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Old 27-07-2014, 01:26   #1
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Antarctica

It 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, 01:51   #2
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Re: Antarctica

First, the caveat:

I am not a high latitude sailor. But I HATE being cold. So hie yourself off to the best expedition outfitter, and make sure you have two sets of [used to be chlorofibre, but maybe something better now] thermal underwear, including socks and headgear. One to rinse out (occasionally) and one to use. One extra pair of very warm socks. Full weather gear">foul weather gear. It keeps the wind out so the thermals keep you warm. Outside the next-to-skin, you want expedition weight gear. It is expensive, but it should keep you warm. Now young Ben could be my son, he will warm more easily than an oldie. Not knowing your age, I do not have any idea how susceptible you are to the cold. But I suffered in 1990 in Auckland after 3 yrs. in the tropics, so if you get into overkill, you've overspent; if you're cold and miserable, you ooopsed.

Ann
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Old 27-07-2014, 02:07   #3
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Re: Antarctica

Sunscreen, I'm not kidding Jimbo...

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Old 27-07-2014, 03:20   #4
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Re: Antarctica

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Sunscreen, I'm not kidding Jimbo...

and baby wipes,that way you can have a wash without taking your clothes off
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Old 27-07-2014, 05:20   #5
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Re: Antarctica

Ann, sunblock is nessesary and also sunglasses , the ozone hole is very strong in TDF, heater, a simply diesel stove like Refleck, Dickinsons or Sigmas are the best due simplicity and no electrical consume or parts to fail.
We use Refleck and think is the best of all but is a personal opinion.
Cloth in layers, like an onion hehehehe, thermals like from Patagonia, North Face or the brand you like, but basic a first layer, then a soft polar flece then a thicker polar flece and then the weather oilskin.
Importan a good boots, we use Kamik from canada are ruber boots with internal insulation until 25 below cero centigrades, there are many brand to shop but find something water proof and with good insulation and comfortable to walk around also, there are great trecks to do.
Good water proof gloves.
I dont know if your friend boat have a internal steering , if that the case you not need to be very worry about clothing because you spent most of the time inside, but if is nessesary to be outside on a non pilot house boat the cloth is more important to be good.
Enjoy the trip, TDF and Antartica are a great crusing places.
I grow up in TDF.
Good luck
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Old 27-07-2014, 05:42   #6
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Re: Antarctica

In Wisconsin we have snow suits for ice fishing, some include flotation. Also get more than 1 pair of good boot socks and a pair feet warmer booties for the evening. Remember down is the warmest, if it is dry. I suggest Thinsolate lined clothing, think layers. Go to a hunting outfitter for most of this. At least two pair of good gloves with big mittens to put over them. Also a Thinsolate face mask.


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Pearson P385 out of Racine Wisconsin
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Old 27-07-2014, 06:28   #7
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Re: Antarctica

Thanks for the advice.

The boat does not have a true pilot house.
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Old 27-07-2014, 06:30   #8
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Re: Antarctica

Wish mine did...pls post pics...


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Old 27-07-2014, 06:44   #9
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Re: Antarctica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
It 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!
Hi Jimbo, very envious. Times change and so does technolodgy so amend as you see fit but this is I reccomend from my time down there, also worth PMing littlechay, who has spent much more time there than I have.

A) it's not really that cold in summer, often above zero, if you can cope with a winter in the northern US states you are well ahead. I am a big fan of the merino wool under clothes because they can go for weeks without getting too smelly. I also avoid to much down clothing and sleeping bags as it doesnt work when it's wet and is hard to dry. But a good quality down jacket is great for trips ashore, or cold days around the boat at anchor. Some sort of warm booties are good for inside as the floor can be very cold even if the cabin is warm. See my rambings on keeping extremities warm for my thoughts on gloves and boots. Separate neck warmers and beanies are more flexible than balaclavas.

B) proper immersion suits are ideal if you have to abandon ship, but limited use otherwise. If funds or space are limited I would go for a drysuit. I dived in a standard kayaking suit (with many layers underneith and lots of weights) to repair a rudder that had lost all teh heel bearing bolts. I must ahve been in the water for an hour or so and apart from my hands I was warm. You will need to add a wetsuit hoodie to stop a severe icecream headache though. The drysuit is also perfect for nasty weather at sea and dinghy work, and is not to bulky. have wet wx gear as well for ordinary weather. Its worth having a spare set of seals.

C) PLB's should work fine, but assistance is hit and miss, and they may not trigger the GeoSar sats so their might be a bigger delay than normal, there being no emergency sevices as such. Handheld VHF and satphones/satcomms might get help faster and can help you communicate with the mothership directly. But they are still reccomended adn I would now carry one on my lifejacket.

D) heaters, diesel drip heaters are great, no power and simple. The webasto type also work well, but draw quite a lot of power and dont have the same cosy feel. You can get by with nothing if you have decent insulation, or are hard enough... On snowpetrel I hardly used the heater to save fuel. On the other vessel we ran the drip heater 24/7 and the webasto at night in the forward cabin. A simple radiator off the main engine cooling would be great but is not needed.

E) I used cheap resusable chemical pads from kathmandu. You boiled them to reset them. Worked great for me, and a potential lifesaver for trips ashore. But they were normally used as reserves for a one off unthaw of hands. Generally we used hot water bottles. Before dropping the shore lines we sett up a few and put them under sleeping bags to keep them warm. If hands got too cold we could warm them up quickly. Hot drinks also work well!

F,G & H will follow, but gotta sleep, oh that reminds me, good curtins or those airline sleep masks because it's near 24 hour daylight, so watch the sleep. Very easy to stay up too late and get all out of sync.

Sent from my GT-P5210 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 27-07-2014, 07:51   #10
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Re: Antarctica

Thank you, Snowpetrel, for all the detail. The dry suit sounds like a great idea.

BTW I am an Aussie in his early 40s whose winter experience is limited to a couple of years in Chilean Patagonia.
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Old 27-07-2014, 09:12   #11
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Re: Antarctica

Jimbo is no exist such thing as Chilean Patagonia, there is Chilean Fjords or Chilean Tierra del Fuego.
Patagonia is a land extension betwin paralel 40 and Magellan Strait and from the Andes Range to the Atlantic
Is like if I said Argentinian Cape Horn! The Cape is totally in Chile!
And Patagonia is only in Argentina hehehe.
But for marketing reasons they use it
Enjoy your visit to the South of South America
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Old 27-07-2014, 09:49   #12
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Re: Antarctica

For dry weather nothing beats down. If you're going to be in wet weather, the above mentioned polys and fleeces are good, but if you can afford it, get some of this stuff;
Icebreaker Merino Clothing - Bivouac Online Store
Merino wool. Lots of warmth for a thin layer, doesn't 'stink' like the synthetics, not itchy like wool from back in the day. Only downside I've found so far is cost. Of course I'm buying it in Canada and it comes from NZ, so your price should be better.

Have a great trip,

goat.
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Old 27-07-2014, 10:35   #13
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Re: Antarctica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
It 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!
I have to ask this one question. WHY? I'm not being facetious and really we're just trying to understand. But of all the places in the world to go, don't grasp it, unless one is doing so for a job related or research purpose.

We just went to Alaska and it never reached 70 degrees and that was cold enough for us.

Is it the challenge? I don't see how it can be fun fighting the elements so.
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Old 27-07-2014, 11:29   #14
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Re: Antarctica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
It 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!



If you fall overboard then your only chance of survival is if the boat you fell off of recovers you fast.... So a PLB won't help. An AIS SART is s much better bet.

If your vessel sinks under you then, plb or not, your out of luck.

If your vessel is in tact but rendered immobile then a PLB "might" get you rescued (eventually) but it, if you gave time, it's always a better idea to call for a rescue via sat phone... and the only sat service that works consistently in high latitudes is Iridium.

In short i suggest... Bring a handheld Iridium first, then an AIS beacon, then an EPIRB.


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Old 27-07-2014, 14:34   #15
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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.



And Patagonia is only in Argentina hehehe.



Zeek a Patagonian Sailor

Haha, Zeek, I am not getting into that discussion but the inhabitants of Chile Chico reckoned we lived in Chilean Patagonia. I lived on the shores of Lago General Carrera but you might call it Lago Buenos Aires!
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