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Old 27-07-2014, 16:11   #16
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Re: Antarctica

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Originally Posted by Ypake View Post
Jimbo is no exist such thing as Chilean Patagonia, there is Chilean Fjords or Chilean Tierra del Fuego.
(snip)
It is true that Chileans have not used the expression Patagonia on their side of the Andes much for a few decades until recently but it is not new; see this book from 1841.
Historia de la Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Islas Malvinas - Wikisource

Most modern writing about the area also uses the word Patagonia to cover both sides of the Andes.
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Old 27-07-2014, 17:18   #17
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Re: Antarctica

I am just working back from greenland . . . .

I have all sorts of technical clothing on board but what I really actually wear is: carhartt thermal underwear (two sets of tops and bottoms), American giant heavy sweat suit (two sets), a Kokatat drysuit. mustang float pants and coat, a simple lightweight rain jacket, and a one piece insulated goretex snowmobile suit.

I have a full locker of hats and gloves. For hats I really use four - one is a simple knit watch cap and the cold weather one is a classic filsons Double Mackinaw Cap, with a silk balaclava added in really bitter conditions, in 'warm' weather I wear a standard nike ball cap (the best made ones I have found).

For gloves I wear a big pair of climbing mits for steering, with waterproof sealskinz inner gloves inside (for when I need more dexterity) and a pair of fleece lined commercial fishermen's gauntlet gloves for heavy duty line handling (shore lines).

Boat heaters - first you absolutely want a 'bus heater' - a radiator run off the engine cooling loop - that is tons of free dry heat when you have the motor on. Beyond that . . . there are really two options with big trade-offs between them. On Hawk we have the drip diesel Reflek - simple, reliable, no power consumption but a bit less convenient . . . On Silk we had the Espar - very convenient but less simple and reliable.

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
t looks like I might be sailing from Tierra del Fuego down to Antarctica in January 2016 on a mate's aluminium mono.
I would like to know from those who have sailed these waters before (Snowpetrel?), what they recommend in terms of:

a) clothing,
b) immersion suits,
c) PLBs for this southern area,
d) boat heaters,
e) personal chemical heat pads (such as those used by bikers),
f) anything else that a warm blooded tropical cruiser with very little high lat sailing experience should be aware of,
g) questions I should ask my mate in terms of boat prep,
h) the good places to visit and experience down there in the frozen continent.

Thanks for any pointers and advice you may have!
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Old 27-07-2014, 20:21   #18
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Re: Antarctica

Hi Evans, good to see you back on here, welcome back from Greenland And I look forward to hearing about it. Its going to be some time before I sail back to higher lats with a 13 month old son to care for... Some of that gear sounds good, hard to visualise, a photo or two woild be great. I used Polypro balaclava's under beanies and neckwarmers for the really cold stuff.

For the Op. The best thing you and your crew can do to prepare is spend some time in winter camping in Australia's alpone regions. Build a snowcave and igloo, sleep in them and test out all your cold wx gear. I did a lot of solo backcountry skiing and camping and my father and I built and stayed in a igloo up in Mt feild tasmania. A memorable night drinking port and telling stories, with a midnight ski under moonlight.

These will teach you alot about your clothing, and thermal management. Hands are critical, not overheating is also important, so zips are useful. A big down jacket is great for walking. As soon as you stop you chuck it on. Often when walking you end up in just a tee shirt to stop overheating, and as soon as you stop you freeze. Overheat and sweat and you will destroy the insulation in your clothes.

Most of the emergencies in the penisular will be shore survival, ie dinghy failure trapping you ashore in bad wx.

If you are on deep ice you are on crevasses.
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Old 27-07-2014, 20:42   #19
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Re: Antarctica

Boat prep. I wont go into the obvious heavy wx stuff. A dodger is good, and some protection at the helm is very useful. At the least a sort of windshield in front of the helm would be usefull, to keep the worst of the spray and wind off.

Shorelines, 4 by 100 meters would be fine, one on a reel is nice and the rest flaked into bags. At see the reel can hold the drogue.

Some sort of door rather than drop boards helps keep in heat. Even a canvas flap works.

Condensation is a big problem inside. Make sureyour bunk isnt under an aluminium hatch! Crude double glazing with twin wall polycarbonate sheets help. Some way to darken your cabin is also important, due to the 24 hour sun.

Two dinghys is critical for safety. You dont want crew trapped ashore if one gets dammaged. All shore parties need survival gear incase it all turns to custard.

Comms. Irridium with email for gribs. This is the best forcast you are going to get, if it shows 20-30 knots of NE in the bannana belt, run and hide because you'll get more like 40- 60 knots. Everbody seems to go to pirt lockroy, but It isnt the best place to be in a NE. Pm me just before you go and I might tell you my secret hidey hole... Watch the charter boats carefully, they know exactly where the best spots to anchor are but they probably wont tell you much, too busy and its all hard won secrets. Treat them with respect and they might open up. They all cooperate as far as access to the tighter spots. Ie if they want to raft up let them, or shift. Places like enterprize are busy so you will get them rafting a few deep. And vernadski is also crowded, so talk to the other boats so as not to block them in.
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Old 27-07-2014, 21:01   #20
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Re: Antarctica

If ya want to be really warm. start with silk long under-wear!! always silk next to skin then what ever ya want over that ! I still use Wool one piece long handles over silk ! And have sailed warm(or as close as is possible) from Alaska to around the Horn west to east, and have shiverd a little but never enough to talk about! Just my 2 cents but silk is warm and nice against your skin!
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Old 28-07-2014, 00:01   #21
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Re: Antarctica

Ha, got to start asking around for some of that silk underwear! Maybe some nice silk pyjamas... Good tip Bob, and it sounds like that horn trip was interesting, what sort of boat?
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Old 28-07-2014, 00:56   #22
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Re: Antarctica

Places. Never had a problem heading south, tuck into caleta Martial just north of the horn and wait for a good window. It's only about 4 days across, and the first is in the windy belt. The RCA has a great PDF cruising guide for antarctica, study that for places and specifics. First stop was Deception Island. The anchorages are all inside an old crator. Awesome place and still volcanic. There are hot springs on one of the beaches to the NE of the crator. On the western side is a set of small crators that offer the most "secure" anchorage. But the whole place is made up of volcanic ash and holding is very very poor. Shore lines offer the best security but there is a lack of big rocks to tie to. Early in the season fast ice can be a problem, and loose ice in the bay is a pain. The whole of the south shetlands is a wind funnel. Often it's blowing hard through deception and the sheltlands but a 100 miles south in the banana belt it's balmy and calm. Watch the gribs or you can get trapped in deception. If in doubt skip it and head south to enterprize island, the first secure anchorage on the way.

The banana belt runs from about enterprize through to vernadski south of lemaire. This area gets less wind and has reasonably secure anchorages.
Enterprize Island has the wreck of an old whaling ship, which you can tie up to. It is secure in all conditions and resonably free of ice movement. It makes the best place to rest after the drake, and is one of the few places in the north where good sleep is possible. Busy, a constant flow of vessels raft up, and then leave. Melt water can be collected here if needed.

Port Lockroy is another popular spot with the old brittish base being used as a visitor centre. The anchorage is large but has poor holding in most spots. The good ones will have charter boats guarding them. In the NE corner there are a series of sunken morane ridges at about 15m depth from memory. Use your sounder to drop the pick between them in the deeper water. Cross your fingers and do not attempt to set the anchor with any force because it will drag out of position. Let it settle for a while and with luck it will hold. This follows for everywhere in antarctica, maybe the next gen anchors do better than the old CQR, but holding is crap at best. Anchor watches are important, not only for anchors dragging but to fend of ice, or move if a bigger piece comes your way. Shorelines are a mixed blessing, making it much harder to leave and catching any ice that comes through.

Paradise Hbr is lovely, it can have lots of ice about, but well worth a visit. There is a good anchorage I call the hall of the mountian King because of the forboding atmosphere. It had a big serac overhanging the bay, if that dropped...

Palmer Station is interesting, best to aviod the station and anchor of the islands to teh west.lots of elephant seals on lichens make it different to the other anchorages. A fair bit of ice calves from the glaciers and a slight swell makes life interesting at times.

Lemaire is stunning. Just south lies petterman Islands, one of the best spots but the entry is very tricky through uncharted waters, you tuck up into one of a few rocky channels, the entrances are only 10m wide with underwater rocks. Scout it by dingy first. There is the possibility of being trapped by ice if it blocks the escape route! Got chased by a leopard seal while kayaking around the islets. Scary...

Vernadski Is the russian base to the south of Petterman Islands. Very secure, tucked into a series of "creeks" inside the island group. Shore lines are essential and it gets busy. I think there was about 7 yachts in there one day.

South of vernadski is pretty devoid of good secure anchorages and the ice is heavier, or so I am told. We didn't have time on our 24 day charters to get down there, but apparently it's pretty tough.

There are many other anchorages, but most of them are not very secure in any wind, or are exposed to Ice. In settled conditions you can really explore. I have left of the island group to the west of enterprize Is, cant remember it's name (edit melchior Islands). Often used instead of enterprise as a first point of arrival and departure. I stopped there once. Seemed OK tucked in the creek to the north.

Navigation is interesting with no reliable charts (as of 2007) all your datums are out so GPS is unreliable. We had lots of second trace returns causing the GPS to frequently jump a few 100 meters out and then jump back. The guy that taught me was a mountaineer so he taught me to recognise the mountains and navigate from them. Very easy to get lost if you arent paying attention.

Heading home is harder than heading south. The angle is worse, and cape horn is about five days away, so picking the window to get there is harder. Of the three trips I did down and back we had 2 good ones home, and one bad one. We normally left from palmer or the melchiors to get some more westing under our belt. Get westing when possible, because as you approach the horn the current sweeps you down then the NNW wind can make it very hard to lay the horn.. and its a big ocean to leeward.
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Old 28-07-2014, 01:07   #23
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Re: Antarctica

Boat setup: floors get cold. Maybe use those camping foam tiles that lock together to keep tootsies warm. Or some old carpet.

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Old 28-07-2014, 02:24   #24
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Re: Antarctica

Yep Jimbo thats right they use the name hahahahaha , Chile Chico, great trouts there excellent fiy fishing also on Los Antigos on the Argie side
Goat, Merino is also produce in Patagonia , i have a friend on Calafate who have a nice Merino Shop.
Summe 201, who knows Jimbo when you arrive to Port Williams or to Ushuaia maybe we are around.
Hope to see you then.
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Old 28-07-2014, 08:40   #25
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Re: Antarctica

I forgot footwear . . . .I use four:

For normally use just some running shoes and some light goretex hiking boots, for sea boots there is really only one best choice for polar regions - the dunlop Purofort Thermo+ (in international orange color), and in the cabin some mountain climbing down booties (or some sheepskin slippers).
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Old 28-07-2014, 17:56   #26
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Re: Antarctica

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I forgot footwear . . . .I use four:

For normally use just some running shoes and some light goretex hiking boots, for sea boots there is really only one best choice for polar regions - the dunlop Purofort Thermo+ (in international orange color), and in the cabin some mountain climbing down booties (or some sheepskin slippers).
+1 on the dunlop thermo+ boots authough I thing some of the decent neoprene boots like the muck boots can work ok. Or at least the guests with them didnt seem to have any problems. I also think the croc gumboots might make nice warm waterproof cabin boots, but havent tried them.

A big factor is dry socks. Rotate them often and hang them up to dry. If no heater you can sleep with damp ones in your bag loose. Always carry spare pairs ashore.

The Burke noeprene seaboots would work ok but they have the razor cut soles that dont work on snow and pick up grit and seeds. Gotta scrub footwear between sites to prevent nasties spreading so they would be awkward.
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Old 30-07-2014, 16:33   #27
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Re: Antarctica

This is all great info from those who have been down there and seen what works and what doesn't.

Thank you very much!


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Old 02-05-2017, 03:27   #28
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Re: Antarctica

to warm this thread up:
so your consensus seems to be: no "sailing oilskins", right?
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:01   #29
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Re: Antarctica

Id add that this year down south we were issued with muck boots as well as the big baffin boots. Most of the time I wore the muck boots and didn't really get cold feet, even after 4 or five hours in a alloy floored Inflatable in the wee hours of the morning, so Id have no problems recommending them for normal cruising in Antarctica. We had the Arctic Pro boots. I am not sure how their durablity conoares with the very tough dunlop thermo+ boots?
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Old 05-05-2017, 16:00   #30
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Re: Antarctica

^^ my wife preferred the muck boots and I preferred the dunlops - really came down to fit issues - she also felt the dunlops were 'sloppy' and not nimble, while I found the muck's more difficult to pull on and could just quickly slip into the dunlops.

I think the dunlops were clearly warmer by themsleves, but with right socks the muck's were fine.

Yea, as to normal oil skins - yea, I wear them in mid-latitudes, but really did not much in higher - used either a dry suit (with front zip) if it was wet, and a goretex snowmobile suit if it was really cold but not so wet, or just a light jacket if it was a nice day.
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