Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Retrasos Argentinos

Arriving early at the Ushuaia airport to deal with my excess luggage I learn that my 16:10 flight to Buenos Aires AEP is delayed. It now leaves 15:15; an hour EARLIER !

Moreover a big confusion over if I need to collect my checked luggage at AEP for the planned bus ride to the other airport EZE. My flight now is directly to EZE. No need to change airports and luggage checked through to Amsterdam.

Finally I start digging up my credit card for the excess luggage charges. Only to be handed over my boarding pass and she wishes me a good flight...

Now I am left with 825 pesos, about 50 euros, not needing any of it as it looks. After final checking in at Buenos Aires I will be looking for a nice dinner. So far I think Argentinia deals very nicely with 'delays'.


I am packed-up and ready to leave Ushuaia. I stayed at the Aonikenk Hostel. A short uphill hike from the town centre, overlooking the harbour and marina. Good basic accomodation with excellent internet.

The month at sea is only slowly leaving my 'system'. This morning I tried to have the kitchen tap water run by tapping my left foot on the floor. The sink water on-board was foot-operated...

Yesterday I tried to 'organize' the various posts that Justine published on her blog, Facebook and the Spirits' blog and link to them on my Facebook. Glitches in the on-board satellite e-mail system made for sketchy publishing. Justine superbly wrote about our Antarctic adventure.

I continued on further weeding-out the 6600+ pictures I currently have on my computer; Donna's and Jay's still to come... I came across this zoomed picture that Justine took of me taking a picture of a Crabeater seal; as if it saying Hi!

At the start we took wide berths of all seals. Paddling through ever denser iceflows we inevitable passed closer-by. The Crabeater seals in particular are not disturbed whatsoever by our presence; only rarely looking up, do some scratching and lying their heads back on the ice, eyes closed. Never taking to the water.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Back in Ushuaia

We are back in Ushuaia after a month and 16 paddling days on the Antarctic Peninsula. The return voyage, crossing of Drakes Passage on the Spirit of Sydney, was very rough with two passing force 10+ storms (60 knots and 10 meter seas).

The picture is of our overnight camping at Booth Island. More stories and pictures to follow at some time.

A big thank you to our Captain "Zeek" and Santi for crewing the incredible Spirit of Sydney and navigating her and us safely to Antarctica and back and all the support they gave to our kayaking logistics and the many nice meals they cooked for us.

Justine led the group 'Expedition Style' and no one was complaining that we sometimes had our first stop and lunch only at 3 PM. There are not too many landing spots on this continent that is crushed by heavy glaciation. Ice, ice, ice, everywhere. Thank you Gry, Donna, Jay, Lonan and David for the great company on board and on the water.

Justine is possibly planning another trip to Antarctica in 2019. Very highly recommended!