Pete's FotoPage

By: Pete Kozup

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Monday, 10-Mar-2008 15:07 Email | Share | | Bookmark
My favorite photos

First prize in the photo competition--Reflections
Black, white, and just a little bit of red
Cold and fractured rocks
View all 26 photos...
Well, you've had the chance to view photos of my wonderful adventure to Antarctica in March, 2008. It was a great trip, and I enjoyed it immensely. I am very aware that other peoples' trips can be very boring to everyone else, and I've tried to make the presentation interesting. I've tried to organize the photos in a manner that makes sense and makes the trip easier to follow. This will be the last page for the trip, and on this page I have selected some of my favorite photos to show you. I should point out that I did not take all of these photos myself, while some are mine, others are from the collection of my son Christopher, while others were from the photograph competition that people on the Orlova submitted. If you've enjoyed the photos please let me know either by commenting here, or by emailing me at peterkozup@yahoo.com. I hope that you, too, will have the chance someday to take the trip of your lifetime and that you'll post your photos so that the rest of us will have the chance to view them. Thanks for looking at them, and keep happy, enjoy your life!!


Sunday, 9-Mar-2008 03:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Glaciers and Sea Ice

The first iceberg we sited, in Drake's Passage heading south
Icebergs in the making--glacier at Paradise Bay
A blue iceberg--Paradise Bay
View all 15 photos...
We saw sea ice throughout the trip. We spotted our first icebergs on the second day out from Ushuaia and from then on we were amidst icebergs and their smaller relations, known as "Bergy-Bits", constantly. We often would go out among the icebergs in our zodiacs, and they were truly magnificent. We were careful, though, because they can roll over and under one of these is not where any of us wanted to be.
There are supposed to be something like 400 glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula, and we saw many of them. Most of the glaciers we saw were smaller, but they were the source for the sea ice, icebergs and bergy-bits that we saw. Glaciers, of course, are moving sheets of ice which begin higher up in the mountains and, as more snow falls upon it higher up, their increasing weight gradually moves them down the mountain until they break apart into icebergs at the lower ocean level.
We saw icebergs of many different colors, and we learned that the bluer the iceberg is the more air it contains. Some that we saw were very blue.
The photos in this section, as in the previous ones, were taken by me, and by my son Christopher as well as others on the trip. Enjoy them!!


Friday, 7-Mar-2008 02:36 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Other wildlife

Sheathbill and gentoo penguin
Brown Skua and gentoo penguin
Wandering Albatross following the boat south
View all 14 photos...
If you've been following this blog you now have seen penguins!! This set of photos will show other types of wildlife. Antarctica is the toughest place in the world for animal life to survive. There is little in the way of plant life for them to eat, the land temperatures fall so low during the winter that almost all animals rely on the ocean waters for food. There is only one land-based bird that lives in Antarctica, the Sheathbill. The Sheathbill is usually found living among penguins where it lives on anything it can find, including carrion, food stolen from penguin chicks, and penguin guano. All other forms of animal life found in Antarctica rely on the sea fot their food. We saw numerous sea birds, including skuas, large brown birds which feed upon krill and fish from ocean waters, but also act as predators, feeding upon penguin chicks and carrion. In addition, we saw numerous other types of birds, including albatrosses, gulls, petrels, and cormorants.
Mammal life in Antarctica is strictly limited, and all mammals rely upon the sea for food. On our visit to the continent we observed three different kinds of seals, the fur seal, the crabeater seal (which doesn't eat crabs!), and the leopard seal. The crabeater and Antarctic fur seal are normally krill eaters, though fur seals will soemtimes eat fish too. We also saw whales, including humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales. A few people on the tour saw a dolphin, though I did not.
Enjoy the photos of non-penguin Antarctic wildlife.


Thursday, 6-Mar-2008 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Penguins

Gentoo Penguin admiring my red teddy bear
Closeup of a Gentoo penguin
Gentoos watching fur seal land--fur seals do not eat penguins
View all 16 photos...
Did we see penguins on our trip? We saw penguins, more penguins, and additional penguins on top of those!! We lay with penguins, we walked amongst them, we sat with them, we gave them a place to rest, some of us, I'm sure, even spoke with penguins. We admired their odor, we were surprised at the symmetry in which they expelled their guano, we laughed at the way they ran, were thrilled at the sight of a group of penguins swimming after fish, and we sat in sorrow watching and hoping as a young penguin tried desperately but futilely to escape the clutches of a giant Leopard Seal that played with his dinner like a cat plays with a mouse.
Altogether we saw six different kinds of penguins -- gentoos, adelies, chinstraps, King, macaroni, and Magellanic. Some we saw in colonies of hundreds, others we saw only as individuals.
And, so that you don't feel too bad for the loss of a young penguin to a leopard seal, remember that a fish looks at them indifferently, he doesn't care whether the leopard seal starves or the penguin gets eaten, he is, after all, food to both of them, and a penguin, to the fish, is a killing machine!!
Enjoy the photos.


Wednesday, 5-Mar-2008 19:13 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Marathon (well, Half-Marathon!!)

All ladies and half-marathon men started first--I'm in orange
We're off! I'm on the far side in the orange jacket
Heading east towards the glacier with Orlova on the bay
View all 17 photos...
Almost every passenger on the Orlova was there because of the Antarctic Marathon, put on by Marathon Tours (www.marathontours.com). Some runners brought family members, some of whom ran and others watched. We were all totally focused on the marathon on the morning of 5 March, 2008, marathon-day. The race began at the Russian base Bellinghausen on King George Island in the South Shetland archipelago (which is part of the continent of Antarctica, just in case you wondered!!), went eastward for about 3.5 miles or so, along a track through the Uruguayan base, onto a rocky beach and up to a large glacier. The run continued up the glacier for about 3/4 of a mile or so where runners turned around and followed the same track back to Bellinghausen and then continued on through the Chilean base to the base known as "The Great Wall" which, surprise, surprise, was Chinese. We then turned around and ran the same track back to Bellinghausen where those doing the half-marathon finished, having run their 13.1 miles or so (20+ km). Those who did the full marathon had to, guess what, do it all again.
The run was difficult, being mud, rocks, and ice, and very hilly all along the way. The hardest part for most of us was the glacier because it was hard slippery ice interspersed with rough spots and some rocky areas. We were told by the tour organizers that we wouldn't need our "yak trax" and that was really stupid advice because most of us left them behind and suffered because of it. Many fell and rumor has it that a few had injuries that were serious.
Having said all that I should add that the winner, Robert Cielinski from Poland, did not use any special equipment on his feet, and broke the old record by half an hour!! Some people are unstoppable.
There were a total of 178 finishers in the two races, 128 in the full marathon and 50 in the half-marathon. I finished 47th in the half-marathon while Christopher finished 48th in the full marathon.
Anyhow, enjoy the photos.


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