Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Home

Short summary:

  • Four airports
  • Went through immigration control four times (Argentina exit, Chile entry and exit--without leaving the airport, US entry)
  • Customs twice (including an extensive check in Chile by the Agricultural Department)
  • Stood in 16 lines
  • Actually slept fairly well on red-eye from Santiago--was really tired.
  • Seven hour scheduled wait in Miami--but the flight was on time in spite of blizzard (Plane left Detroit before the blizzard hit that city)

Miscellaneous thoughts on trip:

  • It was an amazing trip
  • If I have to pick one highlight it would be the penguins--over a million penguins, seven species, surprisingly different behaviors. As one naturalist said, some penguin species are on speed, others are on quaaludes.
  • It was odd watching Neil Armstrong standing in line with the rest of us.
  • What species penguin is the open source mascot? (only geeks will understand this)
  • There are really 18 species of penguin--17 biological species plus Opus
  • From Ralf--the staff photographer for Lindblad--the more pixels you burn (pictures you take), the lower the cost of every picture on this trip.
  • This kind of trip is all about organizing the details and flexibility and Lindblad is expert at that. Major plan changes on this trip happened four times (you have to expect that with a three week trip to Antarctica) and everything went smoothly.
  • Got home to temperatures 20 degrees F BELOW the coldest we saw in Antarctica--we did go south for warmer weather--like Minnesotans typically do in winter.

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