Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hello, this is your captain speaking…

Please fasten your seatbelts
as we prepare for our descent
into the last of our Antarctic blog posts.

Please enjoy your penguins and seals as after this we will be sailing into warmer Summerhood Island weather.

We have enjoyed our stint as your tour guides.
 Feel free to contact us with requests for autographs or personalized pictures.  
And we thank you for your interest.

After South Georgia, we had two days at sea filled with lectures on Penguins, who governs Antarctica and how do we do science there, an amazing tour of the bridge,
and lectures on the do's and don'ts to follow when actually setting foot on the Antarctic continent.  After years of various countries on various bases crapping up a huge area around them with waste there are finally rules in place to try and take care of what's left of this pristine continent.

Our first stop is Deception Bay.  After a precarious threading through narrow
the captain brings us into a harbor surrounded by a volcanic crater.

We were only on the island about an hour, but in that time this frozen area thawed into a running stream.

Next up was Pendulum Bay, home of the famous geothermal spring.  If we were brave enough, they said, we could swim.  Swim.  In Antarctica.  I had visions of a lovely deep thermal hot tub pool.
nina getting ready to undress
Not quite.  But I did it anyway, and I have a certificate to prove how stupid I am.

yes, it was warm. but only for about 6 feet from the shore. then the chill of the air and ocean overcame the heat from the sand. you can't see it in these photos but there was ice floating in the water about ten feet out from us. 

And then we're done with islands, and actually setting foot on the coast.  Chinstrap

and Adelie penguins,
you lookin' at me?
some serious snow climbing

up to see rookeries
yes, that's all penguin poop.
and not so serious snow sliding back down.
nina follows our new tour guide
And the zodiac trip around all of the icebergs and ice shelves,

touching an iceberg
threading our way through
complete with wildlife
leopard seal

waddel  seal
one lonely chinstrap catches a ride
and a champagne toast.

This trip was not on my bucket list.  It was my bucket list.  And it was everything I had imagined
and so much more.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Apparently you have to . . .

Actually post a blog post. Just because you send something to a group of people on Facebook, and then make up a blog, this does not mean it automatically appears. You still have to do the actual posting. Or it just sits there.  Who knew?

Okay ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and any assorted animals that know how to type,

(I have trouble reading animal handwriting) it’s time for a contest.  We haven’t had a contest in quite a while, and the exciting part about this one is that although you might have to do a bit more work than just think up the name of an island, there are many more chances to win.
Here’s how it works: you send me the names and addresses or emails of at least three elementary or middle school librarians
or the children’s librarians at your local library.  
I put your name in the hat
for chance to win an autographed, personalized copy of Coyote Summer. 
Every time I get ten entries I’ll have a drawing.  So you have a one in ten chance of winning.  When I get to ten I will start over again but your name will still be in the hat if you didn’t win the first time.  So you have another chance when I hit twenty entries.  And of course if you want to send me three more names I’ll enter you again.  That can really ramp up your chances of winning.
Of course you can win my undying love and affection by sending me the name of a librarian or middle school teacher that you know personally, and allow me to contact them using your name.  It doesn’t matter if any of the leads pan out or not, you still get entered in the drawing.
So get started, people!  Get out those online phone books.  Get out those paper phone books, if you still have one of those. 

Call up your child’s school and asked who buys the books.

This is either called personalized marketing,
using your friends and relatives,
or pandering to me so I will stop annoying you. 
 Or all three. Whatever works.