Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-10-2009, 18:24   #1
Registered User
 
PilotJesse's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Boat: To Be Announced
Posts: 26
Antarctica

Have any of you ventured to this southern destination? What I'm looking at are the feasible areas to visit. I know the Antarctic Peninsula is the easiest to access, and is hence the area most visited by tourists. But what I'm more interested in is the area around Commonwealth Bay in remote Eastern Antarctica. I can't seem to find a whole lot of information on this area. It's regarded as the windiest place on earth (winds of 150+), which isn't exactly a high selling point when you're on a sailboat. But I've found various vessels who do sail there, so it is doable. What I want to know is, how the conditions there vary throughout the year. When is the best window of time to get in? Are there other, more feasible spots to make landfall?
__________________

__________________
PilotJesse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 18:30   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Boat: All kinds of 'em, from 9' dinks to 100+' motoryachts, power or sail...
Posts: 89
Send a message via Yahoo to robw_fl
150+ winds? I think just about anyplace on the earth would be a more feasible landfall Just kidding...good luck - this all sounds pretty ambitious. I would talk directly to captains, crew and those few that have actually sailed there and know the area well... And probably no one else.

Rob
__________________

__________________
USCG Lic. Capt. Rob Welling
Professional Delivery Captain
robw_fl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 18:37   #3
Registered User
 
PilotJesse's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Boat: To Be Announced
Posts: 26
I wish I could say I was headed that way now, but I don't have a vessel capable of that kind of voyage at the moment. It's more of a down-the-road idea. I'm also working on a book (a present for my fiance... about sailing... it kind of jumps ahead a few years from now and shows us getting our dream boat and heading off on our great adventure!). But Antarctica IS truly one place I would love to sail to. To see animals, such as the Emperor Penguin, in their natural antarctic habitat would just be truly an amazing experience. The challenge of it all is just too irresistible.
__________________
PilotJesse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 18:43   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Boat: All kinds of 'em, from 9' dinks to 100+' motoryachts, power or sail...
Posts: 89
Send a message via Yahoo to robw_fl
Yeah, I have to say, it looks beautiful in its own inhospitable way. I have a private boat I run for some folks here at home, and all they do is travel (not always on their own hull...they like taking small, private cruise ships all over the world...oh, to have unlimited $$, eh?!?) Anyway, their last cruise was a 92 day trip to the south pacific. But just before that, they took a 3 week trip down to Antarctica. The stories and pictures they brought back were nothing short of incredible.

Taking the trip on yourself, on a small boat? if it's a challenge you're looking for...you're headed the right direction, I'm sure of that! Good luck, though...it does sound like an amazing trip!

Rob
__________________
USCG Lic. Capt. Rob Welling
Professional Delivery Captain
robw_fl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 19:07   #5
Registered User
 
Zednotzee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oromocto, New Brunswick
Boat: 1976 Alberg 37 Yawl hull 172
Posts: 394
You could try Morgan's Cloud|Offshore Sailboat Voyaging|Attainable Adventure Cruising , they do a lot of high latitude sailing, but Greenland, Iceland, Norway. While the info may not be specific to Antarctica, the general requirements of outfitting the boat should be the same. Also, I imagine high latitude sailing is a pretty small fraternity, so they probably know people who've done such a trip.
__________________
Zednotzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 19:10   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Ocean Girl's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In transit ( Texas to wherever the wind blows us)
Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
Posts: 4,115
Images: 2
I have a pilot chart (#105) for the southern Atlantic, I'll peek and see if it covers the area you are looking at. Utube has some pretty good film footage, try that to get a good idea what you are looking at.
Erika
__________________
Ocean Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 19:18   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Ocean Girl's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In transit ( Texas to wherever the wind blows us)
Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
Posts: 4,115
Images: 2
Nope, my pilot only goes to latitude 60. They do have an antartic pilot chart (106?), that would be a good place start in your research to see wind/wave conditions 12 months of the year. I'll lite a candle for ya
Erika

PS
Looking at the pilot chart for that neck of the woods made me think of a song about the Edmond Fitzgerald -"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours"
__________________
Ocean Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 19:19   #8
Registered User
 
rusky's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Queensland
Boat: Peterson 46
Posts: 340
Images: 6
No bloody fear!!!
__________________
rusky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 19:46   #9
Registered User
 
InlandMariner's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cowichan Bay
Boat: CL16 (looking for a cruiser)
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotJesse View Post
Have any of you ventured to this southern destination? What I'm looking at are the feasible areas to visit. I know the Antarctic Peninsula is the easiest to access, and is hence the area most visited by tourists. But what I'm more interested in is the area around Commonwealth Bay in remote Eastern Antarctica. I can't seem to find a whole lot of information on this area. It's regarded as the windiest place on earth (winds of 150+), which isn't exactly a high selling point when you're on a sailboat. But I've found various vessels who do sail there, so it is doable. What I want to know is, how the conditions there vary throughout the year. When is the best window of time to get in? Are there other, more feasible spots to make landfall?
PilotJ, you've seen THIS, yes?
__________________
InlandMariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 21:11   #10
Registered User
 
roger.waite's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
Boat: Samsara, a Ross 930
Posts: 380
I spent some time at Admiralty Bay on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula. This is a complex embayment providing some shelter (in different areas) from many winds. Colonies totalling over 10,000 penguins on hills to port as you enter ...

Conditions: Even this far north in the "Banana Belt" expect severe gales and storms, particularly spring and autumn. Ice (bergy bits, etc) dissipates a lot mid-summer. (I.e easier to get around, and find reasonably clear anchorages.) Even up here, only 10-20% of the island is ice free in mid-summer.

I have gone through the pack in a 120M steel vessel later in the season south of Perth (to Mirny Stn) and got holed. So think carefullly before heading towards any shore the wind might pile ice up against. Probably had 2-3 winds of force 11-12 in six months (only one on a ship). Watch out for winds coming off ice covered mountains (when closer to land) - just a more extreme form of usual risk areas.

Again not your main focus, but the following link takes you to 300 DPI TIFF charts of the NZ Antarctic claims, if of interest. Click on chart number, then chart, then the TIFF link to download ...
NZ202 Chart Catalogue : Southern Ocean and Ross Dependency
__________________
roger.waite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 21:57   #11
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Hobart to CommonwealthBay is 1,300nm's where the Ushuaia to Peninsula run is only 600 nms and can be done in a weather window. The areas there are tourist savvy.

The CommonwealthBay research station owned by Australia will not allow mere peasant tourists anywhere near. Can you get a media accreditation to say you are making a doco?

There is a USA base there and a French one close by. They might be more amenable

1,300 miles would be a daunting trip most of which would be outside the range of cargo ships or even Naval rescue vessels...

It would be a wonderful adventure for someone already thoroughly experienced in Antarctic cruising.


Mark

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 22:03   #12
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Buy the book Icebird by Dr David Lewis; essential reading IMO before Antarctic cruising.
Here is one possible supplier: ICE BIRD - TRAVEL
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 01:46   #13
Registered User
 
s/v Moondancer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fiji but heading for Alaska
Boat: Tayana 55
Posts: 1,225
Unless you have a metal boat you are better off taking a charter.

Sailing charters in Antarctica, yacht charters in Antarctica

However, I had a beer with Dutch couple in the sailing club in Puerto Williams Chile who took a Beneteau 35 there.
__________________
Phil

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
s/v Moondancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 02:22   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: S.E.Asia
Boat: Vagabond 42
Posts: 74
There is an American guy called Ron Davis who has been sailing singlehanded in the Southern Ocean visiting the Falklands and South Georgia in a Nicholson 32 but I can't find a website.
__________________
galleyslave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 03:23   #15
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
[QUOTE=PilotJesse;343973Commonwealth Bay in remote Eastern Antarctica. How the conditions there vary throughout the year. When is the best window of time to get in? Are there other, more feasible spots to make landfall?[/QUOTE]

Pretty easy question:

It will be cold (water will be about -1.5C),

and windy (you will see and have to be prepared to deal with 60kts, 150kts would be rare expect in some sort of williwaw)

and not much protection (zero shelter from the wind, hard to find shelter from the ice unless you have a lifting keel and can get into really shallow water).

Sure, it's quite possible, but you would not have much company for quite good reasons.

Unlike the Arctic, where the summers are relatively pleasant and the winters are brutal, the difference between the summer and winter in the Antarctic is less extreme, but still you want to do it during the summer because of the sunlight (no point in going there and having it be dark all the time). I don't know if the pilot charts show this but our experince is that the fall and spring tend to have the most difficult winds because crush zones set up between the highs and lows.
__________________

__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
arc

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fedor Konyukhov sets Antarctica record GordMay Polar Regions 0 08-05-2008 02:58
First solo sail around Antarctica? TAREUA General Sailing Forum 4 28-11-2007 17:49
Ship Hits Ice Off Antarctica TaoJones Health, Safety & Related Gear 22 27-11-2007 00:11
New City-sized Iceberg Created Near Antarctica CaptainK Polar Regions 1 03-04-2006 21:16
New Chart for Palmer Station, Antarctica GordMay Polar Regions 3 02-11-2005 11:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:27.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.