Sunday, December 10, 2006

Logbook: Check The Map

Checkthemap_2For those of you who haven’t checked the Voyage of Macgellan Map in a while, now is a good time to do so. After several days of pretty intensive “back-and-forth” with people all over the world -- have I mentioned how much I love and rely on Skype! -- logistical plans for the next four months of The Voyage are pretty well firmed up. Here’s an overview: On January 3rd, I will embark from Puerto Limon, Costa Rica on the MV Discovery for a 33 day cruise that will transit the Panama Canal, explore the Galapagos Islands, make brief stops at various ports in Equador, Peru and Chile, then cruise the western side of the Weddell Peninsula in Antarctica -- making landings as conditions permit -- and end up in Ushuaia, Argentina on Febrary 6th. I will then have almost 3 weeks in Ushuaia to explore Tierra del Fuego before boarding the MV Polar Star on February 26th for a 19 day cruise that will make a circuit of the eastern side of the Weddell Peninsula -- again, making landings as conditions permit -- then continue on to the South Orkney Islands, South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands before returning to Ushuaia on March 16th. I will remain on board with the crew of the MV Polar Star while they “reposition” the ship to Salvador, Brazil to begin the next leg of our journey on March 29th. Our 18 day Atlantic crossing will include stopping at the volcanic islands of Fernando de Noronha, crossing the Equator and visiting St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks, exploring Cape Verde and continuing on to the Canary Islands for an April 15th arrival. Whew!

I am very excited about this itinerary and am already looking forward to it with great anticipation. After traversing the North American continent strictly by means of land travel for about four months, I will spend the next four months circumnavigating the South American continent by sea! To me, one of the advantages of this seagoing itinerary is that all of my “travel logistics” will be handled in advance. The time and effort I have thus far been putting into arranging transport -- trains, buses, etc. -- can be used for purely exploration purposes. Considering the fabulous environs through which I will be traveling, I expect to be able to share some amazing media with you. The only downside that I can imagine at this point is that internet connection may not be as ubiquitous or reliable as it has been so far. The ships may or may not have some kind of internet facilities, but at a minimum I will have various times ashore to make connection and update this site.

Fear not, fellow Voyagers, for I shall not fail you! You can look forward to plenty more great stuff from The Voyage of Macgellan! (PS - If you are curious about what I am going to do between now and January 3rd, I must inform you that I have no idea at the moment. I’ve been putting all my energy into the arrangements outlined above and haven’t given the next few weeks much thought. Among the possibilities I have thought of are: 1) actually taking some Spanish lessons to augment what I’ve “learned on the street”, 2) going back up to Nicaragua to do a river trip that Parole -- remember him from Managua? -- told me about, 3) exploring the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and 4) seeing if I can do some kind of work around San Jose. Anything is possible, of course, and I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out! Stay tuned!)

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