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The Students on Ice Antarctic Youth Expedition 2013 website allows visitors to follow the expedition’s daily progress (December 27, 2013-January 10, 2014) and benefit from various educational elements of the expedition.

The journey has come to a close but you can still experience the Students on Ice 2013 Antarctic Expedition through daily updates, photos, videos, and news media found below and within the supporting Photos, Videos and In the News pages in the menu.

Daily Updates

Team Update – December 26th
Toronto International Airport

Our first students have arrived! More are coming throughout the day and this evening we will all sit down together for a meal and go over the plan for tomorrow.  It’s early to bed tonight to prepare for a 6am wake up call tomorrow morning and our flight to Miami at 10:45am. Antarctica here we come!

Expedition Leader Update – December 27, 2013
Enroute to Miami

I am writing this high above the state of Georgia en route to Miami on the first leg of our 2013 Students on Ice Antarctic Expedition.  It’s exciting to be underway finally after over a year of planning!  Over the next 2 days we will make our way to the bottom of South America, to the town of Ushuaia, Argentina located on the shores of the Beagle Channel.

I told the students this morning to enjoy this part of the journey and think about where they are traveling on the Planet.  Its significant and important to understand where you are as you travel I believe.  And over the next 24 hours our journey south will take us over a good part of North America, across the Caribbean, over the Amazon and the length of South America until we cross over the Andes Mountains.  And that is just the trip to get us to our ship that will then carry us across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic!

I discovered today that on this date in 1831 (182 years ago), Charles Darwin began his epic 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle that also went to Ushuaia.  He was a 22-year old Cambridge graduate at the time, the same age as many of our students on the expedition.  It took him years to reach the destination that will take us 2 days!  How times have changed. The Beagle Channel, which we will be sailing down in just a few days, was of course named after his ship.   In this way, and many more to come in the next few weeks, our group will be retracing the journeys of many past explorers, wayfarers, and scientists.

This is the 13th annual SOI expedition to Antarctica setting off from the shores of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.  I’m sure Darwin would have never imagined a group of international students, scientists and educators sailing down the Beagle Channel almost two centuries after he did.  I must admit, I am also a bit surprised that the dream of Students on Ice is still alive and strong almost 14 years since the idea was born!

We have 72 youth from around the world on this journey and I am so excited for all of them. The experiences that lie ahead of them and the impacts that this journey will have on their futures will be quite remarkable.  This is my 81st expedition to Antarctica and I can’t wait to share this extraordinary part of Planet Earth with each them.  It has an aura, energy, beauty and power that are unparalleled in my experience and it touches your mind, heart and soul.  What a privilege it is to be in our shoes.

We all look forward to sharing our journey with all of you.  So please stay tuned to www.studentsonice.com in the days ahead.  And finally before signing off (as we are about to land in Miami) I want to extend my sincere thanks to all the parents, families, friends, sponsors, donors and partners whose generous support has made this expedition possible.  It is an investment in our youth that I believe will not only change their lives but also help our Planet in the years ahead.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – December 28, 2013
Ushuaia, Argentina

Hello from Ushuaia,

It is great to be here!  Our entire expedition team is safe and sound in Ushuaia!!  After long journeys from all corners of the world, we all arrived on schedule to this beautiful southernmost city in the World.

We had a great day today! Arriving to Ushuaia is something you never forget. Snow-covered peaks in every direction, the smell of the sea, the contrast of snow and green forests, and some of the freshest air on the Planet hit your senses as you exit the airport. It is a special place. There is a palpable sense that you are on the edge of a frontier. At the same time, Ushuaia is a very busy and growing city of 70,000 people with 50% of population under 25 years old.

After checking into our hotel on the shores of the Beagle Channel, we had our introductory briefing and introductions.  What a great group we have! I am so impressed with the students on our team.  The good karma is already building.

Our tired, happy and excited group hit the sack after dinner tonight in preparation for a full day of activities, workshops and excursions tomorrow.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Team Update – December 29, 2013
1850hrs Update – Ushuaia

The hike above town this afternoon was enjoyed by all.  Great views of the area and a chance to stretch our legs and get lots of fresh air!  The Martial Glaciar which we could see provides the fresh water for Ushuaia.  It is quite rapidly diminishing in size and already the community is thinking about future water sources once this hanging glacier is gone.

Once back to the hotel we all had a snack and then jumped into presentations by Hans & Pat (Antarctic Tourism and Experience), Claudia (Geology and Climate Change) and Joe (Oceans and the link between Health & Environment).  Now all the students are in workshops and getting very excited about our traditional Asado BBQ dinner!!!!

Expedition Leader Update – December 29, 2013
Ushuaia

Good morning from the Tierra del Fuego…the Land of Fire.

Our group got some much needed sleep last night and awoke to a beautiful, calm summer day here in Ushuaia.  The view from our hotel takes your breath away.  I could throw a stone from the front steps into the Beagle Channel!  Our hotel is actually situated on the site of an ancient Yamana Indians’ settlement, evident from the “middens” (mounds) just outside the front door. Another powerful reminder of the past and how we are literally walking in the footsteps of history on this expedition.

After a delicious breakfast we kicked of the day with a two truly inspiring presentations. The first was an Introduction to Antarctica by David Fletcher.  After 40 plus years working in the Antarctic, there is nobody better in the world to inspire and educate people about the overall story of the Antarctic.  David had us all on the edge of our seats!  And there was not enough time to answer all of the great questions afterwards.

After a short break, Justin Dearing gave his talk “Challenging Assumptions” which focused on the role we all play as individuals, the decision we make that shape us, the many reasons for hope and optimism, and the actions that we are all capable of making.  I saw several students in tears.  His inspiring message got us all thinking and reflecting about ourselves and the future.

Before lunch we broke out into various groups with the University professors for some quick meetings, and then after lunch boarded buses to take us up the mountain behind Ushuaia, where we are going on a nice hike to see the Martial Glaciar and soak in the views of Ushuaia, the Andes and the Beagle Channel.

Later this afternoon we have some more presentations, briefings and an Asado BBQ dinner!!! Everyone is in great spirits, excited, learning and doing well. I can hear the Patagonia winds building outside.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Team Update – December 30, 2013
8h00 – Ushuaia

Woke up to a beautiful day in Ushuaia with sunny skies and a light breeze. After a hearty breakfast we said goodbye to our lovely hotel Los Yamanas, sent our bags to our ship and boarded our buses for the Laguna Esmeraldas hike trail head. We’ll spend the morning hiking to the lake, taking in the surrounding Andes, and enjoy a picnic lunch around noon once we reach the lake. During lunch our educators will take turns explaining the landscape, flora and fauna of the area and a few brave souls might even jump in for a prelude to our Polar Dip! After lunch we’ll make our way back to the trail head and return to town to stock up on last minute provisions for the journey ahead. By 16h00 today we will begin boarding our home for the next 10 days, the MV Ushuaia and will set sail by 18h00!

Expedition Leader Update – December 31, 2013
Drake Passage

Hello from the Drake Passage!

Last night we set sail just after 6pm. The excitement in the air was palpable as we cast off the last line and began our journey east down the Beagle Channel. The students spent the first few hours settling into their cabins and getting to know the vessel. We had a Welcome from the Captain and some of the crew, and lifeboat drill and lots of time on deck to soak in the stunning surroundings.  We even spotted our first penguins…Magellanic penguins swimming and feeding nearby the ship.  Our day concluded with our Recap & Briefing where many of the students shared their highlights and experiences from the past few days.  I am so impressed with this group of students, their passion, maturity, desire to learn, and their overall spirit and attitudes!

We woke up this morning in the Drake Passage with relatively calm seas and light winds. A 2 to 3 metre swell meant the ship was rolling a bit, so everyone is experiencing the meaning of “getting your sea legs”!  Some are doing better than others, but overall the team is doing great and getting out on deck to feel, observe and smell the great Southern Ocean.  We also were joined by lots of seabirds this morning, including the great Wandering Albatross, the largest seabird in the world with a wing-span up to 12 feet!!  Many Wanderers, Black-browed Albatross, Cape Petrels, Giant Petrels, Wilson’s Storm Petrels and more have been cruising around us all
morning.

Santiago Imberti kicked of the education program with a presentation on the Seabirds of the Southern Ocean, followed by meetings for the University/ College groups.  As I write this, Olle Carlsson is giving the second talk of the day on the Seals & Whales of the Antarctic.

We plan to spend the afternoon enjoying some more presentations, workshops and time out on deck!  And plans are in the making for our New Year´s Eve Celebrations on the Drake Passage tonight!!  The Drake is sure to inspire some new dance moves. 🙂

We are headed to Elephant Island, and with good weather conditions we hope to arrive there later tomorrow afternoon or early evening!

On behalf of all the Students on Ice team, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!!

In the expedition spirit,
Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 1, 2014
Drake Passage

Happy New Year everyone!!

We had an unforgettable New Years Eve on the Drake Passage last night! The seas calmed down allowing almost everyone to enjoy a great dinner, and then our celebrations began.  Almost 2 hours of songs, skits, poems, stories and other talents (even a ballet dance!) were put on display in the ship´s lounge by our students and staff.  Laughter, smiles and cheers filled the room.  We counted down together to the New Year on the outer deck, as the sun was setting off our starboard side.  It was a pretty amazing moment for us all.

We are officially in Antarctica!  Last night we crossed the Antarctic Convergence, the biological border of the Antarctic, and just a few minutes ago we passed 60 degrees south, which is the political border of the Antartic Treaty area.This morning David Fletcher kicked off our day with his spellbinding lecture on Sir Ernest Shackleton. All the students are now in workshops, including about a dozen of the team learning about navigation from the Captain on the bridge!

We have pretty good sea conditions.  A bit of fog but light winds.  We have started spotting some icebergs on the radar.  Our ETA to Elephant Island is tonight around 7pm and we hope to get out on our first Zodiac excursion there if conditions allow.  Our destination is Point Wild where Shackleton´s men camped out for 4 months in 1915 waiting and hoping for rescue from The Boss.  Of course, as we know this rescue did happen and not a single man perished in this remarkable story of human perseverance and survival.  Point Wild is one of the most powerful places I have ever visited and I can´t wait to share it with the students tonight.

So all is very well here on board and we are ready for our next week in the Antarctic Peninsula!

I want to wish all of you following along a very prosperous, healthy and happy 2014! And a HUGE thank you to all our generous and visionary partners and sponsors that have allowed this SOI Antarctic Expedition 2013 to happen, including:

Canada Goose, Canadian Museum of Nature, People to People, Leacross Foundation, Beatrice Snyder Foundation, Carleton University, University of Northern British Columbia, Lulea University, Oregon Health & Science University, M&C Travel Ushuaia, Antarpply Expeditions, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Kovacs Ice Drills, and of course all the Mom´s, Dad´s, grandparents, families and friends!!

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 2, 2014
Bransfield Straight

We had another great day yesterday!  In the late afternoon, as we neared Elephant Island we started to see our first penguins in the water and more seabird activity. Then some blows were spotted directly in front of the ship…Fin whales!!  It was quite a welcome for us to the Antarctic.  We decided to have an early dinner and then just afterwards…Land Ho!  We sighted the cliff and glaciers of Elephant Island through the mist and fog. It was dramatic to say the least. In the lee of the island we managed to find some shelter and the Captain brought us in to anchor beside Point Wild.

We spent the next two hours out in the Zodiacs cruising close to where the men from Shackleton´s expedition spent months camped on this desolate and remote spot. Chinstrap penguins were everywhere to be seen. Icebergs grounded off shore. And some Leopard and Fur seals were seen, too!  It was an exciting first zodiac excursion, and the students definitely left
with a bit of Shackleton spirit in their hearts.

We are now in the Bransfield Strait and headed further south to the Antarctic Sound. What a great start to 2014!

In the expedition spirit,
Geoff

Update (1200hrs):

We´ve had an eventful morning already!  It started just after breakfast when we encountered more Fin whales in the Bransfield Strait. This time everyone got a very got chance to see these gentle leviathans of the sea
up close!  It is always a special experience to share time with whales and for most of the students, it was there first time to see them.

Shortly afterwards we came up to a massive tabular iceberg about one kilometre in length.  We decided to put the Zodiacs in the water and go out to see it up close! Some of the oceangraphic students took the opportunity to do some plankton tows and CTD casts with Professor Joe.

We are now back on course for the Antarctic Sound!  Stay tuned.

Expedition Leader Update – January 3, 2014
Joinville Island

What a day we had yesterday!  Icebergs, whales, penguins, breath-taking and awe-inspiring moments.  It was really a special day. It began in the Bransfield Strait when we spotted some Fin whales close by.  The just before lunch we decided to go zodiac cruising in the ice near a massive one-kilometer long tabular iceberg.  The experience of being so close to such an immense iceberg is humbling to say the least.  After lunch and a presentation by Olle Carlsson about the Nordenskold Expedition, we entered the Antarctic Sound. Immediately we started to see whale blows in all directions!  For the next 2 hours we must have seen 40 Humpbacks, then a pod of Orca!  Amazing!

Our plan to visit Esperanza station, the Argentine Research base was thwarted by dense ice in Hope Bay stretching several miles out.  Brown Bluff was also not reachable due to ice. So we decided to cross the Antarctic Sound to try Kinnes Cove.  Just before arriving to Kinnes…more Orca (Killer Whales) appeared!! A big pod of about 15 Orca and they were chasing (hunting) a Minke whale!  We watched this unfold all around us for the next few hours.  There were also Humpback whales and Fin whales in close vicinity. Clearly, there must have been a lot of food in the water due to some upwelling, currents, etc.  It was a remarkable thing to witness. The whales were spy-hopping, tail lobbing, breaching, chasing.  A few Orcas even came right up to the ship.

After the whales moved on, so did we, and we made it to Kinnes Cove on Joinville Island.  An after dinner Zodiac cruise to see some Adelie penguins wrapped up our incredible Antarctic day. Weddell seals, penguin chicks, Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins were also seen in abundance!

Today we are hoping to make a few landings.  Stay tuned.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 4th, 2014
Half Moon Island

Hello friends,

We had a great morning landing at Half Moon Island!  We spent over 3 hours on shore visiting the chinstrap penguin colony here.  The conditions were glorious and peaceful.  So warm that most of the students had to take off layers of their clothing!  It was a great opportunity to spend time with the penguins and watch their various behaviours, such as courtship, feeding, fighting and nest building.  Many had small newborn chicks on the nest.

Our visit also included a nice hike out to the see some Weddell seals that were resting on the nearby snow covered peninsula.  We also went beachcombing and explored the tidal pools that were filled with life.  Our Geology team spent much of their time down by a rocky outcrop, and our oceanography team were able to do some more plankton tows and CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) casts out in a Zodiac in the bay.  The backdrop of Livingston Island´s
glaciars and mountains was beyond surreal.

We returned to the ship for a late lunch and we are now underway to see Deception Island. Tonight we begin our journey further south down the Gerlache Strait where we hope to make a landing on the continent tomorrow morning!  The students are all doing great and in very fine expeditionary, Antarctic form and spirit.  We have a great team here. All parents should be
very proud…

Off to see more whales!

In the expedition spirit,
Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 4, 2014
Charlotte Bay, Antarctica

Good afternoon!!

We have just returned from our successful landing on the Antarctic Continent this morning at Portal Point!  After setting foot on the continent, we trekked up to the top of the adjacent glacier and spent over 2 hours up there just soaking in the indescribable scene surrounding us. Mountains blanketed by ice, glaciers tumbling to the sea, icebergs and whales throughout the bay, and powerful Antarctic vistas as far as you could see.

We did some ice-coring, and many of the students took a turn with the drill. A group photo was followed by about 15 minutes of silence when everyone spread out on the glacier and just sat still listening, reflecting and letting this place go deeper in our souls. A slide ride down the glacier took us back to the beach and then just before returning to the ship for a BBQ lunch, almost all of the students went for their Polar plunge!!  That´s right, a swim in the near freezing waters of Antarctica!! It was quite a scene and lots of fun. We are now making our way along the Gerlache Strait to our next destination.  Weather is good today.

We have had a great expedition so far and all students on board are doing great and having a wonderful time!  So far we have seen over 100 whales, thousands of penguins, icebergs, seabirds, seals, incredible landscapes, glaciers and ice caps.  The students have been going non-stop with lectures, workshops, research activities, journaling, small group discussions, time
out on deck, and much, much more! In fact, right now I think almost everyone is having a post-lunch nap trying to recover from the past few glorious days!

Some news I would like to share with you regarding our journey is that we have had to change our return itinerary slightly due to a mechanical issue with one of our ship’s two propellers. Two days ago we believe some ice must have touched the propeller and caused it to disengage.
There is no visible damage to the propeller itself. For the past two days the engineers have been trying to repair it, but have not been successful. There is no safety issue for us. The ship is able to safely travel using just one propeller, which we have been doing for the past two days.  It just means our average speed is reduced to 8 knots instead of 12. Due to this slower speed, we will start the return voyage across the Drake Passage one day earlier (Jan 5) than originally scheduled so that we can arrive back to Ushuaia on schedule.

The students have been updated about the propeller situation from the beginning, and have embraced and understood the change in plan completely. Just like Shackleton and other early explorers, sometimes things don´t go as planned and you need to be flexible and adapt!  That is one of the many lessons learned they will return home with from this SOI Antarctic Expedition
2013.  As I mentioned before, I am so impressed with this group of youth and I am quite certain this expedition will change and impact them in many wonderful ways.

We have a full afternoon program and then another landing tomorrow morning before we begin to make our journey back to South America.  Stay tuned for more journals, photos and updates!!

In the expedition spirit,
Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 5, 2014
South Shetland Islands

Hello all,

We had a great night last night, lots more whales and a fun evening Re-cap and Briefing celebrating our landing on the continent.  Our evening re-caps are always full of laughter, sharing, stories, music and fun. One of our students has now composed three poems which he has shared with the group over the past days. Other students share their highlights of each day.  Usually the most popular element of every evening is a “Scobie Story” from Scobie Pye, one of our veteran Antarctic staff. His stories are now legendary Antarctic lore!

Our plans this morning to make a landing were thwarted by high winds, making it impossible to consider getting the Zodiacs in the water, or to get ashore.  So we are spending the morning cruising amongst the South Shetland Islands, before we begin our crossing back to Ushuaia this afternoon.  We bid farewell to the Antarctic with many wonderful memories and experiences to keep and share for years to come!

Our education program will be in full swing today, starting with David Fletcher´s presentation, “Dog Driving in the Antarctic”, where Dave will share some of his 40 years of experience working, traveling and living in the Antarctic with the British Antarctic Survey.  Later, Mike Beedell will present “The Art of Seeing” which will showcase Mike´s remarkable photography and his gift to teach others to look at things from different perspectives.  Workshops on Art, the Evolution of Whales, Seabird Surveys, Oceanography and more will also help to fill our day.

We´ve also spotted a number of fishing vessels this morning in the region. This is something quite new and a bit disturbing to be honest.  These vessels are fishing for krill, which is the main link in the Antarctic food chain, the source of food for the whales, seals, penguins, etc. Harvesting krill on a large scale commercial level in the Southern Ocean is yet another human activity whose impacts we do not fully understand.

Over the next few days, this is one of the issues we will discuss with the students, including the efforts to establish large Marine Protected Areas (MPA´s) around the Antarctic.  We will share some of our observations and ideas with the PEW Foundation in Washington, who are actively pushing for the establishment of these MPA´s.

I hope you have been enjoying the photos and journals over the past week! We hope to send a video back soon, now that our satellite system is working properly.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 6, 2014
Drake Passage

Good morning everyone,

We are cruising along here with the Albatross on the Drake Passage! Yesterday we made good progress and had a full day of educational programs on board. Despite some seasickness the students did really well, making it to all the activities, getting out on deck, and keeping in great spirits!

Today the seas are a bit better so far, and the winds from the east are allowing us to make top speed with our one propeller.  This means we should arrive in plenty of time to the Beagle Channel pilot station on the 8th, and have a great final afternoon and evening of expedition wrap-up activities and celebrations together in the calm waters of the Beagle. Then onwards to Ushuaia for our morning arrival on the 9th.

The Drake Passage is not only a famous and powerful body of water that separates Antarctica and South America. It is also a place on Earth that humbles us, reminds us of the power of Mother Nature, and serves as a rite of passage to visit Antarctica.  Our group of students have learned many things in the past days and have been inspired and motivated in many, manyways. Their perspectives forever changed. The Drake has played its role and will serve as both an accomplishment, and a connection to nature that they will never forget.

Today we have a great line-up of activities, starting with David Fletcher´s “Diving in the Antarctic”, workshops on art, whaling, nature connection and seabirds, presentations on Marine Protected Areas and sailing around Cape Horn and then tonight´s “Drake Shake Olympics”!!!!

We have crossed the 60 degree South line of latitude officially bidding farewell to Antarctica. Stay tuned for more journals and photos to come!

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 7, 2014
Drake Passage

We had a good day on the Drake yesterday.  The winds and seas were moderate compared to what the Drake is capable of serving up!  The Drake Shake Olympics concluded a busy day at sea, and was a fun way to use the moving ship to our advantage.  Somehow the staff team was disqualified after taking the gold medal.  However, we are considering lodging a protest with the International Drake Passage Olympic Committee! 😉

We made some good distance and today find ourselves within 100 miles of the waters of the southeastern Chilean Islands, including Cape Horn.  We had a bouncy night.  Everyone has discovered new ways to keep themselves from rolling out of their beds!  This morning, the sun is shining, the winds are light but we have an old swell from a storm that passed in the last 24 hours which is still giving us some good motion.  We´ve done well with the weather, as the southern Drake Passage is much stormier today than it was when we passed through it yesterday.

Our program today includes several presentations and workshops.  One group of students is drafting a Youth Declaration to support the creation of Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean.  It is inspiring to see these youth taking such a leadership role, and we will make sure this declaration reaches the right decision makers, media, and other agencies. Incredibly, only one-percent of the world’s oceans have protected status. Establishing large, permanent protected areas around Antarctica is important for the entire Planet, since the southern ocean is a cornerstone for 3/4´s of our Planet´s marine life.

This afternoon we are also having a Student Leadership Panel, where many of our youth team will share projects and initiatives they have been involved with back home, and ideas and plans they have for the future.

Early tomorrow morning we will reach the calm and beautiful Beagle Channel. This will provide us with a great opportunity to spend our final day on board concluding our education program, packing and preparing for our final evening celebrations. Later in the evening, we will take on our Pilot and sail down the Beagle overnight to Ushuaia.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 8, 2014
Beagle Channel

Hello friends,

It took almost three days but we finally made it across the Drake Passage!! The Drake gave us one final kick yesterday afternoon with some big swells up to 30ft!  Our intrepid team of students were up for the challenge though, and our day was filled with many great activities, including time just watching the impressive seas around us.

At our evening briefing, we all shared hilarious stories and strategies on how we all tried to stay in our bunks the previous night!  There is a palpable sense of accomplishment and pride amongst the students, knowing that they have not only visited Antarctica, but that they also experienced a Drake Passage crossing.

We arrived to the waters east of Cape Horn around 6pm, and were suddenely greeted by hundreds of seabirds!  It was quite extraordinary. There were Cape Petrels, Giant Petrels, Prions, Black-browed Albatross, and about a dozen of the great Wandering Albatross.  All the students were up on deck watching in awe as these Wanderers (with up to 12 foot wingspans!) cruised in over their heads sometimes only metres above us!!

Another highlight of the day was the sighting of an Amsterdam Albatross. This is one of the rarest birds in the world. According to our ornithologist Santiago Imberti, the estimated population is only 120.

We awoke this morning in the calm waters of the Beagle Channel.  It is a beautiful day!  We´ve had Peale´s Dolphins and Magellanic Penguins around the ship all morning.  Everyone is happy to be across the Drake, but sad that our journey is drawing to a close.

Today, we will take aboard a Beagle Channel Pilot, and travel the last 60 miles up the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia, where we expect to arrive at 6pm. Our day will be full of packing, presentations by students, and other expedition wrap-up activities. And tonight we are all heading to a special restaurant outside of Ushuaia for our farewell dinner and celebrations!!

I will send one final update tomorrow morning after we disembark the ship to spend some time in Ushuaia before heading to the airport for our flights home…

In the expedition spirit,
Geoff

Expedition Leader Update – January 9, 2014
Ushuaia

Hello from Ushuaia! We have just disembarked and all the team is on walking tours of Ushuaia and spending time picking up a few souvenirs and gifts.

We had a beautiful journey up the Beagle Channel yesterday and busy and fun program of events and presentations. After arriving to Ushuaia for the rest of the evening we had an unforgettable celebration!   We went to this awesome place in the woods outside of Ushuaia for a big farewell dinner, followed by several speeches, an expedition slideshow, and then almost two hours of skits, songs and crazy performances by the students and staff.  The evening concluded with a dance party under the southern cross!

It was a special way to conclude our SOI Antarctic Expedition 2013. In so many ways, it is not an ending but a beginning of so much more to come for these incredible youth. They really give me cause for hope.   As new Students on Ice alumni, we will be staying in touch for years to come to follow, network, mentor and support them with their future endeavours.

Thank you once again to all of our amazing and generous partners and all the families that helped make this experience possible! Thank you for following our journey.

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff

Team Update – January 10, 2014
Miami International Airport

After a delay departing Buenos Aires due to a thunderstorm, the team made it safely to Miami International Airport. Unfortunately this delay resulted in missed connections for several students traveling with People to People and their flights are being rescheduled. Otherwise, all is going well for the expedition team in sunny Miami! Stay tuned for more updates!

Update from Miami International Airport: The group flight is departing on time! Homeward bound!

All flights have landed and students are on to their final destination!

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This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.