). The 100-400 mm was a popular lens -- I think I saw at least a dozen of those floating around. In fact, the 100-400 makes a good all-round lens for most of the landings but hampers you for the landscape or close-up shots.

One thing you may want to think about having is a rain protector like the Op/Tech Rainsleeve: http://www.amazon.com/OP-TECH-USA-9001142-Rainsleeve-Flash/dp/B002TI71HQ. Take a couple micro-fiber lens-cleaning cloths; I had one day where the falling snow gave me fogging problems with my UV filter and lens but it helped having a cloth on me at all times.

Having the 400-800mm range was great for shooting some of the birds and distant wildlife but most of my pictures were taken with the 18-270.

I took about 3600 pictures on my trip. I wish I'd used RAW format more than I did but I still ended up using over 100 GB since my camera is 18 MP and typically uses 5-6 MB per JPEG.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby minky whale » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Hi Thanks for your responses. I really would like to know what to take with me. I have done a little research and know of some basics I need to bring but if anyone has first hand experience after a trip I would be very grateful if they would share this with me. As said. I am travelling alone in November and prefer to just bring what is necessary rather than have over loaded luggage. In addition. Does anyone know other than the online shop where I can purchase a Canada Goose Parka from? Again any suggestions would be good. There are some dodgy internet sites out there which claim to sell good ones but would prefer it from someone off here who knows?!



Look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby PaulTeolis » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:05 pm

A good pair of boots. Wellingtons or something that goes just below the knees
so you are dry during wet landings, where you might have to step in the water.

I have rented these twice before in Ushuaia at the location below, contact them first
as prices and services change.
Ushuaia Turismo:
Dirección: Gobernador Paz N° 865, Ushuaia
E-mail: ushuaiaturismo@speedy.com.ar

Layer like crazy, extra mitts, socks, hats etc.
Remember we are not talking sub zero temperatures here, the temperature
is hovering around 0 most of the time.

A good winter jacket and waterproof snow pants are perfect.

have fun
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:09 am

G Adventures provides the Wellingtons now if you're a standard size (i.e., between about 9 and 13 for men, forget what sizes for women). You can buy the Canada Goose jacket in the Expedition's gift shop when you board. They usually open the gift shop for an hour the first night and then it's open sporadically through the voyage.

Windproof microfiber shells are great -- in fact, any ski gear is just about perfect. I found that I worked up a bit of a sweat on the November voyage because we were creating paths through the snow on our landfalls. I usually had my parka half-unzipped (and this was after I ditched the sweater and started just wearing a tee-shirt and slight microfiber shirt under the parka/fleece liner).

I found my ski pants were perfect because there was a section that went inside my boots and then the outer shell came down over the top of the boots so it was very difficult for any water to get in my boot. Make sure you have good warm socks -- I wore a double layer of wool socks and my feet were toasty all the time.

I used a thick ski glove on my left hand and a thin glove on my right hand (when I wore anything on the right hand) so I could take pictures more easily.

Take polarized sunglasses -- you'll want them as the sun glints off the snow and ice. A CP filter for your camera is nice too but not essential. I found it was often more trouble than it was worth.

Oh yes, take your swimsuit. I'm not kidding.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby shotworldwide » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:09 am

I was lucky to visit Antarctica three times in two months (in January & February) and I was surprised that it wasn't so cold as I expected. One day we got +16 degrees of Celsius. If you will go there via cruise ship, you should be OK. Regards, Filip
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby slaterka » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:51 pm

I went on the Antarctica classic in depth in Nov/Dec 2011. It was without a doubt the best thing I have EVER done, you won't be disappointed.

The shop onboard is open after every meal for at least 1/2 an hour. The jacket they sell there is really nice, everyone who bought one was really happy.

Some really important things to take. Sunblock! Even if it's overcast you can get burnt very easily. Don't forget something for your lips too. Also, moisturiser for your face, neck, hands etc. It's really dry in Antarctica. Some good sunglasses. The glare in Antarctica hurts your eyes without them and you will get some sort of snowblindness without them.

Bring some detergent to wash your socks, it$1 per pair to get them cleaned.

Personally I was too hot all the time but that's probably just me. Normal outdoor trousers (combats) with some waterproof trousers on top will be fine (they won't let you in the zodiac without waterproof trousers), on top - layers, long sleeve (not cotton) t-shirt, some sort of fleece and a jacket. A hat is esential and some good gloves).

Don't worry about what to take too much, everyone is in the same boat (no pun intended). When I went it was surprising the amount of people travelling alone and everyone is so friendly, you won't be sat on your own. The crew are awesome too, you'll see!!!

Keith.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby jamestravels » Wed May 02, 2012 1:58 am

im also going on antarctic classic in depth in nov/dec 2012 so im sure we will be meeting. im doing alot of research and planning on what to bring also. i did cape town to nairobi in africa last year nov 2011 and i planned it pretty well. this trip will be complete oposite
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby tletter » Wed May 02, 2012 7:59 am

slaterka wrote:they won't let you in the zodiac without waterproof trousers

Never heard this mentioned once during our 18 days aboard. Apart from the PFD, what we wore was up to us. Waterproof trousers were only worthwhile if the sea was rough.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby giskard » Wed May 02, 2012 1:37 pm

tletter wrote:
slaterka wrote:they won't let you in the zodiac without waterproof trousers

Never heard this mentioned once during our 18 days aboard. Apart from the PFD, what we wore was up to us. Waterproof trousers were only worthwhile if the sea was rough.


They told us this at our first briefing too; no ride on a zodiac without waterproof pants. It is a slight risk to go out without them, because if you do get wet (because of rough seas or because a difficult landing or, for example, if you slip while getting on/off), the very cold could in theory cause hypothermia.

I'm not sure whether anyone ever tried to go out without waterproof pants or if they actually actively enforce the rule, but it seems like a sensible rule to stick to.
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Re: Antarctica November 2012

Postby ello » Fri May 11, 2012 2:09 pm

Hi Maureen. congratulations on booking your trip to Antarctica. We loved the service and accomodations on the m/s expedition and the staff were sooo much fun! We have booked another trip, this time to the Arctic, we liked it so much. We sailed in April 2011- the 13th trip of the season- and one of the very best crossings and landings ever, according to the staff :) The weather was fantastic but i was still glad i had the Canada Goose down jacket on the crossing. It could be quite cold on deck with the wind. Rain pants were a must. Not so much for the zodiak rides but for the PENGUIN POO! Nasty stuff to get off otherwise. They also cut the wind on shore and kept the water out of the top of your boots on the landings. Thermals, lots of socks and a good wicking base layer is good to have as well. I took 3 pair of water resistant gloves and used them all. Otherwise, bring your sense of adventure and be prepared to have fun..because this is the trip of a lifetime! It is the most surreal feeling to find yourself in that amazing,amazing place. I actually cried a few times I was so awed by it!!! I wish you many, many happy travels.
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