2023 - 40 days to Antarctica

2023 - 40 days to Antarctica

Ok, it’s not actually 40 days until I’m in Antarctica, but the countdown has started for when I leave.

Today I was able to see the ship I’m going on, the Ocean Endeavour, on the Webcam for Ushuaia in port a day late for it’s delivery, but it’s Antarctica season has started! I’ll be keeping track of the ship via Cruise Mapper to see where it’s at, what places it visits, and to keep myself excited until I go.

Starting to get exciting now that it’s getting closer and feeling real, it’s still hard to believe that a bucket list trip like this is happening, and it’s so close. Research and planning is kicking into full gear though, and I decided to take part in Claire Sammells Antarctica Travel Experience Project. Had a pre trip video interview a couple weeks ago and looking forward to grabbing coffee with her while I’m in Ushuaia.

Plenty of todo’s left to get taken care of in the next month

  • Finish buying things that are needed like waterproof pants, wool socks, extra memory cards for the cameras
  • Finalize luggage decisions. I’ll be taking the WANDRD PRVKE 21 as a personal item to store my camera gear and other electronics, but not sure what I’ll use as my main bag for clothes yet. Tossup between a roller bag and a duffle bag at the moment.
  • Make a packing list so I don’t forget basic necessities like camera batteries and chargers.
  • Research plans or places to explore in Buenos Aires for the two days I don’t have anything scheduled.
  • Get tickets for The End of the World Train in Ushuaia and look into Tiera Del Fuego National Park. Could find an excursion that includes both the train and a guide for the park.
  • Looking into book design to put together one after I come back.
  • Decide on what to do in Miami for 12 hours, get a day room at a resort or stay in the AA Flagship Lounge for the day with a good book or two.

Great thing about the Cruise to New England and Canada a few weeks ago is it solidified my decision on camera equipment to take.

While I was on the trip I used a combo of my phone and the GFX 50S II with the GF 35-70mm lens. While the phone worked great for both photos and videos, and I loved that it has a 5x optical zoom to let me get a great zoom range, the photos only really look great on a phone sized screen. It’ll remain in the lineup since I always have it on me, the best camera is still the one you have with you.

Taking the GFX with me for the first time though was an eye opener. I didn’t mind the size of it nearly as much as I thought I would. The 35-70 makes for a great zoom range for general usage, and for the cost has an incredible image quality. It’s a massive step up from the X-Pro3 in overall IQ and dynamic range, enough to make it worth taking both systems with me.

The current plan is to keep the X-Pro3 for telephoto with the 70-300mm lens on it and the GFX 50S II with the 35-70mm lens for standard wide to normal photos. This should give me the best of both worlds, the best quality for the type of photos I take most, and the reach that I can only get with the X-Pro3. It’ll also eliminate most lens changes and give me a backup in case one camera fails for one reason or another.

A lot left to do, but part of the fun of travel is the research and planning that goes into it, I’m very much looking forward to the next 40 days.