Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia Photographic Special (Akadmik Sergey Vavilov) - Take 2

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Anyone from the 2015 trip doing the re-run this November?

Nope I'm an Antarctica virgin, so any advice gratefully received. Is this the "Paul" , guide and photographer ?  If so what photo gear do you recommend- lenses etc? Looking forward to meeting you and visiting a new continent.  

I'm based near Peterborough in uk, so anybody nearby to share transport?

many thanks, andy d

I was on the 2008 trip but unfortunately we never made it to the Antarctic Peninsula.  Having a second go!!

You can contact Paul the guide/photographer through the Exodus website.

Might see you at LHR.

 

Hi Dora, let's hope we make it there this time then, tho I have to confess being a bit worried about the trillion ton berg thats  recently cracked loose! Hoping that's not going to get in the way.  Really looking forward to this trip, antarctica has long been a feature on the bucket list.

was South Georgia... amazing wildlife!!  Those bergs should take quite some time to travel any distance.  

Hi Andy / Dora. No, im not THE Paul ;) but i can offer some advice on photo gear based on my previous trips - Im sure others will chip in with their thoughts as well.

I always take 2 camera [DSLR] bodies so i have a backup - i'd hate to have a camera fail and get no pictures but that me being OTT :)

If you want to do birds in flight and whales from the deck you'll want a decent telephoto - 200-300mm minimum (i used a 300mm last time and it wasnt really enough on some occasions, so this time it'll be a 500mm on a cropped sensor, equiv to 750mm).

A medium zoom (i used a 70-200) is very handy for zodiac trips in amongst penguins and 'bergs, beach scenes & landscapes.

I also used wide angle zooms for landscapes, shots on board etc.

A tripod is handy but mine was too heavy so i often didnt bother taking it ashore (Im getting a lighter ones for this trip).

Plenty of memory cards of course (think of a number and double it &/or take some way of backing them up). Likewise, a good suppy of batteries; they can struggle in the cold so have some spares to keep in an inside pocket.

Some people recommend lens protectors but unless your planning to take pictures from a zodiac going ashore in choppy waters I wouldnt bother as they just seem to fog up the lens. Zodiac cruises around the bays are usually much calmer.

Bear in mind baggage allowances. The international flights are OK but for the domestic Ushuaia-Buenos Aires flight its much lower. I've always got away with it but some people have had to pay excess charges. You can check all the details on the airlines web pages.

hi paul, thanks for the advice. Im just concious about taking too much gear, i think im going to struggle anyway with what i had planned to take, but that was pretty much what i was thinking. The trouble is trying to fit it all into hand luggage  and size restrictions, not to mention the weight of a sackfull of lenses. i dont really want to have to check in a hardcase and add still further weight. being a bit of a gear nut it soon gets out of hand. 

I'm very much an amature photographer.  I do have a full frame camera thou.  I'm taking a 70-200mm lens, 2x extender and a bridge camera.  I do have a 24-105mm & & 16-35.  Would you recommend me taking one of these Paul?

Is anyone going to Paul & Chris's "A Wild Night Out' on 14 Nov in Kensignton Town Hall?

 

Dora - If you can fit it in, I'd recommend taking the 16-35 wideangle for landscapes and icebergs. That, plus the x2 extender, then covers you all the way from 16-400mm :)

I will.  

Hi Paul

 

I was one of the passengers from the Nov 15 Trip, hoping that we get it right this time.

just excited to be going back again, any excuse for me.

Hi cg. welcome back. Seems pretty quiet on here compared to last time! Only 80 days to go :) And yes, lets hope for the full South Georgia this time.

Hi This is my first trip to Antarctica and I am going out a week early to see the Falklands. I gather a few others are too. Anyone on here?

Hi

Those that have been before on this vessel please can you tell me how warm it is on board please? I don't like being too warm so need to take some light clothing if necessary.

Thanks

Heather

Hi Heather,  I do find it warm on ship, and will walk about in just t-shirt and light trousers,i it helps, I live in london and have today been out in a tshirt, as I have not found it cold enough yet to start wearing a jumper for my daily commute.

As a general rule you tend to see men is shirts/tshirts, and the women will range from tshirts to light jumpers and then have a fleece close at hand in case there is something to see outside.

Daytime clothing that I am weraing now will be the same as when i am on the ship. hope that makes sense.

Christine

That's really helpful thanks Christine. I've been in tee shirt and boardies today - about 50 miles north of London so looks like we have similar attitude to temperature!

Heather

Erica and I are on this trip. Erica has wanted to visit Antarctica for a long time and as I am into photography it seemed the perfect trip to come on. We have been on a few Exodus trips so far and been very impressed. Great to get an email today saying that we should get 45 minutes in Port Stanley to take some photos before we board the ship. We wanted to get chance to see a little of the Falklands and like a few others on this forum looked into going earlier to get the chance. Due to work commitments we could not come a week earlier so will make the most of the 45 minutes. We are going to the Chris Packham and Paul Goldstein talk at the Buxton Opera House on 9th November. Is anybody else on the trip going on this? 

Yes - I'm lucky to be able to go a week early and spend time in the Falklands - but it does mean I miss the talks! Really looking forward to the trip and meeting everyone.

Heather

On the 2015 trip it took absolutely ages to get our hold luggage and go through customs at Mt Pleasant airport (the word 'chaotic' springs to mind!), so had barely enough time in Stanley to walk along the seafront, have a quick look at the church and grab a few cards and souvenirs in the shop.

The trip from Mt Pleasant airport itself takes over an hour and we had an excellant running commentary from the guide en route covering the history, geology, economy and politics of the island. And they gave us a picnic bag with sandwiches, snacks and drinks for the journey!

Hi, just another point of view about Stanley, the airport is not an international or even national airport, it is an RAF base, and not set up to reveive commercial airlines, although they do once a week, the arrival hall, is probably the smallest that you will ever see, and therefore when we all arrive with our large hand luggabe bags - due to camera equipment, and then we have the process of going through the controls that they have in place it does seem strange.  BUT they do the best they can under the circumstances, and get us out as soon as possible, I would recommend that even if you are a group, if you have your baggage and been trhough controls make your way out of the room to make it easier for others.

 

We still managed to get time in Stanley itself, not enough to visit the museum, but if you make a frogmarch you can get to the 1982 memorial. and the shops will love to welcome you.

There are a couple of souvenir shops, for those of you that won't last the two weeeks without shopping, and there is even a supermarket for the last round of items that you have forgotton.

You may get the chance to poke your head around the catherdral as well, but it will only be a short time. 

Heather, Like you Andy and I are making our first trip to Antartica and are going out to the Falklands a week early. I understand there are around a dozen of us.  It would be nice to meet up at Heathrow or in Santiago.

Hi Gill  I am flying out of terminal 5 at 22.00 - is that the flight you and Andy are on? I am then (at Exodus's suggestion) staying overnight in Santiago at the Holiday Inn  beside the terminal. On arrival I am staying the first 2 nights in Stanley whereas it seems most people fly straight on to somewhere else in the Falklands. Heather

Hi Heather, Yes same flight and Santiago hotel, but we're spending our LAST two nights in Stanley. We spend the first night in Darwin before flying to Sea Lion Island for two nights.  Are you travelling alone?  Gill.

Gill

I'm doing 2 nights Stanley - to see Remembrance parade on Sunday - 2 nights Darwin House, 2 nights Saunders Island then back to Stanley for final night. Yes I'm on my own - unless any of my friends do actually manage to squeeze into my bag! Really looking forward to it.

Heather

Sounds good Heather.  Let's aim to meet up in Santiago and again for our last night in Stanley.  We could also meet at Heathrow T5 - if we're able to recognise each other!

For once I will actually be using my black Exodus rather than Explore kit bag. It's easy to squash away somewhere in the cabin. It'll have a pink/purple strap round it. So I'll be identifiable before check in and after baggage reclaim! Will probably be wearing my walking boots - another give away. See you somewhere! 

Hi Heather, just seeing your comment, it is worth letting you know that once you are on the Vavilov, they let you unpack your cases, and then they collect them all from us and store them in the lower decks, out of the way. It will save you having to worry about trying to fold it up etc..

Hope that helps.  Enjoy the falkands, and don't forget to find the gardens with the gnomes!

Heather. I'll be wearing grey trousers and a green check shirt, Andy is 6'3" tall.  Before check-in and after baggage reclaim, you can spot us by a red North Face holdhall and black with red trim Northern Diver wheeled holdhall.

I have a question for anyone who's been on Vavilov before. I know there's a full laundry service  available, but how easy is it to wash and drip-dry in your own cabin and semi-private bathroom? We have a number of items that wash very easily and drip-dry quickly, providing there's somewhere to hang them.

cg.moo  Oh yes I do remember reading about baggage being taken away for storage - thanks for reminding me. Also gnomes!

Gill - Thanks for info and I'll be interested in answer to your question too - would be funny if we are sharing the same bathroom! In which case we only have one other to agree to hanging stuff in bathroom.

Heather - there was a front garden in Stanley where Gnomes rule the roost, and cover the garden - if you google falklnad island gnomes you will see images of it, when I saw it there was not much grass as the gnomes took over.

In realtion to bathroom, -if you are semi private then the bathroom/shower room, is not really large enough to hang the washing and you will have the other cabin that is sharing the facilities so have found that nothing really gets left in there. but in your rooms you may find some warmth near the fridges - so ideal place to place the small items for drying.

cg

Are you serious? A fridge in our cabin?  I'm looking forward to meeting all those gnomes and I can see that if I am passing the garden I won't miss them.

Heather - the be fair, in the various times I have been on board, I have not yet found a use for it as a fridge, but certianly in the semi private rooms where it is located in the wardrobe/drawer unit it does great and warming up clothes.

cg

I will actually use a fridge if it's there - I need insulin and my travel cool packs are not as good as a real fridge. But cooling the G&T - I'll leave that to the bar!

Heather

Can anyone tell if we need cash for the crew tip at the end of the trip or can it be paid by card?

Gill

Page 9 of the One Ocean preparing for your voyage says it can be added to your account and paid by credit card. I remembered that because it will make budgetting so much easier!

I'm travelling alone from Norfolk. Anybody nearby wh would like to meet up?

Hi Jon

I am travelling alone but going out a week early to travel round the Falklands. Leving Thursday 9th. For nearly 35 years I have split my time between Cambridge and the north Norfolk coast and am in the process of moving full time to Norfolk. Interrupting the move for a month south!

Heather

That’s great. lucky you. Let me have a contact number to [email protected]. Would love to talk about what gear to take!

Hi Gill

Now I'm actually packing I have figured out what I'm wearing for travelling. Will be in an orange and black dress (I get hot on planes!) and have walking boots and flight socks on. You probably won't want to admit you have anything to do with me!

Heather

Haha!!  We'll look out for you Heather.  We intend to get to T5 very early.

Gill

My coach is supposed to get in at 16.10. Early yes but coach has been held up for many hours in the past and National Express say allow an extra 3 hours if travelling to an airport so I do and have not yet been late! I'll be in the bar for some of the waiting time!

Heather

Heather,

We've booked a taxi for 3pm. Barring problems on the M4, the journey should take a little over an hour, so we MAY arrive at around the same time!

Gill.

hi jon, I'm travelling down from peterborough, whereabouts in norfolk are you? i'm going on the 16th.

Can we ask a favour of the group who are travelling out to the Falkland Islands a week early. One of Erica's friends would like a Falkland Island 50 pence piece. Would you be able to get one for us, in case we do not get any time in Port Stanley when we arrive. We will of course reimburse you when we meet up on the ship.

Many thanks in advance.

Hi

I'll try and remember to keep a 50p piece for your friend but if someone else/you also get one I'm happy to keep mine!

Heather

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